Since buying my iMac last fall, I made a valiant effort to try to use it – in OSX – as a gaming machine. I’ve been playing Age of Empires III on the Mac for the last several months now, and the experience was less than optimal. The problem was that I didn’t really know what I was missing until this morning.
I visited Age of Empires Heaven and noticed that they had posted a screencast of a particular strategy, and with nothing better to do I thought I would watch and learn. While I learned a good deal about the strategy at play, I learned a lot more about how much better the AOE3 experience is on a PC than on a Mac. It was markedly better – so much so that I went out today and picked up the full AOE3 suite for Windows, and installed in in my Boot Camp Vista partition.
The game experience for AOE3 in Vista – still on my Mac, but in Boot Camp – is SO MUCH BETTER that it is hard to describe. Game slowdowns? None. Graphics corruption? Nada. Tinny sound? Yes, but I think that’s a Vista/Boot Camp problem and not really the fault of AOE3.
The lesson I’ve learned from this experience is that OSX is just not a gaming platform. I don’t think that this is the fault of OSX so much but rather is the fault of the people that take these games and “convert” them to Mac OS. From what I’ve read in online game forums the products just aren’t that good, and I’m here to say that I’ve played both on the same machine – in different OSes – and Windows wins.