Voodoo4/5 on Mac!
The Other Keynote
Most of the rumors leading up to last weeks MacWorld Expo foresaw one or more hardware announcements by Steve Jobs at the keynote that Bob, Terence and I - the Gamers.com
Mac Editor -- trekked across the Bay to be there for the latest in Mac technology. Instead, we were shown Apple's new Internet offerings and got a quick look at the Mac OS X's new "lickable" GUI that Bob told you about in his article
on the keynote. So, while I have great hopes for what OS X will do for the future of Mac gaming, any gamer in the room knew the real news of the day was yet to come.
As a Mac user jaded by PC vendors hoping to escape the competition and make an easy buck off the Mac market, I walked into 3dfx's tastefully catered press conference at the Argent Hotel - located a few steps around the corner from the Moscone Convention Center hosting MacWorld - ready not to believe 3dfx would stick by the Mac.
We knew it was coming, but saying it made it real. I'm talking of course about the prophesy of real 3D power coming to the Mac - 3dfx's announcement that it will ship late this Spring fully-native and fully-supported Mac versions of the Voodoo 4 and Voodoo 5.
Talking with 3dfx
Scott Sellers, 3dfx's CTO, struck me as a refreshing counter-point to Jobs, warming up to be disarmingly frank and detailed when called to answer technical questions. A few bullet points of the announcement stuck us as key: Mac-native hardware support, fully-supported drivers, planned near-simultaneous shipment, and separate Mac retail boxes and SKUs for release. We'll look at how all this should shape up in terms of the Voodoo 4/5 potential success on the Mac.
Following the initial announcement, 3dfx brought up a parade of support: Clent Richardson, Apple's VP of Worldwide Developer Relations, and reps from Mac games companies Bungie, MacSoft, and GraphSim. Mac game publishers of 3D games deal with the relatively small installed base of top 3D hardware, so what's there not to support?
3dfx has really taken an increasing role in the Mac 3D market, but will they take "Mac-native" seriously and serve Mac users equally? Let's take look at 3dfx's history on the Mac.