I wouldn’t consider myself a hardcore gamer, especially lately, but I have been around the nerd block for quite some time. I always played on a PC until about the Xbox 360. PC games were so accessible and relatively cheaper than console games, even before Steam got a lot of traction.
There was also a lot of sharing between friends since at the very most the barrier against doing so was a serial key for some games. Which to my recollection never validated per machine but actually made sure the key followed a specific convention.
At one point-in-time I remember walking down the 15 foot PC game aisle in Best Buy, sometimes picking up something just to try.
When I switched to Mac and OS X, so did my gaming platform. I started gravitating towards consoles and handhelds instead. There was a brief year where I dual-booted my MacBook with Bootcamp and ran some much older PC games like Half Life, Quake III Arena and Battlefield 1942.
PC gaming is extremely aggressive when it comes to hardware. I remember Battlefield 1942 was getting really popular and I wanted in. I bought a custom machine from CyberPower PC just to play this game. Within a year or so Battlefield 2 came out and my graphics card no longer made the cut.
Hardware advanced so quickly that I couldn’t keep up at the time. I’ve known my brother to go through four graphics card on his desktop before it finally bit the dust last month.
A Mac can be seen as an investment. A high price tag for sure, but it’s not really all going towards the graphics card. Which means you’ll likely be limited on the amount of current releases you can play, for the life of that machine. Further more, Apple doesn’t update their machines as quickly – when it comes to relevant gaming performance.
I love the Mac so much that I always try and recommend it to anyone who’s in the market for new hardware. Though after years of being on the platform, I no longer do so if I know the intended buyer is a pretty active gamer ( my brother as a very recent example ).
I just don’t see gaming being a huge priority for Apple any time soon – and for me that’s fine. I write software, I’m on my Mac for easily 9 hours a day in addition to some on the weekends.
If I have the itch to play a title, the last place I’d like to do so is on my machine. I’d like to be on the couch in front of a massive TV.