Mac Gaming: Is 2014 a Turning Point?
Of the challenges facing Mac gaming, OpenGL is perhaps the most important single problem/opportunity. For example, Microsoft hasn’t released a major DirectX update in five years and, as exemplified by the Xbox One launch, Redmond is well off top form and highly vulnerable.
That said, nVidia, Intel, and AMD are all promoting an OpenGL powered world. Microsoft’s weakness and the growing market clout of OpenGL are good for Apple, right?
Of course, the answer is yes, but…
GameAgent’s Russ Looney has been digging deep into the recent highs and lows of Mac gaming. His latest installment zeros in on the critical role OpenGL will play in Mac gaming, either as a catalyst or brake.
One of the biggest challenges of developing games for the Mac is the lack of support for newer versions of OpenGL. Apple only recently added support for OpenGL 4.1 with the release of 10.9 Mavericks in October 2013, whereas the most current version is OpenGL 4.3.
Market/technology stagnation have allowed Mac gaming to catch up somewhat, but Apple’s old challenges never really went away. For example, where PC hardware makers are known to supply game devs with cheap and/or free gear, Apple provides none. In fact, Apple can’t be counted on to acknowledge let alone patch bugs discovered by game devs.
Mac Gaming to Rise?
Further, the OpenGL 4.4 spec is out and final approval likely just around the corner. Apple’s partners here — Intel, AMD, nVidia, etc — are moving to bolster OpenGL.
Meanwhile, Microsoft appears to be stirring from its torpor and DX 12 is on its way.
The bottom line is that Apple’s fate is overwhelmingly in its own hands and 2014 could be Mac gaming’s latest best chance for success…
What’s your take?