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Publisher: Electronic Arts    Genre: Action
Min OS X: 10.4    CPU: Intel @ 1830 MHz    RAM: 999 MB    Hard Disk: 6000 MB    DVD-ROM

Battlefield 2142
October 26, 2007 | Alex McLarty

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Anyone remember "Yes, it's true" at the WWDC ‘05? I remember reading the transcript of the event as it it came through, typed frantically by hardcore Mac fans - Steve Jobs announces that every computer manufactured by Apple is going to have (god forbid) an Intel chip inside.

Questions came urgently: What does this mean? What is a Mac? Will there be an Intel sticker on the front? Hell had frozen over.

These grand philosophical questions have been answered over the past two years by powerful, energy efficient hardware from Apple and a dedicated community who have diligently ported over applications to Intel hardware.

Initial fear gave way to pure geek happiness. A Mac is not defined by it’s hardware, but by it’s software. It’s the user experience, the details, the community. So with the faith of Mac users around the world restored, we could enjoy faster chips, better access to hardware and just maybe, games!

Very quickly came virtualization and dual booting options. Goodbye VirtualPC, hello Parallels and VMWare. Goodbye PC, hello BootCamp. For some this spelled the end of gaming on the Mac. Mac ports of popular PC titles are slow in development and usually never match their PC counterparts in performance. With users able to play games in Windows on their Mac, why would they buy the more expensive, six month old Mac ports? Why would developers invest time and money on Mac ports when users had the ability to run their Windows version without a problem?

Some announced that gaming on the Mac was dead. Most agreed Mac gaming was going to change and only time would tell us how.

Thankfully, developers spoke out:

Peter Tamte, MacSoft/Destineer:

We think Apple's move to Intel is great. For one thing, it demonstrates that Apple is really serious about giving Windows-based computing head-to-head's going to narrow the gap between the release of a game on Windows and the release on Mac -- maybe to zero.

Ryan Gordon, Epic Games:

From a game development viewpoint, this will be a huge win once we get the majority of users over to these systems, both in terms of developer expertise and end-user performance.

Gaming on the Mac didn’t really change for a while. Development studios had the advantage of easier and faster development, but Macs were still in the minority.

More recently Apple is being eyed up by the bigger developers in the industry, thanks to a steadily increasing user base. And while the games coming to the Mac aren’t strictly Mac games, we’re happy to have them...

Towards the end of 2006 Transgaming Inc. announced their new product, Cider. Based on the open source WINE project, Cider is a commercial technology that acts as a ‘wrapper’ for Windows based games allowing them to run on Intel Macs.

Cider is not an emulator but a ‘compatibility layer’ that sends all the relevant information that would go to DirectX (Microsoft’s proprietary graphics API) on Windows, to OpenGL on your Mac.

With a shortened development time, the potential for simultaneous release on Windows and Mac, and a minimal performance hit since Cider uses the processor inside your Mac, what’s not to like?


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