X3 Albion Prelude Goes SteamPlay

A while ago I wrote that Egosoft were planning to release their X3 games as native Mac versions on Steam, with the ports done in-house (previously these were handled by Virtual Programming Limited, and I’d noticed poor performance). Since then, there have been Mac releases of the earlier X3 games, as well as Linux releases of all of them. But finally, the day we’ve been most anticipating is here, with the most recent of the bunch, X3: Albion Prelude (X3AP), seeing a Mac release on Steam for the first time.

I’ve booted up the Steam version and the performance seems to show a massive improvement over the previous edition, although there was some issue with the view spinning uncontrollably (presumably there’s an input mapping that’s gone haywire somewhere). That said, the game warns you that it’s currently a “public beta testing release”, so it’s likely this will get fixed soon.

If you’ve previously bought the Windows version through Steam, you’ll be pleased to find the Mac version waiting for you in your Steam account, otherwise it’s available to buy direct from Steam right now. Probably related to this, the Mac App Store version is no longer available. I’ve been told by Egosoft that X3AP will again be available from the Mac App Store once it’s “reliably out of beta”, though it’s not clear where this leaves people that bought the previous version of the game.

Update from Egosoft:

We have contacted Apple to ask if we can avoid this by giving the new app to all people who own the old version. Apple indicated this may be possible.