Valve: Linux is Better Than Windows 8 for Gaming

October 30, 2012 -

At a presentation at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Denmark earlier this week, Valve Software's Drew Bliss told attendees that the open-sourced operating system Linux is more viable than Windows 8 for gaming at this point. Valve has been a vocal critic of Microsoft's new operating system because of its included app store. The store is not an open environment and requires approval by Microsoft to get products certified for sale within the closed marketplace. Obviously Valve has a vested interest in selling games through its own digital distribution platform, so Microsoft's new solution is at odds with their plans. For its part Microsoft has said that software developers can still make software for the OS without having it go through its app store...

Bliss also highlighted some other points about Steam on Linux, including the fact that the Steam client runs "nicely" on Ubuntu and that many developers have already approached them with good game products; cooperation with Canonical has been good; that Linux has every tool and library developers need; that new Source engine games will be made available on Linux; and that copy protection is up to game publishers. Valve did not give a time frame for a Steam Linux client release, but Bliss said during his presentation that anyone with a Launchpad account attending UDS would be given Steam access through a beta key. The Steam Linux Beta will have Portal, Team Fortress 2 and Serious Sam 3: BFE as its first games.

Source: Slashdot

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Re: Valve: Linux is Better Than Windows 8 for Gaming

How can Linux be better for gaming when their driver support is lackluster? If that was improved and there was a fully functional Directx equivalent (OpenGL only covers the Direct3D portion), THEN it might be viable. However, most commercial games don't have Linux ports anyway so you have that problem too and have to rely on the emulation capabilities of Wine (which tend to reduce performance).

Gabe is only saying this most likely because he is not particularly fond of the Windows store competing with Steam as there are some common games on it.

Re: Valve: Linux is Better Than Windows 8 for Gaming

You've got it backwards. Linux doesn't have poor driver support. The hardware manufacturers have poor Linux support. It's not Linux's responsibility for the drivers, they don't make them. Nvida/AMD does. If your GPU doesn't run well on your Linux distro, blame AMD and Nvidia. Don't blame the OS for the faults of the hardware guys.

Secondly, anyone that uses Linux likely dual boots just as many OSX users dual boot. The transition will be easier because of that. The inclusion of Linux users on the Steam store will increase Linux's viability as a platform simply because Steam is such a powerful market tool.

Gabe's motives are immaterial, you have to consider the real world effect this will have. This will have ripple effects throughout the game industry. Steam is a huge platform and Valve is about to open up a new market.

-Greevar

"Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

Re: Valve: Linux is Better Than Windows 8 for Gaming

While I agree the video drivers problem is a real issue, I am not so sure it is as critical as it once was.  We are really entering a phase of the game industry where graphics are hitting a wall of diminishing returns.  Hard core gamers still care aboutt 'which has more polygons/FPS', but year by year they are making up less and less of the gaming population.

So if the driver results in somewhat lower FPS or resolution then running it in windows, well, fewer and fewer people care about that to the degree it is the primary overriding issues.  Delivery platform thus can rise in importance to some people.

Re: Valve: Linux is Better Than Windows 8 for Gaming

It would make my day if I could leave Windows behind for good.   Ubuntu is an amazing OS.  I'm sure some hardcore Linux guys could detail everything that is wrong with it but for people who aren't power users, it is pretty fantastic.  

Re: Valve: Linux is Better Than Windows 8 for Gaming

Fingers crossed we'll start seeing some kind of WINE integration for games that don't have a Linux version. Or a diagnostic/analysis/automagic tool to configure WINE for playing games on your system.

...I can dream.

Re: Valve: Linux is Better Than Windows 8 for Gaming

What Microsoft appears to conveniently avoid mentioning is the existence of Windows 8 versions that will only run apps from their store... Nor do they mention what reasons people have for developing for the store, whether there are any options unavailable otherwise. >_>

 
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