Apple Announces Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

Earlier today, Apple announced OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, due out this summer. There is a developer preview that will be made available soon. iCloud is a focus, but gamers should be interested in Game Center and AirPlay mirroring on OS X.

Game Center on Mac OS X has been rumored for a while and now now it’s official:

The Mac is about to go up against iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch — in a friendly Game Center way. Now it’s a bigger playing field with even more competition. Just create a Game Center account with your Apple ID. Then sign in and you’re in. Friends will find you fast, and you’ll track them down easily. Get a multiplayer game started or go up against people you don’t know. Check out leaderboards and see how your high score ranks against opponents’ scores around the world. And discover new games based on the ones you and your friends already play.

Game Center will allow you to play cross-platform with friends, and keep your scores and game information synced between those games that have iOS and OS X versions and that support Game Center. I’m very interested in seeing what games are going to support cross-platform play between iOS and OS X.

I think it’s an important indication of how important Games have become in the Mac App Store – I am constantly seeing games in the top paid apps listings.

The AirPlay Mirroring is very cool – you’ll be able to easily broadcast an OS X desktop to an HDTV through AppleTV using AirPlay. For those who need to get their big-screen gaming in…although I’m going to be interested to see if there is any noticeable lag.

Curiously, Apple is referring to 10.8 as “OS X” instead of “Mac OS X.

OS X 10.8 brings a lot of iOS features over to Macs:
– Game Center
– Messages/Messaging
– Notes
– Reminders
– Notification Center
– Twitter Integration
– AirPlay mirroring

Hardware-wise, “Mountain Lion” will support most of the systems that now currently support Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, It now supports the AMD Radeon HD 6000 series.

Take note, it will not support the following hardware:
– ATI Radeon X1600
– ATI Radeon X1900
– Intel GM 950 or GMA X3100
– NVIDIA GeForce 7300

Software Update will no longer be a separate application, and will instead be present under the Mac App Store. A “Gatekeeper” application has been added for security.

Links:
Apple – Mountain Lion Features
Apple – Mountain Lion – Game Center
OS X Mountain Lion Sneak Peak

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