Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
07 April 2006
[Insert Gaming Specific Boot Camp Pun Here]
Recently Tuncer of Inside Mac Games blogged his first impressions of Boot Camp, a product which allows Windows to boot on new Macintosh hardware:

Playing PC games on an Intel Mac is incredibly impressive. I was able to install and play games like Battlefield 2, Half-Life 2, and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Frame rates were excellent on all three games, even at higher resolutions with anti-aliasing turned on. Bottom line: wow.

From the various reports I've seen on the Internet, almost everything that people throw at these machines run PC games just fine on Intel Macs.

I won't bother posting actual benchmarks...just know that games run great on these super fast Intel Macs.


I'm left with a few questions, two of which I'll do you the disservice of sharing.

1.) Why no benchmarks? Seems you've only got a few possible answers -- either it was too much of a nuisance to dig up instructions on how to take benchmarks for each game (an answer with which I can sympathize. Not everything takes demo timedemo1 at the console) or the numbers make the ports of the games, even running on G5 towers, look like absolute molasses. IMG's not going to burn Aspyr's raison d'etre. Note that the first is not necessarily exclusive of the existence of the reasons for the second.

2.) Why the heck is Apple allowing people to dual boot anyway? I've covered how bad an idea this is on a crappy blog elsewhere, but games help show more clearly just how bad an idea allowing people to boot XP on Mac hardware is. By letting Windows live alongside OS X and not within it, as Virtual PC or Mac-on-Linux have done, people may become more comfortable with XP than X on their iMacs because they're forced to live in XP to use XP. I understand the point behind Boot Camp's release -- Mac users stick with Apple because of OS X and don't care to shell out for Windows unless it's an absolute need, so no sales are lost. Yet I still think using XP within X would cause heavy Windows users, of which gamers make up one type, to ultimately enjoy using OS X more. If my Windows desktop is stuck in its own window, I bet I'm eventually using Mail.app instead of Outlook, Safari instead of IE, and a port of The Sims instead of the WinPC original much more quickly.

In any event, the market loves Boot Camp. Apple stock is up $10 a share to $71 the last two days. Sell!

PS -- It hits me that this could have one great benefit: The price of Mac specific games should eventually fall. If the difference between Mac versions and WinPC versions purchased in a year or two is greater than $200, well, why not simply shell out for XP? If you factor in people willing to pirate XP, the price different would have to be even closer. Personally I'm guessing PowerPC gamers get milked like crud by porting companies for the next year or two and then they quit porting altogether (so the price drop means it's not worth porting any more), but we'll see.

Labels:

--ruffin at 01:07
Comment [ 4 ]

Comments on this post:

Ryan Gordon said a while back that the Intel Mac announcement had Transgaming popping the champagne. How do you see this affecting their plans for WINE on MacOS X? I'm guessing Transgaming are thinking "no big deal" right now, but are starting to get nervous about Apple having another announcement coming down the road, an announcement for a WINE-like product from Apple itself.

By Blogger jvm, at 07 April, 2006 07:26  

People were already working on booting XP, and someone might have succeeded before Boot Camp was even announced.

It seems to me Apple is trying to draw in fence sitters from the Microsoft side. Those that might have wanted to dabble in the Apple waters, but didn't want to buy a new machine or end up dealing with an environment that they might not like. People, that given a choice between a PC that runs only Windows or a PC that easily runs both Windows and MacOS X without sacrificing on either will choose the latter system.

Or even a few people that just liked the looks and designs of Apple hardware, but actually just want XP. Apple still gets their money, and maybe they will try the Mac side of the machine in the future.

By Anonymous Baines, at 08 April, 2006 02:09  

Baines -- Yes, they're trying to pull in Windows users, but my concern is that they're trying the wrong way. Why not use "virtualization" instead of dual booting? I saw the $15k (?) prize for booting XP on Macs go out, but let's face it, most people who boot Windows on Mac are going to use whatever Apple provides to do the trick, much like X11 on OS X. Apple is in the position to practically dictate whether your Windows desktop running on a Mac is in an OS X window or takes over your box where X is nowhere to be found. My vote, if you want switchers, is for the former.

Apple's going to be a lot better off shooting for switchers via virtualization than competing with Dell, HP, and Gateway as a Windows hardware vendor.

By Blogger rufbo, at 09 April, 2006 00:43  

Wouldn't virtualization lead to potential compatibility problems? DOSBox, emulating a DOS PC on a Windows PC, still has problem running various programs after years of work. I haven't used a Mac for years, so I've no idea what level things like VirtualPC reached.

By Anonymous Baines, at 09 April, 2006 18:42  

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