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Boot Camp challenges Mac game developers

Yesterday, Apple announced and released the public beta of Boot Camp, a boot manager and set of drivers that enable Intel-based Macs to run Windows XP (Vista s not yet supported). I'll discuss the trade-off between dual-booting and virtualization another time, but one advantage of enabling XP to run natively on Apple hardware is that Windows games will be able to utilize accelerated graphics hardware. In other words, Mac owners will be able to play most PC games at native Windows speeds.

Apple's stance is that what is good for the Mac is good for Mac developers, and the company has an interesting theory that this capability will show game developers just how many Mac gamers are out there. But I still don't think that that will help the fundamental economics of the Mac game market. The translators and publishers of titles that appear first on Windows like Aspyr Media and MacPlay and are going to feel some at least some short-term pain, pain that could be prolonged if Microsoft continues stepping up efforts to evangelize Windows gaming.