This has happened before within the last month with MacBook Pros. There, the excuse was that the drivers sux0rz'd, and were quickly, but silently, updated. From Mac Rumors:
While Apple does not elaborate on the contents of the update, an analysis of the update package indicates that it contains improvements to the graphics subsystem, with updated nVidia graphics drivers and some updated OpenGL components. Some initial benchmarks of the updated MacBook Pros had indicated some graphics scores lower than its predeccesor [sic].
Apple seems happy to cut corners in the 3D game performance category, and the procrastination hurts. They've now purposefully (and, I suppose, we can more safely conjecture Apple may have done it purposefully the first time with MacBook Pros as well) allowed, even caused, embarrassingly shoddy benchmarks to be taken and posted on well-respected sites with the new iMac, and their willingness to take their lumps on that front shows that high-end, 3D game performance means bupkiss for Apple's QA process and, I'll extend, their corporate culture. If gaming was a priority internally, these sorts of benchmarks would never be taken. At the very least, there would be a warning from Apple to expect less than stellar performance as they continued to "Work Diligently (c)1850" on a solution.
Thanks for the finger, Apple. By the way, where's our Madden?
MacMadden-related Update: I've been half-heartedly Googling off and on for the last week for news on MacMadden 08, and appreciate InsideMacGames.com's owner, Tuncer, blogging regarding the delay. I'll give him a heck of a lot of credit for 1.) Predicting this one at some level and 2.) Calling EA out publicly for the horrible feedback they've given him as the owner of the major Mac games sales website (though Tuncer also credits Peter Cohen, the last surviving Mac Games journalist, for calling them out in a MacWorld piece first).
Just for fun, I'll add this snippet from Tuncer's IMG blog on MacMadden's MIA-ness:
EA needs a wake up call.[emph and chuckle mine]
Second. A 3 month Apple exclusive on the first four titles is just plain stupid. EA's games should be available to everyone, not just Apple stores, when they finally launch. Imagine going to Macgamestore.com or Amazon or whatever, and not being able to find these titles.
They're just too busy focused on making the iPhone a huge gaming handheld success story.
Shame about Madden. You'd think getting Madden in 2007, 20 years after it appeared first on the Apple ][, would be a pretty big selling point.
iPhone: Seriously? I hope the iPhone's brought in enough dough that its dev demands haven't exactly sucked the life outta Macs & OS X, relative to Mac & OS development in the past. I've just finally caught up to what everyone else knows, or learned circa Tomb Raider 2 on Mac: Apple only talks a good game about games; they don't care to play it.
The china/platinum anniversary selling point: Seriously? :X
Seriously on anything I said? No.
Apple's a big enough company it should be able to spare people to focus on games, regardless of their phone.
And almost no one remembers Madden on Apple ][. I bet most people who play it on a console would be surprised that the Mac got a 3D version of Madden a while back. (Was that 2000?)