FileBlog: An Open Letter to Apple from a Lifelong Gamer
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An Open Letter to Apple from a Lifelong Gamer

April 23, 2007


Wario's not the only one who's got smooth moves. Hello, Apple! I know that everyone over there is very busy designing sexy new products that make women want to take their clothes off, but I'm hoping that you can spare a few minutes to listen to a hardcore gamer and long-time friend.

This weekend marked a milestone in my family, because after a long deliberation (which consisted of my wife and I going to your store, playing with a 24" iMac, and then her wanting to remove her clothes) we ponied up and bought her a Mac. Yep, she made the switch. We're switchers. Switched Americans. We now live in a dual-OS household. We're Bi. Very kinky.

But I still haven't made the switch yet. I've still got a PC, one that I built for myself in a slick little LAN-party carrying case, which makes it extremely portable. It's also extremely puntable, when Battlefield 2142 refuses to install cleanly.
Don't get me started.

Apple: We Believe!
Given Maxis's track record, Spore (Left) will likely be released for Mac.
But what about jaw-droppers like Crysis (right)?

There is only one reason I still have a Windows PC: games. Obviously, I need a device for hooking up to the net, answering email, and general productivity (by that I mean smut). But I prefer that device to be a PC so I can play the latest and greatest cutting-edge games. It's not that the Mac gaming shelf is devoid of life -- any system that plays Civ IV gets a thumbs-up in my book -- but for a serious gamer the PC continues to be where it's at.

This is not a new development. For years I've wanted a Mac. I dug around in the GameSpy archives and found this GameSpy Grudge from August of 2000 where I lamented not being able to buy the G4 Cube. (The poll question was: Macintosh as a gaming platform vs. a crumpled Styrofoam coffee cup. The cup won.) That was seven years ago. For nearly a decade I've been a Mac fan who hasn't bought a Mac, solely because of the game situation.

What Apple Can Do:

Apple, you're in a better place now than ever. You're using Intel chipsets and standard graphics cards. Powerful emulation software can run some Windows games, and people even have the option of easily creating a dual-boot machine capable of running Windows. Even the most die-hard PC users can ease their way into Mac ownership. But why make gamers suffer like that? Get this stuff native!

I know it's humiliating, but for once you've got to look at what Microsoft is doing and copy it. Those guys are scared of you -- and they know that games are the one and only thing that has prevented you from hitting the Tipping Point years ago. The "Games for Windows" team is making noise at every game convention I go to. A whole division at Microsoft is devoted to developing game technology -- like DirectX or the Microsoft XNA developer's toolkit. Microsoft buys up development studios and publishes triple-A games with regularity. Microsoft knows that games are the key to getting people to adopt hardware: how is Microsoft attacking the American living room? Through a game console. How did they make sure that game console was a household name? They bought Bungie and brought Halo on board. Man, Halo was supposed to be a Mac game.

They shanked you.

I say, take some of that big money you're making from iTunes and shovel it into gaming. Don't go half-assed, Apple. Buy some companies up. Get with the mergering and acquisitioning. Get some exclusive content. Make sure that the next Spore-like event appears on the Mac first.

You're in luck because hardcore gamers cycle through hardware a lot. Now everyone needs to upgrade for Vista. Does anyone actually want to upgrade to Vista? It's been met with a collective yawn. Had you been aggressive in the gaming space four years ago, those gamers might've been migrating to Mac OSX right now in droves.

Everyone says that "PC Gaming is dead," and people cite the difficulty of PC gaming vs. consoles. Having wasted three hours at a recent LAN party trying to get Battlefield 2142 to install and then deciding to play Wario Ware instead, I can see where they're coming from. But Macs are all about usability. You can solve that problem. You can be the home gaming console for people who like mice, keyboards, and depth. The market hungers for it. We need you, Apple!

Let me put it another way: World of Warcraft is Mac compatible. Before buying her Mac my wife and I both agreed that that one single game would've been a deal-breaker. I'm not exaggerating. Blizzard made that sale for you.

So go out there, Apple! Go out there, get serious, and start getting some games! And maybe in a couple of years, when it's time for me to upgrade, we'll go back to being a one-OS household.

[Thoughts on Mac Gaming? Mail me!]

      -Fargo

Today's Geek Stuff:
Mod News:
Hardware Links Courtesy of Voodoo Extreme:

Posted by at 12:40 PM PDT
Edited on: April 23, 2007 1:09 PM PDT
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