Steam's 'Early Access' lets both Mac & PC gamers try titles still in development

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Gaming company Valve on Wednesday kicked off a new "Early Access" initiative, allowing gamers on PCs and Macs to purchase and begin playing select games that are still in development.

The new Early Access program, reflecting the wider state of gaming, is largely PC-centric, but the inclusion of several cross-platform games compatible with Apple's OS X shows developer support for the Mac is slowly growing. Of the 12 games available, a quarter were coded for both Mac and PC.

Mac gamers looking to try out titles as they're developing can check out the strategy-simulation games Kerbal Space Program, Prison Architect, and Patterns, available for $23, $30, and $10, respectively.

The past few years have seen increasing game development for the Mac platform, which has typically been something of a second class citizen in the gaming world. More recently, though, a number of high-profile game releases have seen Mac launches simultaneous with their PC counterparts or following shortly thereafter. For example, the upcoming Bioshock Infinite will be available to Mac owners a few months after it debuts on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 on March 26. In addition to new games, a number of legacy titles are trickling onto Apple's platform some years after first being released on consoles or for PC.