E3: Apple shows new build of Quake 3 Team Arena, more
By Peter Cohen
Apple is occupying a spot in the LA Convention Center’s Petree Hall, showing off its wares to attendees of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). The company has a well air-conditioned booth far from the madding crowds in the rest of the center, a peaceful oasis from the usual E3 cacophony.
In its booth, Apple has set up a dozen Power Mac G4’s equipped with dual 533 MHz processors. The Macs have 512MB of RAM and a fresh batch of Apple-made GeForce 3 cards driving 15-inch Studio Displays. In an interesting concession to gamers, each Mac is equipped with multi-button USB mice manufactured by Logitech, rather than the more customary one-button/no-button Apple Pro Mouse.
Apple is using its presence at E3 this week to show off a new, never before seen build of Quake 3 Team Arena — a beta build that hasn’t yet been released for the PC, version 1.28. The software is operating on these Power Macs running Mac OS X 10.0.3. Sources report that Id Software’s Graeme Devine had been burning the midnight oil to get this build ready for Apple to display at the show.
Running at 1024×768 resolution and 32-bit color depth, the Macs running Quake 3 Team Arena are regularly turning in rock-solid frame rates of 60 fps or above in enclosed areas, with all options turned on in the game except for marks on walls and eject brass. The game is even quite playable in the immense outdoor expanses of the game’s Overdose level, a notorious frame killer.
MacCentral snapped off photos at the booth early on Thursday morning. Later in the day, Apple featured a Quake 3 Team Arena LAN party that drew press, Quake 3 fans, and Mac fans alike to the booth. Contestants vied for prizes as they ran three rounds of team play with five players on each team battling it out in Capture the Flag mode.
That’s not all, either. Apple also showed off a few other games that will coming to the Mac soon, including a development version
MacPlay’s Baldur’s Gate II (
recently profiled by MacCentral) and final candidate versions of
Aspyr Media’s Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 and America’s McGee’s Alice (shown here).
Apple’s staff at the show includes game partnership managers and other folks from Apple’s Worldwide Developer Relations team, who are here to cement relationships with game publishers and developers.
One thing is for certain: the impact of Apple’s recent product announcements interests folks for purposes beside just games. Many show attendees wandering into Apple’s booth were interested in getting more information about the newly redesigned iBook, and some were even asking about job availability in Apple’s soon-to-be-opened store in Glendale, a Los Angeles suburb a short distance from the downtown area.