When Valve released its beta for a Steam UI overhaul towards the end of February, it just felt like a regular beta. As I mentioned in our news post at the time, the revamped look is quite nice, and intuitive. But there was something lingering under the covers that was discovered later the same day… Mac OS X icons. Since then, there’s been a lot of speculation regarding Steam for Mac, but all of that can be silenced today, because it’s now officially official.
In a press release just issued about an hour ago, Valve states that Steam for Mac OS X will become available sometime in April, and along with it, Valve’s library of games will also be available. In the release, Valve mentions Left 4 Dead 2, Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike, Portal and the Half-Life series, but it hasn’t released a definitive list, so what titles will be available and which won’t be, we’ll have to wait and see.
One concern I have is whether or not Valve’s older titles will also be made available, particularly those not based on the Source engine. I’d have to assume no, given that would be more work (and the demand is probably low), but it sure would be nice to see. At least for fans of the original Half-Life, the Source-based version of the game is likely to be made available, so you could at least play the game that kicked everything off for the company.
Valve touts the fact that going forward, it will be able to release Source-based games simultaneously to both the PC and Mac. The first proof of this will be seen with Portal 2, which will be released later this year. In addition to that game, though, there’s big hope to see increased game support beyond Valve’s own titles thanks to the fact that the Source engine will be made available for the Mac. There are few third-party developers who currently use the Source engine, but one thing’s for sure, Valve is really kicking off something big here, and we’ll hopefully begin to see other developers take alternate OSes a bit more seriously as well.
Valve announced today it will bring Steam, Valve’s gaming service, and Source, Valve’s gaming engine, to the Mac. Steam and Valve’s library of games including Left 4 Dead 2, Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike, Portal, and the Half-Life series will be available in April. “As we transition from entertainment as a product to entertainment as a service, customers and developers need open, high-quality Internet clients,” said Gabe Newell, President of Valve. “The Mac is a great platform for entertainment services.”