Valve could be working on compatibility tools to make gaming on Linux easier than ever

Polycount

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It seems Valve could be taking another shot at bringing Linux to the forefront of PC gaming if recently-discovered Steam GUI files are anything to go by.

Curious Reddit users dug into Steam database files obtained by Steam Tracker. Recent updates to the database include numerous hints at something called "Steam Play," which is beginning to sound like a compatibility tool of sorts.

Judging by the language used in the data Steam Tracker dug up, Steam Play could be a feature that would let users play games on otherwise-incompatible operating systems.

"Steam Play will automatically install compatibility tools that allow you to play games from your library that were built for other operating systems," One piece of data reads.

Valve might also let users test games that haven't been verified to work with Steam Play. "You can use Steam Play to test games in your library that have not been verified with a supported compatibility tool," Another file claims.

Though none of the information we've seen so far explicitly names Linux as one of the operating systems that could benefit from this tool, it seems like a no-brainer. MacOS has never been a gaming-oriented operating system, and Windows is already compatible with virtually everything.

Linux, however, is becoming the operating system of choice for gamers who have become frustrated with Microsoft's business practices. Furthermore, developer support for the platform grows at a steady pace.

As interesting as this information is, not much is known about Steam Play. For example, we don't know whether or not it will be available to all Linux users, or only those who use Valve's all-but-failed, Linux-based SteamOS.

It's also not clear what "compatibility tools" Valve is referring to in the previously-mentioned data snippets. The company could be planning to develop its own tools, or it might intend to take advantage of third-party solutions, such as Wine.

Regardless of the specifics, this could be pretty exciting news for potential and existing Linux users.

After all, one of the main benefits Windows boasts over its open-source competitor is game compatibility. If Valve manages to remove that advantage, Microsoft could be forced to step up its efforts and improve the PC gaming experience for its customers.

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Digitalzone

Posts: 159   +92
Focusing on maybe 5% market? Why? They are obviously still flirting with idea of having their own console.
Major players are and will be leaving Valve's Steam with their own distribution apps, no wonder that, cutting costs is very natural in business. Plus, MS trying to push his own MS Store. Otherwise, I don't get that Valve's Linux efforts.
 

GeforcerFX

Posts: 996   +472
Focusing on maybe 5% market? Why? They are obviously still flirting with idea of having their own console.
Major players are and will be leaving Valve's Steam with their own distribution apps, no wonder that, cutting costs is very natural in business. Plus, MS trying to push his own MS Store. Otherwise, I don't get that Valve's Linux efforts.
There attempting to improve the game support on linux to give PC gamers more choice in operating systems. The same goal that Steam OS was trying to do, look at native linux support and ports pre Steam OS/Steam Machine announcements and compare to today. If the devs no longer need to pay to port or hire devs to port and players can still get the same experience on a OS they have complete control over that will win over a lot more PC users. Linux may never be king, but if Microsoft loses 20-30% of PC gamers that can now truly migrate over to linux for work and play that hurts them a bit.
 
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Polycount

Posts: 2,792   +571
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  • #4
Focusing on maybe 5% market? Why? They are obviously still flirting with idea of having their own console.
Major players are and will be leaving Valve's Steam with their own distribution apps, no wonder that, cutting costs is very natural in business. Plus, MS trying to push his own MS Store. Otherwise, I don't get that Valve's Linux efforts.
There attempting to improve the game support on linux to give PC gamers more choice in operating systems. The same goal that Steam OS was trying to do, look at native linux support and ports pre Steam OS/Steam Machine announcements and compare to today. If the devs no longer need to pay to port or higher devs to port and players can still get the same experience on a OS they have complete control over that will win over a lot more PC users. Linux may never be king, but if Microsoft loses 20-30% of PC gamers that can now truly migrate over to linux for work and play that hurts them a bit.
I don't hate Microsoft, but I can attest to that last bit - I'm one of those people that would absolutely leave Windows 10 behind if Linux was compatible with all of my favorite games.
 

IAMTHESTIG

Posts: 1,868   +900
It would be nice... but I'm not holding my breath. There has been all this talk for years, but good luck getting away with any sort of DirectX compatibility or porting method. M$FT will be all over the with a lawsuit in no time.

Linux based OS's still have a long way to go though for being gamer friendly, unfortunately. As much as I love Linux it just isn't as easy to use overall as Windows and getting things to work can be a project.
 
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veLa

Posts: 1,078   +674
Focusing on maybe 5% market? Why? They are obviously still flirting with idea of having their own console.
Major players are and will be leaving Valve's Steam with their own distribution apps, no wonder that, cutting costs is very natural in business. Plus, MS trying to push his own MS Store. Otherwise, I don't get that Valve's Linux efforts.
There attempting to improve the game support on linux to give PC gamers more choice in operating systems. The same goal that Steam OS was trying to do, look at native linux support and ports pre Steam OS/Steam Machine announcements and compare to today. If the devs no longer need to pay to port or higher devs to port and players can still get the same experience on a OS they have complete control over that will win over a lot more PC users. Linux may never be king, but if Microsoft loses 20-30% of PC gamers that can now truly migrate over to linux for work and play that hurts them a bit.
I don't hate Microsoft, but I can attest to that last bit - I'm one of those people that would absolutely leave Windows 10 behind if Linux was compatible with all of my favorite games.
I'm glad I'm not the only one with this attitude. I feel as though it's especially relevant with the rumors about Microsoft creating a monthly subscription form of Windows.
 
