Game Changer, Literally

First Look: Steam for Mac

If you aren’t familiar with Steam, it’s Valve’s (makers of the Left 4 Dead, Half-Life, and Counterstrike franchises) top-flight client for video game delivery and online play on the PC. Since it’s release on Windows in 2003, Steam has accounted for an estimated 70% of the digital distribution market and, as of January of this year (they’ve surpassed 25 million active user accounts). In March, Valve announced their popular client would (finally) make its way to OS X to the acclaim of every Mac user with one iota of gaming in them.

Today is the long-awaited day of this release and luckily falls just one day after the closing of this college student’s spring semester. It seems the nice people at Valve took our scholarships and finals into account when planning the release. I’ve had hands-on time with the beta version of Steam for Mac for the past few weeks and I can attest that this isn’t just a cheap, shoddy port to OS X. It’s a full-blown Steam Client built from the ground up for Steve Jobs’s musing and my sore thumbs. While the interface makes nods to Microsoft in some respects, it functions on OS X just like it would on Windows. The initial release offers access to the wildly popular Portal (free… read on) and Team Fortress 2, along with 62 other titles. Portal 2, which will be released this fall, will mark the first Valve game to be released simultaneously on both Windows and OS X with every game following it being released the same way.

Take NoteUntil May 24th, Steam is offering Portal for the massive price of $0. Yup, zero. You can download that here once you’ve installed Steam.

Valve also brings the Steam Cloud along for the ride in the OS X version. Any game you may have already purchased on your Windows system will not have to be purchased again for you to enjoy it on your Mac, and all your keyboard macros/configurations for omglolüberpwnage will be pulled down on to your OS X as well. I’ll be playing a lot of Team Fortress 2 for the next few months. If you’d like to join me, you can add me on Steam. Happy gaming.

Download Now: Steam for OS X (Free)