Mac OS X Lion, the Sims 3 and the latest patch.

So EA have now released a patch to fix the graphics card problem for users with the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M and NVIDIA GeForce 320M (no mention of the Intel 3000 unfortunately). The patch brings the base game up to 1.25.

I installed the patch and immediately my game was unplayable. The patch couldn’t even complete the install. This was the error log:

Examining File : /Contents/Resources/transgaming/c_drive/Program Files/Electronic Arts/The Sims 3/Game/Bin/Packs/TS3EP01/TS3EP01.exe -> SHA1 Error
Examining File : /Contents/Resources/transgaming/c_drive/Program Files/Electronic Arts/The Sims 3/Game/Bin/Packs/TS3EP02/TS3EP02.exe -> SHA1 Error
Examining File : /Contents/Resources/transgaming/c_drive/Program Files/Electronic Arts/The Sims 3/Game/Bin/Packs/TS3EP03/TS3EP03.exe -> SHA1 Error
Examining File : /Contents/Resources/transgaming/c_drive/Program Files/Electronic Arts/The Sims 3/Game/Bin/Packs/TS3EP04/TS3EP04.exe -> SHA1 Error
Examining File : /Contents/Resources/transgaming/c_drive/Program Files/Electronic Arts/The Sims 3/Game/Bin/Packs/TS3SP01/TS3SP01.exe -> SHA1 Error
Examining File : /Contents/Resources/transgaming/c_drive/Program Files/Electronic Arts/The Sims 3/Game/Bin/Packs/TS3SP02/TS3SP02.exe -> SHA1 Error
Examining File : /Contents/Resources/transgaming/c_drive/Program Files/Electronic Arts/The Sims 3/Game/Bin/Packs/TS3SP03/TS3SP03.exe -> SHA1 Error
Yeah, whatever that means. All I can make out is a problem with World Adventures, Ambitions, Late Night, Generations, High End Loft, Fast Lane and Outdoor Living.
So I completely uninstalled, including trashing the Transgaming Preference files in the Library Folder, and reinstalled in the release date order, patching after each install.
And it now works beautifully. Except for not being able to take screenshots which is a huge problem because I need my screenshots for my upload pictures. So I will have to build in the Mac OS, export the house into the Windows partition, take pictures, then upload. Not impressed.
Anyway, the good news is that the patch does appear to fix the graphics issue. I played for about half an hour using my integrated 9400M card and it played really smoothly.
So if you want to be able to play your game and are willing to completely uninstall and reinstall, again, then this patch is for you 🙂
My specs:
15″ Mid 2009 MacBook Pro
Mac OS X Lion 10.7.1
NVIDIA GeForce 9400M 256 and GeForce 9600M GT 256
8Gb RAM
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The ongoing saga of Mac OS X Lion, The Sims 3 and EA’s inability to acknowledge a growing problem.

3 days ago I started this thread over on the Mac Discussions forum as the first thread I started broke and an EA web person, if such a thing exists, did bugger all about it. It is now 20 pages long and is full of people complaining that they cannot play their game and pleading for help and acknowledgement from EA. To cut a long story short, it appears that Mac users who have installed OS X Lion and have either the NVIDIA GeForce 9400 or NVIDIA GeForce 320M CANNOT play The Sims 3 at all. It is impossible. The game loads fine, Create-a-Sim works fine, but as soon as they start playing the game it freezes within minutes.

Over 60 people have now posted their specs confirming that their game freezes. That’s 60 people who, apart from the frustration of not being able to play, are not buying content from the online Store and will probably not buy Town Life or any future EPs or SPs. You’re probably thinking that 60 isn’t very many right? Take into account that, at the time of writing, there are 1,174,271 registered users on the official TS3 site, the majority being Windows users. That’s a fraction of the amount of people who have bought the game but not bothered registering it. According to EA, the base game alone sold 1.4 million copies in it’s first week. That’s only the base game IN A WEEK. I’m willing to bet that there are thousands of other Mac users out there who are having this problem and just given up, and that number will rise as more people upgrade to Lion.

You can blame Apple, NVIDIA or EA. But it is in EA’s interests to sort this problem out, they are the only party suffering as the Mac users affected will simply stop buying the games and content and find other games to play.

That 20 page thread I mentioned earlier? Not a single Guru or Moderator has commented on it. I have received nearly 3,000 unique hits to Lion & TS3 related posts on this blog in 10 days. That is a huge amount for a little blog like this and the number is growing by the hour. Those hits are from all over the world with 90% of them coming from Macs.

EA have also now withdrawn official support for the NVIDIA GeForce 9400 card, as per the readme.txt that came with Town Life. If you have this card you’re supported up to Generations but that’s it (and the majority of people unable to play don’t have Town Life so technically they are supported). However it still says that the game requirements are Mac OS X 10.5.7 Leopard or higher on the back of the DVD box, Lion being higher than Leopard (contrary to some EA Live Chat thingies saying that Lion isn’t supported).

Have a look at the thread:

http://forum.thesims3.com/jforum/posts/list/413974.page

Users have been posting their transcripts from EA’s Live Chat and they make for very amusing, if not frustrating, reading. This is my personal favourite:

http://forum.thesims3.com/jforum/posts/list/285/413974.page#5949011

So EA, grow some balls, stop pretending that this isn’t a growing problem, stop sending out contradictory statements via your own representatives, and start trying to remedy the situation, ok?

And this is the opening post on the thread:

OSX Lion & The Sims 3 – incompatible graphics cards

Quick update to this ongoing problem. It’s looking like the NVIDIA GeForce 9400 and the NVIDIA GeForce 320M are the problem.

SimGuruHydra has commented on the thread over at TS3 letting us know they are aware of the problem (no comment…….).

In the meantime, if your Mac has one of these cards as the integrated card, and you have two graphics cards in the machine, try switching over to the dedicated card:

System Preferences > Energy Saver

Sorry to keep going on about this but I’m getting a lot of hits about it so hopefully people are aware of the specific problem and it will be resolved shortly.