|In addition to any PC games that play unmodified on Intel Macs using VM software or WINE, some PC game developers may use work already done on the PC release to deliver an Intel only Mac release. The likelihood of this occurring is debatable; game developers haven't announced any clear plans yet.
Some Mac gamers have worried that if developers can get their games running on Intel Macs with little or no effort, they might drop efforts to create Mac specific ports. This compatibility fear is warranted by IBM's OS/2 experience; if Macs can run the PC version, why spend resources creating a Mac port? Without Mac native software, the platform's unique benefits, including apps working together cohesively and predictably, are lost.
However, games are a different beast than general productivity apps. The hardcore PC games that often don't get ported to the Mac today rarely take advantage of any operating system features. They don't use OS dialog boxes, system wide services, interprocess communications with other applications, or follow established interface guidelines. What purpose is there for a native port to the Mac, if Intel Macs can now provide the hardware they need to deliver the same gaming experience on a PC?
Remember, these were games that were never going to make their way to PowerPC Macs anyway. Game developers who already expend the resources to target the PowerPC Mac platform won't benefit from dropping support for PowerPC, since the majority of the Mac platform will continue to be PowerPC for the next several years.
Nobody buys a Mac to run Windows software and PC games, so the Intel advantage of running PC software is hardly a reason to consider today's PowerPC Macs obsolete. In fact, today's PowerPC Macs, like those from previous years, face the same inevitability of obsolescence as they always have. Next year's Intel Macs will not render them obsolete any faster than next year's PowerPC Macs will.
The real Intel advantage is the economy of scale that x86 offers. Since that's been true for some time, it begs an answer to the question: