Digital distribution platform Steam has been dropping hints that they will be expanding support to Macs. The Valve Corporation's online game store is one part of a company made famous for such popular video games such as Half-Life
and Portal, the latter's sequel recently announced. Boing Boing's prediction, while not irrefutably verified, is that the release of several images of Valve-themed Apple-advertisement parodies points fairly clearly to just such an expansion. With the Game Developers Conference looming, such a suspense-provoker would be an ideal build-up to the event.
The images include altered dancer-silhouette iPod posters, a Half-Life character inserted into the 1984 Super Bowl Macintosh commercial, a Portal robot and a Team Fortress II turret in an "I'm a PC" tableau, etc.
Not only are gamers excited about such a possibility, its a positive move for Valve. With a consistently rising market share, Apple is not just the underdog anymore. At nearly eleven percent of US users, according to analytics from Quantcast via Ars Technica this week, Apple does best domestically. But MacWorld believes that there are other reasons to why now is a good time for Steam to come to OS X.
For certain, the move from the G-processors to the Intel chips that are now being used made compatibility a great deal simpler. As shown for Netflix streaming and anything using Microsoft Silverlight, support is best left for PCs and Intel-based Macs, not for anything older. Games are cheaper to port to Macs, which means that they are available quicker.
Additionally, game consoles have become more popular among casual and hardcore gamers alike, leaving less profitibility in the computer game category. If Valve acts now, says MacWorld, it has a chance to become the dominant source of Mac games. This would be a different market than those available on the iTunes App Store for iPhone and iPod Touch, potentially under-tapped.