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Valve joins The Linux Foundation

by Mark Tyson on 5 December 2013, 11:45

Tags: Linux, Valve

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qab53j

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The Linux Foundation, a nonprofit organisation dedicated to the advancement and growth of Linux has announced that games software company and Steam proprietor Valve is joining up. It is thought that the impending release of the Steam OS, Steam Machines and Steam Controller was the impetus behind this move.

Valve has been increasingly supportive of the Linux OS. Significantly just over a year ago it launched a Linux version of Steam which left beta this February when it was launched for Ubuntu users. At that time around 50 Linux compatible titles were available. Then we heard about the SteamOS in autumn; “a Linux for your living room”. We now know this will be free for any PC user and come pre-installed on Steam Machines ‘consoles’ coming early in 2014.

SteamOS will be great for many of your Steam games on your living room TV and there will also be other entertainment available with Music, TV and Movies streaming partnerships supposed to be on their way from ‘big names’. We recently saw one of the first commercial third party Steam Machines with the iBuyPower prototypes being revealed. These $499 machines are powered by a multi-core AMD CPU and a Radeon R9 270 GPU and will “run all Steam titles in 1080p resolution at 60fps,” according to the maker.

Back to the Linux Foundation news - Mike Sartain of Valve said; “Joining the Linux Foundation is one of many ways Valve is investing in the advancement of Linux gaming. Through these efforts, we hope to contribute tools for developers building new experiences on Linux, compel hardware manufacturers to prioritize support for Linux, and ultimately deliver an elegant and open platform for Linux users.”

Also joining the Linux Foundation and demonstrating the operating system’s wide appeal was Cloudius Systems, a startup company developing a new open source operating system to handle virtualized cloud workloads, and the HSA Foundation which is dedicated to developing open-standard architecture specifications to advance heterogeneous parallel computing.



HEXUS Forums :: 12 Comments

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Through these efforts, we hope to ... compel hardware manufacturers to prioritize support for Linux


*ahem* AMD *ahem* ;)

If Valve can genuinely persuade major game studios to invest if Linux versions of their AAA games with good hardware support from nvidia and AMD, the age of Linux might *finally* be arriving. I've known plenty of people over the years who've reluctantly admitted they have a Windows install for gaming. AAA titles running natively under SteamOS (or other linux flavour of choice) would be a pretty major step forward.

I know linux ports aren't entirely unheard of for big games (Neverwinter Nights had a very good linux port), but to get a big name publisher so firmly behind gaming on Linux is pretty big news...
I'm happy its happening but I'm not holding my breath.

My steam library is upto 450+ games, I would be surprised if even 20% of those get Linux ports which means I will have to keep a windows install to play them and then it comes down to, why have 2 installs when I can just run a single windows install?

For me SteamOS is doing 2 things that I'm interested in... 1) Having a low powered streaming box in the living room to stream from my gaming windows box and 2) it will prob force M$ and a few other companies to pull a finger out and start paying attention to optimisation in current tech (DirectX for example) to complete.

Competition in the market is always a good thing.
Hopefully this isn't Lindows all over again and actually turns into something of a competitor to Megashaft.
Dooms
I'm happy its happening but I'm not holding my breath.

I think there's still just too many unknowns about SteamOS etc to really get excited about it. I'm certainly intrigued though...
scaryjim
I know linux ports aren't entirely unheard of for big games (Neverwinter Nights had a very good linux port), but to get a big name publisher so firmly behind gaming on Linux is pretty big news...

So far, the biggest publishers on board are Sega, 2K, and Deep Silver.

EA are not relevant to the discussion because they are bypassing Steam to publish on Origin (so even if Origin gets a Linux port, that's not relevant to SteamOS).

Blizzard are not relevant to the discussion because they are bypassing Steam to publish on battle.net (so even if their games get Linux ports, that's not relevant to SteamOS).

So who does that leave as far as major PC games publishers go who *aren't* on board? Just Ubisoft and Activision?