The Sims 2 coming to Mac

Aspyr Media Inc. has confirmed plans to publish a Macintosh version of The Sims 2. It's the sequel to the best-selling PC game of all time and an enormously popular Mac game as well. The announcement indicated that Aspyr is developing the game at its own internal development studio -- Aspyr indicates that the company will release the game in May, 2005.

The Sims 2 is a virtual life simulation game, where you create and influence the actions of simulated people -- Sims -- as they live, work and interact with each other. The Sims 2 extends the concept of the original game literally from cradle to grave, and adds more life-like qualities in Sims like aspirations -- Popularity, Family, Fortune, Knowledge and Romance. What's more, The Sims 2 employs genetics, so the DNA of Sims is passed down from generation to generation.

A new 3D engine powers the game, and users can make their own Sim films with a new movie-making feature that lets you create a cast, set the stage, control the camera and set your own screenplay in motion. The new "Create-A-Sim" feature lets users develop their own Sims' facial features, hairstyles and outfits. You can also create custom homes and dwellings for your sims using new building, design and home furnishing options.

The news first came to light early Tuesday when a press release published by the UK arm of game publishing giant Electronic Arts indicated that Aspyr will indeed publish the Mac version of The Sims 2. It appears that EA's enthusiasm about the Macintosh version may have gotten the better of EA and Aspyr. Historically, Aspyr has always published its own press releases announcing its publishing schedule. Since originally publishing this article earlier today, MacCentral has received confirmation from Aspyr that it is publishing The Sims 2 and has posted a mini-Web site with a few more details.

It's no secret that EA has had its eyes on a Mac version of The Sims for a while. As a privately held company, Aspyr doesn't share its openly share its sales numbers, but most people in the industry consider the Mac version of The Sims to be the Mac game industry's best-selling title ever. Earlier this year in an online interview Maxis general manager Neil Young confirmed plans to bring the title to the Mac platform, though he stopped short of offering any specifics. This is the first time either company has offered concrete information about The Sims 2's Mac status.

System requirements for The Sims 2 call for Mac OS X v10.3.4 or later, G4/1GHz or faster, 256MB RAM, 4.2GB free hard disk space, ATI Radeon 8500 or Nvidia GeForce2 MX or better 3D graphics with at least 32MB VRAM and DVD drive. Aspyr's own Project Status Web page indicates that the game is currently in early development and will be published in May, 2005.

Updated 3:20PM 10/19/04: Official information from Aspyr added, including system requirements and release date.

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