Apple's online store is now accepting orders for four Electronic Arts video games. And while the games were promised in July, EA and Apple have announced that they will be available in all retail outlets soon.

The four titles - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Need for Speed Carbon, Battlefield 2142 and Command and Conquer 3 - are the first Electronic Arts games to be published specifically for Mac OS X. In previous iterations of EA games for Apple machines, the company published the titles for Windows and other organisations ported the games to the Mac.

Apple Mac as a gaming platform

Bing Gordon, chief creative officer for Electronic Arts, explained earlier this year that his company would be releasing the aforementioned four titles in July. Some of EA's most popular titles ( Madden NFL '08 and Tiger Woods PGA Tour '08) were to be released on the Mac soon after.

Just last week, EA shipped Madden NFL '08 to retail stores on every platform except the Mac and according to company representatives, the title will not arrive until September or October.

In response to questions about the delay of Madden NFL '08, an EA representative explained that the company has "shorted the gap between the Mac launch and other platforms to just a few weeks. This is a huge leap compared with past launches. Over time, as EA gains experience in completing and shipping Mac games, the gap will narrow."

So far, there is no explanation for the delay. But Apple retail stores will have Need for Speed Carbon and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on shelves this coming Tuesday. Battlefield 2142 and Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars will be hitting shelves the following Tuesday, 28 August.

The EA games for Mac OS X were first announced at this year's WWDC.