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fps4ever

Posts: 632   +826
Focusing on maybe 5% market? Why? They are obviously still flirting with idea of having their own console.
Major players are and will be leaving Valve's Steam with their own distribution apps, no wonder that, cutting costs is very natural in business. Plus, MS trying to push his own MS Store. Otherwise, I don't get that Valve's Linux efforts.
If you look at the Steam survey Linux is less than 1% and even if you add MacOS I don't believe you come up with a total of 5%. FFS just make HL3 already.
 

Polycount

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If you look at the Steam survey Linux is less than 1% and even if you add MacOS I don't believe you come up with a total of 5%. FFS just make HL3 already.
To be fair, not many major Steam releases are available on Linux. So, it wouldn't surprise me if Linux gamers are turning to other distribution methods to play their favorite titles.

If that was the case, naturally they wouldn't show up in the Steam hardware survey.
 

fps4ever

Posts: 632   +826
To be fair, not many major Steam releases are available on Linux. So, it wouldn't surprise me if Linux gamers are turning to other distribution methods to play their favorite titles.

If that was the case, naturally they wouldn't show up in the Steam hardware survey.
Steam has a large selection of Linux games with some of the most popular supported on the platform. So yes, it is a fair representation along with Steam being the biggest gaming community on the planet.
 
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Digitalzone

Posts: 159   +92
I don't hate Microsoft, but I can attest to that last bit - I'm one of those people that would absolutely leave Windows 10 behind if Linux was compatible with all of my favorite games.
...Linux may never be king, but if Microsoft loses 20-30% of PC gamers that can now truly migrate over to linux for work and play that hurts them a bit.
Guys, stop bullshitting yourselves and others and switch to linux asap. Otherwise, you are just preaching "false gospel". You will be back to Windows/MacOS very soon. Linux is great in many things, but desktop experience is not one of them.
 

Digitalzone

Posts: 159   +92
If you look at the Steam survey Linux is less than 1% and even if you add MacOS I don't believe you come up with a total of 5%. FFS just make HL3 already.
That's exactly what I don't get. Valve is a profit company, going after money, They are not open-source idealist, Steam is a closed source software, they are supporting DRM (compared to GoG).
So, they are investing money to weaken third party player's ( MS) market position. But why? To support Linux? I dont think so
 

mrjgriffin

Posts: 349   +162
Focusing on maybe 5% market? Why? They are obviously still flirting with idea of having their own console.
Major players are and will be leaving Valve's Steam with their own distribution apps, no wonder that, cutting costs is very natural in business. Plus, MS trying to push his own MS Store. Otherwise, I don't get that Valve's Linux efforts.
There attempting to improve the game support on linux to give PC gamers more choice in operating systems. The same goal that Steam OS was trying to do, look at native linux support and ports pre Steam OS/Steam Machine announcements and compare to today. If the devs no longer need to pay to port or higher devs to port and players can still get the same experience on a OS they have complete control over that will win over a lot more PC users. Linux may never be king, but if Microsoft loses 20-30% of PC gamers that can now truly migrate over to linux for work and play that hurts them a bit.
I don't hate Microsoft, but I can attest to that last bit - I'm one of those people that would absolutely leave Windows 10 behind if Linux was compatible with all of my favorite games.
I'd be gone as well. I just ran windows 10 for close to a year and just leaped back to windows 7 last week. I miss some of the ui improvements of 10 but thats it. if you want complete privacy on windows 10 you're basically going to break the operating system lol......it's ridiculous. also, maybe it's because I have a haswell intel with a gtx 980 (old gen hardware) but windows 7 is milestones snappier and responsive than windows 10 has ever been for me. windows 10 exclusives and directx 12 I can do without. microsoft hasn't gotten my business since the xbox 360 days (god those consoles were hell) and they've ensured they'll never get it again by doing what they've done with windows 10 and their tactics to force people into using it. the company has gone in the shitter since gates stepped down as the main .
 

Kibaruk

Posts: 3,836   +1,186
Focusing on maybe 5% market? Why?
Exactly! Why? Why would they still try with their own consoles with the Steam link or that extremely small market? or that odd macbook hipster gamer?

Think bigger... think of that very very... really very, very very huge market out there that has not been intervened by Steam yet and could be a huge game changer.
 

Polycount

Posts: 2,792   +571
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  • #15
Guys, stop bullshitting yourselves and others and switch to linux asap. Otherwise, you are just preaching "false gospel". You will be back to Windows/MacOS very soon. Linux is great in many things, but desktop experience is not one of them.
I'm not preaching anything. All I care about is the ability to do my work, browse the internet, and play games - as privately as possible.

Linux already ticks boxes one and two because those are incredibly simple and any modern OS does that already. If it can tick box 3, there's nothing keeping me on Windows except nostalgia, which is a dumb reason (in my opinion) to stick with an OS.

But all three of those are critical, and without all 3, Linux won't be able to sway me. Which is why I hope this works out how some of us think it might.