Moments ago Valve made the official announcement that, indeed, Steam will be coming to Mac OS X this April. The Mac client will include every game available to the PC service including Valve’s Half-life, Left 4 Dead and Team Fortress series.
Gabe Newell, President of Valve had this to say earlier this afternoon, “As we transition from entertainment as a product to entertainment as a service, customers and developers need open, high-quality Internet clients. The Mac is a great platform for entertainment services.”
One of the greatest parts of this announcement is that the new version of Steam will allow users to purchase games playable on both PC and Mac for no extra charge.
“We looked at a variety of methods to get our games onto the Mac and in the end decided to go with native versions rather than emulation. The inclusion of WebKit into Steam, and of OpenGL into Source gives us a lot of flexibility in how we move these technologies forward. We are treating the Mac as a tier-1 platform so all of our future games will release simultaneously on Windows, Mac, and the Xbox 360. Updates for the Mac will be available simultaneously with the Windows updates. Furthermore, Mac and Windows players will be part of the same multiplayer universe, sharing servers, lobbies, and so forth. We fully support a heterogeneous mix of servers and clients. The first Mac Steam client will be the new generation currently in beta testing on Windows.”
This is an incredible step forward in cross platform cooperation. We can only hope that other service providers take a page from the Valve/Steam handbook.