Carmack's interest in the Mac market is understandable. For one thing, he's an experienced NextStep developer. NextStep is the operating system that Mac OS X owes its core foundation to, and Carmack used it to help develop the original Doom and Quake games.
Anybody know the skinny on this one? Personally I'm not sure why Carmack continues to use OpenGL and friends. Familiarity? Ability to change the standards to conform to his needs at the bleeding edge? An ir/rational dislike of Microsoft?
With "idTech 5", id finally seems to be admitting that it's not about the game; it's the engine technology, stupid. Is OpenGL easier to port to PS3? Because otherwise, I'm lost beyond the reasons I mentioned, above, for id to use it and, with it, for Macs and friends to be supported.
And I'm pretty sure Carmack's not using Open GL because of Next.
OpenGL is easier to port to anything that isn't Microsoft. So if in five years nintendo makes a wii 2 that actually has good graphics technology inside, they can port it to that. Obviously the PS3 doesn't support DirectX.
With the arrival of Open GL 3 on the horizon I think that there is still some life in the old dog yet.
If Open GL dies out the only people who win are Microsoft. Cross platform becomes PC and XBox360 only.
I'm pretty sure that it's familiarity. He's expressed strong opinions about the ease of use of OpenGL vs the old Direct3D in the past [ http://www.rmitz.org/carmack.on.opengl.html ]. He's not the most cordial guy, but he has consulted for Microsoft on the original Xbox and 360, and has made public statements that the 360 is the primary development target, so it would be really hard to substantiate a claim that he hates Microsoft as an entity.
It would be very hard to kill OpenGL. Even if the big boys stopped supporting it, it would live on as yet another open source chimera.
Most hardware isn't specifically designed to run OpenGL anyway now.
Also, arthur, the version of OpenGL that you're referring to as 3, I have to assume is the version releasing this summer. It still won't support geometry shaders and other DirectX 10 features that are in the current generation video hardware, so it's still going to be a little behind the curve, but for consoles, it's perfectly adequate.