3dfx goes after the Mac

Steve Jobs' promise to bring more games to the Mac didn't fall on deaf ears.

In fact, if you believe Bryan Speece, director of Macintosh business development for graphics chip and board maker 3dfx Interactive Inc., the company was all ears after hearing Jobs' promise to deliver more entertainment to the Macintosh platform. "As soon as Jobs announced he wanted the ultimate gaming platform, he had our interest," said Speece.

On Thursday, 3dfx announced it would deepen its support for the Macintosh system with driver support and developer programs. The San Jose, California company released reference Mac drivers for its newest chip, the Voodoo3, on the same day.

The move is not a first for 3dfx. The company has previously released Mac drivers for its Voodoo2 and Voodoo Banshee chips. As in the past, the company will look towards board maker Mactell Corp. and others to produce the actual boards.

In the end, 3dfx hopes to beat rival graphics chip maker ATI for the contracts to the Mac market. "We want to be the chip for the Mac," said Speece. "We think we have more ability to bring a higher level of graphics performance."

As part of that, 3dfx is again evangelising the strengths of its Glide graphics programming language to Mac software developers. "We definitely are positioning Glide to have cross-platform capability," said the 3dfx executive.

Steve Jobs has spoken publicly about pushing the Mac to games makers. While many developers are still skeptical, they are beginning to come around.

At Macworld this year, game developers turned out in greater numbers than the years before. But 3dfx is optimistic that it can lead the Mac gaming pack. "Anytime gaming shows up on a platform," Speece said, "that's a place where 3dfx can help."


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