I'd rather get a free program that does the same thing as Paralells,
Problem is virtual machine software is about 1/5th the performance of booting directly into Windows via Bootcamp, this doesn't matter that much of your games are 2D, OpenGl driven and light weight, but 3D games you either want to direct install Windows via Bootcamp...
or better yet, get a Windows 7 64 bit tower with 4GB of RAM expandable to 8GB at least, this way you can upgrade your own video card.
3D video games advance, require video card upgrades, with the Mac platform there are either no video card upgrade ability or options. You can 3D game for a short time on a powerful Mac, but once the game gets updated your slow again and become fragbait.
If you are going both Bootcamp and virtual machine software, then I recommend VMFusion or Parallels Desktop, they have the ability to copy the installed Bootcamp Windows and use it as a another virtual machine Windows, also they have more options, ease of use and abilities than VirtualBox.
Edit: Wine is a opton, however you must check to see if the software your using will work with Wine, not a lot will or if it does it's glitchy.
Wine will permit some Windows software to run without installing Windows, but not games, generally speaking. VirtualBox itself is free, but you still need to install a legitimate copy of Windows to run any Windows software through it, and as in any virtual machine software, game performance is apt to be poor because OS X will be using considerable hardware resources at the same time your Winidows software is running.
if your looking at using a Wine based solution to run software... know that it may or may not be technical or difficult to get running...
Wine runs pretty well under OS X. In general most software that's found in the Wine app database will work under OS X, the exception being utilities that need direct hardware access, like ImgBurn and DVD Fab, which may (mostly likely will not) work reliably.
You can obtain Wine for OS by either:
- Building it yourself using osxwinebuilder.
- Downloading a pre-build package based on the above project.