A new porting programme could see games released simultaneously for the PC, Mac and Linux.
'Cider' is an offshoot of the Cedega emulator for Linux, which allows Linux users to play some Windows games on their OS. Unlike Cedega, it's not a client-side utility - Cider is provided to games publishers who can integrate it into their PC code.
Cider provides an interface between the DirectX API calls that PC games make and the OSX operating system. It translates the Windows functions into operations that the Mac can carry out.
This is a lot easier now that there is no hardware emulation to be done - Macs now run on standard Intel x86 kit.
Currently, publishers like Aspyr and MacSoft spend months translating code to OSX by hand. There is a big possibility that Cider could make these companies redundant, allowing the main publishers like EA and Ubisoft, for example, to 'roll their own' Mac code.
TransGaming, which has developed Cider, said:
"Cider-enabled titles are just as native as any other Mac game on an Intel-based Mac. There is no virtualization or similar step involved -- Cider loads the game directly into memory and executes the code, which means it is running directly in Mac OS X. The game simply relies on Cider's implementation of the Win32 and DirectX APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), instead of those found in Windows."
"What we would ultimately like to see is the vast majority of PC titles being launched as Windows/Mac or, better yet, Windows/Linux/Mac hybrids. We believe that users should be able to buy their games in whatever store they want, and play them on whatever platform they want."
Sounds good to us. Let us know your thoughts on cider and Mac gaming over in the forums.