One million downloads in the first day. Now that’s an impressive number even before you know what I’m talking about, right? It’s more impressive still when you come to find out that I’m talking about the much anticipated App store for the Mac.
Anyone who has or has seen an iPhone or an iPod Touch is familiar with the concept of the App Store. It’s where users of those Mac products could go to download any and all of the programs, including games, that they might want for their devices. With the launch of the Mac App Store, Apple’s tried and tested software delivery system for their mobile platforms comes to a desktop near you.
This is a big deal for those of us who are interested in the idea of Mac platform gaming, and I wanted to take some time to wildly speculate about how this might affect us.
I want to address the idea that the Mac App Store might help significantly in growing the Mac market when it comes to games. Sure, you’re still not going to win over the high-powered, we-want-it-right-now and it has to be AWESOME PC gaming market. Those folks honestly aren’t going anywhere fast (although many play those games on Mac via Boot Camp like I do). It’s actually the casual gaming market that’s going to benefit the most. I know that’s a bold statement, and the best way that I know how to explain it to all of you is to tell you a story about my own life and observations:
I’m 30 years old, which means that I grew up with computers and video games. From Commodore 64 to this monstrous iMac that I’m writing this article on today. After my family got its first Windows based PC, my gaming tastes exploded and grew into the “hardcore gamer”; into the realm of the FPS, the MMO, the RTS and others. This was not the case for my parents, and honestly folks, it is for the parents of 20-30 somethings for whom the App Store is going to revolutionize gaming.
My mother spent years and years playing Minesweeper and solitaire on the computer, because those were the games that were on there. Over time, she moved into some of the other classic casual games like Bejewelled and Zuma, but overall my mother’s gaming experience isn’t all that vast. It’s not that she doesn’t like to try new things. She’s tried a number of games whenever she comes across free trial versions, or when someone has bought her a new one for Christmas. The problem is that there really isn’t a reasonable place for her to go to easily and simply try and obtain new games.
I know, to those of you reading this article that probably sounds a little bit ridiculous. We ‘net savvy folks have no trouble using our skills to find one of the many reputable gaming sites out there where we can buy casual or more hardcore titles, but what seems simple and common sense to you and me, is a minefield of frustration for people without the internet skill set.
Think about it: We all know that there are disreputable sites out there looking to steal credit card information and / or infect our machines with viruses and spyware. Everyone knows this. The ‘net savvy among us know how to avoid them. My mother, on the other hand, just doesn’t have the same skill set, and prefers to err on the side of caution and not buy games with a credit card online. As a result, she doesn’t generally stray too far from the games that she’s familiar with not because she doesn’t want to try new things but because finding new games, for her, just isn’t worth the massive effort and frustration that it is.
Enter Mac App Store. Even the uninitiated know that Apple is a company that can be trusted with credit card information and can also be trusted not to infect your computer with nasty viruses. The interface is simple, easy to use, and installed directly onto your dock. Many of the games available in the store trend toward the more casual side of things. Honestly, I can’t see how my mother, and I assume many of yours as well, wouldn’t find the Mac App Store to be at least a small enhancement to their computer gaming experience.
Now, if I can just talk her into buying a Mac...