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Summary:

One of the aspects of the migration to Intel hardware for Apple is going to be the support for existing applications that we all know and love. Some applications are only going to be updated when an upgrade takes place. Others are only going to come when real Intel based Macs are in peoples hands.

One of the aspects of the migration to Intel hardware for Apple is going to be the support for existing applications that we all know and love. Some applications are only going to be updated when an upgrade takes place. Others are only going to come when real Intel based Macs are in peoples hands.

For the big issue is not going to be the mainstream applications, it’ll be those applications that I have been using for years that are unlikely to be updated into a new version. Games are a classic example. You don’t, as a rule, get new versions of games coming out – you get new games based on the original ideas (hence Sims 2 from the original The Sims), but actually updating the original game is fairly rare, except when there are bug fixes.

Is updating a game to support a universal binary a bug fix? Probably not.

Still, it’s good to hear that Aspyr are working on universal binaries already. Sadly no mention of Simcity 4, but I remain hopeful that Aspyr will provide universal binaries for that at some stage. If anybody from Aspyr is reading and wants some beta testers, they need only ask ;)

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  1. Yes, Aspyr are our friends.

    Seriously though, x86 is going to make their job quite a bit easier. They’ll still have to translate DirectX calls into OpenGL equivalents, but all the optimisations for x86 can stay as they are. Which should mean faster ports.

    Still, whether they’d bother to do this for many older games is another matter – it makes little economic sense, save, perhaps for the goodwill that it would generate towards that company. And you just know that it’s not going to be long before game developers go x86 only – I say game developers in particular because it is this code that benefits most from architecture-specific optimisations.

  2. Martin MC Brown Tuesday, October 18, 2005

    I certainly think we’ll see some easier ports, and that might mean more software too.

    We obviously will also now get the goodness (assuming Apple/nVidia/ATI decide its a good idea) of being able to use those newer video cards that were previously PC only, which should improve performance no end.

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