Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 16th Sep 2013 21:44 UTC

Gabe Newell, the co-founder and managing director of Valve, said today that Linux is the future of gaming despite the minuscule share of the market it has today.

That seems hard to believe, given that Newell acknowledged Linux gaming generally accounts for less than one percent of the market by any measure including players, player minutes, and revenue. But Valve is going to do its best to make sure Linux becomes the future of gaming by extending its Steam distribution platform to hardware designed for living rooms.

"Half-Life 3 - SteamBox/Linux exclusive". There, chicken and egg problem solved.

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An up-hill battle
by chrish on Tue 17th Sep 2013 12:33 UTC
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As you can see from the Mac version of Steam, and the Mac versions of most of the Valve catalogue, the hard part is getting other companies to port their games.

And even then, if they do it with Wine/Cider, you're going to get ports with sub-par performance (The Witcher runs a lot smoother via BootCamp than natively on Mac, for example) or half-assed ones that have sub-par performance and lag behind the Windows version when it comes to fixes and improvements (Dragon Age: Origins for example).

When they did come out, the Mac ports were usually 6-12 months after the Windows version appeared. Usually they didn't come out though.

This isn't a problem that'll be limited to the Mac because of video drivers or what have you, the Linux ports are going to be using exactly the same technologies (usually Cider). Most companies aren't willing to put resources towards native ports.

I'd love to see gaming take off on Mac and Linux (and hopefully FreeBSD via hackery, as that's my favourite desktop UNIX), but we've been fighting this battle for decades now. Apple certainly isn't interested in making gaming a "focus" for OS X, since that's what they've got iOS for. Maybe Valve can bring enough focus and press attention to Linux gaming to make this happen.

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