by Anton Shilov
10/21/2008 | 04:28 PM
After Nvidia won the recent Apple MacBook designs and its latest core-logic sets with built-in graphics cores found themselves inside Apple’s new notebooks, the company said it would like to leverage its “The Way It’s Meant to Be Played” program onto Macintosh systems so that to enable more higher quality video games on the platform.
Rene Haas, Nvidia general manager for notebook graphics processing units (GPUs) said in an interview with Bit-tech web-site that Nvidia would “most certainly” be using The Way It’s Meant To Be Played program to encourage video game developers to release more titles for Apple Macintosh platforms and persuade them to ensure that release dates of their titles for PC and Mac are much closer to each other than now.
This is not the first time when Nvidia promotes Apple Macs as systems for gamers: the company introduced the world’s first DirectX 8 graphics processing unit – the GeForce 3 – at an Apple conference by demonstrating Doom III title running on the GPU more than three years before it was released, in February, 2001. Back in early 2007 the graphics chip designer agreed to help TransGaming, a maker of tools that let games developed for Windows computers to run on Macintosh systems, to improve compatibility of Windows games on Macintosh systems.
Despite of efforts, mainstream gamers still do not use Macintosh systems and it is a big question how can Nvidia convince game developers to put additional effort on creating systems for Apple platforms.
Nowadays virtually all video games for PCs are developed for Microsoft DirectX application programming interface (API) only available for Microsoft Windows, which is why they do not work on Macs and require either a special wrapper/emulator or porting to OpenGL API, which a rather expensive and time consuming task. Even OpenGL games need to be adjusted to become compatible with Apple’s system.
Yet another problem is that Apple Macintosh computers come with relatively low-performance graphics processors, which usually can be upgraded only on high-end Mac Pro systems using special, usually overpriced, graphics boards developed especially for Apple computers. As a consequence many gamers are not even considering Macs.
Finally, Apple Macintosh platform is a very closed platform with a very secure eco-system. Apple wants to control how end-users are utilizing its products, how consumers acquire software and digital media, how hardware vendors distribute drivers for their devices and which features are made available.
Nvidia does want to persuade Apple to acquire more expensive high-performance graphics processors from the company, in order to achieve this, it may try to encourage game developers to pay more attention to Macs. But considering the current situation, it is not evident that Nvidia will succeed.