December 1, 2023

Like many individuals fascinated with tech, gaming was my gateway drug. And Counter-Strike, the unique that began all of it means earlier than CS:GO took over, was a part of that. I’m hardly a gamer these days, and it’s been fairly some time since I loaded CS:GO. I did, nonetheless, sit up for taking part in Valve’s Counter-Strike 2 quickly on my Mac. A good higher choice could be the Imaginative and prescient Professional spatial laptop.

Sadly, that’s not going to occur anytime quickly. Usually, I might be unhappy to listen to {that a} developer has simply confirmed a favourite sport received’t assist my platform of alternative. That’s what Valve did. However I truly assume it’s a very good factor. And never as a result of I don’t care as a lot about gaming as I did 20 years in the past.

Whereas I applauded the iPhone 15 Professional’s unbelievable gaming powers, I identified that Apple has a gaming downside it wants to repair. And Valve’s touch upon increasing Counter-Strike 2 assist to Mac is proof of that.

Valve’s announcement that Counter-Strike 2 received’t be out there on macOS hurts much more, contemplating that Apple is lastly getting severe about gaming. We noticed Apple speak about it at WWDC after which in the course of the iPhone 15 launch occasion. The M3 chip coming to MacBook Air and Professional quickly ought to ship even higher gaming experiences than the already-impressive A17 Professional that powers the iPhone 15 Professionals.

Apple’s upcoming Macs shouldn’t have any downside working Counter-Strike 2. However Valve sees macOS as a gaming platform it shouldn’t hassle itself with. That’s in response to a brand new FAQ assist doc:

As expertise advances, we’ve made the troublesome determination to discontinue assist for older {hardware}, together with DirectX 9 and 32-bit working programs. Equally, we are going to not assist macOS. Mixed, these represented lower than one p.c of lively CS:GO gamers.

Transferring ahead, Counter-Strike 2 will solely assist 64-bit Home windows and Linux.

The doc additionally explains what occurs to Mac customers who’ve been taking part in Counter-Strike titles on Steam. You’ll be entitled to Prime Standing Improve refunds till December 1st. In the meantime, a restricted CS:GO legacy model will proceed to work a minimum of till January 1st.

Might Counter-Strike 2 return to Macs and different Apple units sooner or later? I definitely hope so. And this brings me to Apple’s gaming downside that it wants to repair: The Mac isn’t seen as a gaming system as a result of Apple by no means actually bothered turning it into one till just lately.

Gaming on iPhone 15 Professional and 15 Professional Max. Picture supply: Apple inc.

Now that each one Macs run on customized Apple chips, the corporate ought to do something it could possibly to entice builders to convey their AAA titles to iPhone and Mac. The gaming enterprise is big, and there are billions in it for Apple… however solely as soon as the corporate makes a stable effort.

Apple has to make it simpler and extra attractive for builders like Valve to convey their titles to Macs and iPhones. That may imply extra profitable offers than the 30% payment it takes from all digital gross sales in its app shops.

Let’s keep in mind that AAA console video games hitting the iPhone 15 Professional/Max this fall will value round $60. That’s what you’d pay on a correct gaming console, however Apple will take a reduce of that. Of observe, these video games is not going to run on older iPhones or the bottom iPhone 15.

Apple additionally wants to supply extra instruments to builders to make porting video games to macOS working on M-series chips a breeze. As MacRumors factors out, the true cause Valve is shutting down entry to Counter-Strike 2 on Mac may concern the Mac’s lack of assist for Vulkan APIs.

Lastly, Apple additionally has to persuade avid gamers that the Mac is a viable gaming system. Apple may need to make an reasonably priced gaming system that’s value contemplating. The M3 may assist Apple flip a slew of Macs into gaming rigs, not simply the MacBook Professionals that can get the M3 Professional and M3 Max chips. The MacBook Air, Mac mini, and iMac may all be first rate gaming units.

Equally, extra iPads and iPhones ought to run AAA video games within the coming months and years.

Apple shouldn’t be doing this simply because I need to play Counter-Strike 2 sometime for a few hours. If Valve has this opinion about macOS as a gaming surroundings, different builders absolutely really feel the identical means. Then, they may shun iPhone and Mac customers in favor of consoles, Home windows, and Linux.

And I can’t assist however snort at the concept Counter-Strike 2 will work on 64-bit Linux computer systems however not present and future MacBooks.