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CrossOver Games runs PC games on Mac at native speeds, without Windows

By John Rizzo

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Yesterday CodeWeavers debuted CrossOver Games (US $40), new software that runs Windows games natively in Mac OS X, but without using Windows. The company said that PC games will run faster in CrossOver Games than in virtual machine products such as Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion. CodeWeavers also released a version for Linux.

CodeWeavers said that CrossOver Games will run Guild Wars, World of Warcraft, and most Steam-based games, including Team Fortress 2, Portal, Half Life 2, Civilization IV, Peggle, and others.

CrossOver Games is a spinnoff of CrossOver. Both make Windows software compatible directly with Mac OS X, running Windows programs alongside of Mac applications. Unlike virtualization environments, the CrossOver products only run certain Windows applications. CrossOver is focused on running productivity applications such as Outlook and Office for Windows. CrossOver Games is focused on gaming, and supports more game titles than the standard CrossOver.

CodeWeavers CEO Jeremy White said that this approach works well for games.

“Games are really where we outshine Parallels and VMware,” said White. “We run games at near-native speeds.”

White said that in a game that runs at 8 frames per second in Parallels Desktop will run at 40-to-50 frames per second in CrossOver Games.

Leopard's Boot Camp will also run PC games with good performance, but in Windows. Users have no access to Mac OS X while in Boot Camp. With CrossOver Games, PC games run in Mac OS X itself.

White said that CrossOver Games will be updated more frequently than the productivity-focused CrossOver 6.2, the latter is still in development. CodeWeavers is currently working on CrossOver 7.0, which White said would offer better support for running Outlook, Office 2007, and Adobe applications. The company has not issued a release date for CrossOver 7.0.

CrossOver and CrossOver Games for both Mac OS X and Linux are based on the open source WINE project. CodeWeavers is a major contributer of WINE code.

See our CrossOver Reports page for more on CrossOver.

If you've used CrossOver Games what you think of it.

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