I reported a while ago that there were confirmations of reports that Valve’s Gabe Newell was heading a project to port the Steam client and all Source-based games over to Linux, giving the 2% of desktop users worldwide something to play other than browser-based games. I mentioned before that if this goes off successfully, other companies like EA and Microsoft will have to consider just how much their customers mean to them as many gamers only use Windows because they’re forced to.
Recently Valve announced that they are in the final stages of development and porting of the Steam client and a few games over, starting with Left for Dead 2. A little more info for you after the jump.
Valve has said they they’re first getting the whole project running on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, being the best-supported version and also the world’s most popular distribution to date. They are working on first porting the client over so that games can be launched from it without hassles. While the project focuses only on Ubuntu, other Debian clients like Linux Mint should be able to run it without issue.
Most of the work has already been completed with the porting of a lot of games over to Mac OS X, being based on a Unix kernel and sharing a lot of code and driver software. The biggest threat to the project thus far is actually driver support – if you’re running an AMD card its a bit of a headache getting all the features working, while there are commercial driver releases from Nvidia which aren’t without their issues either. Given the fragmented nature of the Linux, supporting only a few distributions will be Valve’s aim, since the number of registered distros has now crept up past the 150-odd mark.
For those of you running Windows just for games with the majority of titles on Steam or that are otherwise Linux-compatible, are you thinking of porting over? Will you abandon the Windows platform in favour of a free OS in future if its an option? Let me know in the comments below and in the thread on the forums.
Discuss this in the forums: Linky