Apple hasn't shown a lot of initiative on the gaming side of things (this past "Back to the Mac" event was the first time the company even mentioned Steam coming to the Mac, something even Valve has admitted is a huge deal), but apparently Steve Jobs still has somewhat of a competitive streak.
Former Microsoft exec Ed Fries (who I just talked with last weekend at BlizzCon, strangely enough) has told Develop the story of developer Bungie being bought by Microsoft, which was the event that turned Bungie from a high profile Mac developer into a studio that made Halo games specifically for Microsoft's then-new Xbox console. Fries says that a very frustrated Steve Jobs placed a call to Steve Ballmer, furious that Microsoft had nabbed Bungie, and Ballmer then asked Fries to call Jobs back to "calm him down about the whole thing."
Fries did, and the talk eventually spawned an initiative on Microsoft's side to get some of their PC games ported over to the Mac. But as gamers know, Apple's desktop platforms have never been very gamer-friendly, and developers still say that even with the switch to Intel, Apple still has a little ways to go to make the platform a solid choice for gamers.
I'd say the real catalyst in all of this is the iPod touch, more than anything else. Apple's App Store was a real breakthrough in terms of letting developers release and profit off of their software, and the iPod touch specifically has been a real boon for gaming (which, you could argue, has helped drive the recent resurgence in Mac gaming, including the Steam for Mac release and a few other high profile developers embracing the platform). We'll have to see if that happens with the Mac App Store as well -- most of the issues with developers right now have to do with technical issues rather than a lack of distribution channels, but having an easy way to release and update software on the Mac certainly won't hurt.
[via Ars Technica]