Steam Hits the Mac with Free Portal

Valve officially released its Steam gaming platform for Mac OS X on Wednesday, and to entice new players, the company is offering its Portal game as a free download through May 24.

Valve’s Steam includes a long list of popular games such as Left 4 Dead 2, Counter Strike, Mac Payne and Half Life. The service hosts over 1,100 games and includes more than 25 million players around the world.

The company plans to roll out new games for the Mac on Wednesdays, and will offer feature parity with its Windows version.

“Updates for the Mac will be available simultaneously with the Windows updates. Furthermore, Mac and Windows players will be part of the same multiplayer universe, sharing servers, lobbies, and so forth,” said Valve’s director of business development, Jason Holtman. “We fully support a heterogeneous mix of servers and clients. The first Mac Steam client will be the new generation currently in beta testing on Windows.”

The gaming platform requires an Intel-based Mac running Snow Leopard, or Mac OS X 10.6. Portal is available as a free download for the Steam gaming platform until May 24.