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App Store for OSX now open

Angry Birds, Flight Control and £30 Lego Harry Potter amongst initial releases

Apple has now released its 10.6.6 update for its OSX operating system, bringing with it the new version of the App Store for Macs revealed in October last year.

Around 1000 Apps are available already, including known iOS hits such as Flight Control and Angry Birds - both of which have telling also received PC releases recently.

Broadly speaking, games are more expensive than their iOS predecessors, with Angry Birds asking £2.99 instead of its 59p mobile version. This is, however, in line with the price of the iPad edition. PopCap's recent Bejeweled 3, meanwhile, sells for £11.99.

Higher-end games such as Lego Harry Potter are also available, asking £30 and a 6GB download, suggesting Apple plans to extend the new App Store's remit beyond that of the mobile version - and possibly rivalling Valve's Steam for Macs.

Most larger publishers are conspicuous by their absence for the time being, although a few familiar brands such as Pac-Man appear. A few non-casual independent developers are present too, such as Positech's strategy title Gratuitous Space Battles.

A number of firms have already attempted similar stores on PC, including Intel's AppUp Center and Google's Chrome Web Store.

While Apple might have less of a potential install base that these rivals, the new App Store does have the benefit of sharing purchasing tech and accounts with its iPhone cousin.

As with the iOS App Store, Apple takes a 30 per cent cut of all sales from the new download service.

The release is available to download now, for all Macs running the Snow Leopard version of OSX.

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Alec Meer

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A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.

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