Wednesday, June 10, 2009

DirectX 10 support coming to Mac OS and Linux

The expansive Windows game catalogue is often cited as a primary reason not to switch loyalties to another operating system, especially when new gaming APIs such as DirectX 10 come along and complicate matters further. However, Unix and Windows intermediary CodeWeavers claims that it will soon have enabled DirectX 10 support on Unix-based operating systems, including Mac OS X and Linux.

The software developer’s founder and CEO, Jeremy White, revealed some details about CodeWeavers’ roadmap on a blog yesterday, in which he touched on game support. As well as recently shipping “a lot of those 'under the hood' improvements for games out in CrossOver Games 7.2,” White also said that “we're really pushing DirectX 9 support pretty far along, and getting ready to move on DirectX 10.”

CrossOver games 7.0 had a very long list of supported Windows games, that included Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, Civilization IV and World of Warcraft. However, very few of the games were described as fully working, with most of the titles getting an “Honorable Mention” badge, meaning that they were known to install and run, but weren’t fully tested and supported by CodeWeavers.

That said, many of Valve’s titles on Steam, including Team Fortress 2 and Half-Life 2, had been given a “Silver” badge, which means the game may have issues at the moment, but that CodeWeavers is committed to bringing it up to the “Gold” level in future releases of CrossOver Games.

As well as CrossOver Games, CodeWeavers also works on getting other major Windows applications to work on Unix based operating systems, including Microsoft Office, using a proprietary version of WINE. Rather than being an emulator, WINE (which helpfully stands for Wine is not an emulator) instead provides a compatibility layer that sits between Unix and the Windows app, enabling a Windows app to run by using substitute DLLs that are called by Windows programs, as well as processes that act like the Windows NT kernel.

The software developer says that its goal “is to make Unix (including Linux and Mac OS X) a fully Windows-compatible operating system. All Windows applications should be able to be run on Unix: cleanly, harmoniously, within the native environment, and without using an emulator.”

CrossOver Games currently costs £25.99, and a free trial version is also available. Would you move over to Mac OS or Linux if you could run Windows games on it, or is it Windows all the way for you? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

Putty for Mac
Putty for Mac

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