Apple today shared details of its upcoming Mac operating system update, dubbed, Mountain Lion, launching this summer. Basically, it takes all the cool features and gestures of the iPad and brings it to the Mac, minus the touch screen, of course.

The significance to gamers is that Apple will bring Game Center to the Mac with the launch of Mountain Lion, providing true cross-platform gaming across all Apple devices — the iPad, iPhone, and Mac.

Game Center offers leaderboards, high scores, and game matching. Often criticized for not being as cool as it could be, the fact is that almost every game on the iOS platform integrates with Game Center because it’s Apple and they own the platform.

So, extending Game Center to the Mac is significant in that it will encourage game developers to port more iOS titles to the Mac as well as offer gamers the ability to compete and play between the Mac desktop and iPad and iPhone portable devices.

Where this gets very interesting is when Apple finally releases their TV product with Game Center extended to that device. When and if that happens (and I have to assume it’s when), gamers will be able to play between their iPhone, iPad, Mac, and TV.

And then it will be game on for the console makers like Nintendo and Sony who up until now have seen their market share erode as a result of Apple’s forays into gaming, but not actually compete with Apple directly.