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Steam For Linux Will Launch In 2012

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the we're-getting-this-urgent-wire dept.

Linux Business 299

An anonymous reader writes "Gabe Newell has responded to an email asking if Steam for Linux will be released this year with the simple answer 'Yes.' That means at some point in the next 7 months anyone running Linux will be able to download Steam and start playing a number of games, including at least one Valve title (most likely Left 4 Dead 2). After that the emphasis will be on game developers to start porting their Steam games over to Linux. 2012 could be a great year for gaming on Linux. The news follows the revelation in April that Valve was indeed working on a Linux port of its digital games service. At the time though, and as with all Valve software, we had no idea when it would get released."

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Please (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218193)

Phoronix again?

2012 the year of the Linux desktop (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218197)

...

Re:2012 the year of the Linux desktop (3, Interesting)

HyperQuantum (1032422) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218313)

Maybe this will indeed be the 'tipping point' for Linux. With those games coming to Linux, a gaming machine will become a lot cheaper. And they'll run faster too! (no antivirus or trialware running in the background)

Re:2012 the year of the Linux desktop (4, Insightful)

TigerTime (626140) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218807)

Games...and the fact that Windows 8 Tile interface without a typical menu system looks like an abomination. Windows users are going to be looking around. Apple will likely pick up most of them, but Linux needs to be in position to pick some up. Steam will help immensely.

Re:2012 the year of the Linux desktop (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40219105)

Games...and the fact that Windows 8 Tile interface without a typical menu system looks like an obamanation.

ftfy

Re:2012 the year of the Linux desktop (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218329)

Worst Troll Ever.

Bootysnap! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218201)

About eight months ago, I was searching around the internet to find out why my computer was running so slowly (it normally ran quite fast, but had gradually gotten slower over time). After a few minutes, I found a piece of software claiming that it could speed up my PC and make it run like new again. Being that I was dangerously ignorant about technology in general (even more so than I am now), I downloaded the software and began the installation. Mere moments after doing so, my desktop background image was changed and warnings that appeared to originate from Windows appeared all over the screen telling me to buy strange software from an unknown company in order to remove a virus it claimed I had.

I may have been ignorant about technology, but I wasn't that naive. I immediately concluded that the software I'd downloaded was, in fact, a virus. In my rage, I broke numerous objects, punched a hole in the wall, and cursed the world at the top of my lungs. I eventually calmed down, cleared my head, and realized that the only remedy for this problem was a carefully thought out plan. After a few moments of pondering about how to handle this situation, I decided that since I barely knew how to properly handle a computer, I should turn it over to the professionals and let them fix the issue.

Soon after making the decision, I drove to a local computer repair shop and entered the building with my computer in hand. They greeted me with a smile and stayed attentive the entire time that I was explaining the problem to them. They laughed as if they'd heard it all before, told me that I'm not the only one who has trouble operating computers, and then gave me a date for when the computer would be fixed. Not only had they told me that the computer would be completely repaired in at most two days, but the price for their services was surprisingly low, and to top it all off, they even gave me advice for how to avoid viruses in the future! I left the building feeling confident in my decision to seek professional help and satisfied knowing that such kind-hearted people were the ones doing the job.

The very next day, I received a phone call from the computer repair shop whilst I was at a local library researching computer viruses. I had stumbled upon a piece of software that appeared to be very promising, and I was about to do more research on it, but seeing as how I required my computer as soon as possible, I decided to put the matter on hold. Upon answering the phone and cheerfully greeting the person on the other end, I was greeted with a high-pitched shriek. Startled, I asked what was wrong. A few moments passed where nothing was said, and suddenly, the person on the other end said to me, in a low voice oozing with paranoia, "Come pick up your computer." They hung up immediately after saying that, and I couldn't help but notice that they sounded as if they were on the verge of tears. I briefly wondered if it was due to stress from work, and then drove to the computer repair shop to acquire my computer.

I was positively dismayed upon entering the building. The inside of the computer repair shop looked nothing like the image from my memories. There were broken computer parts scattered throughout the room, ceiling tiles all over the floor, blood splattered in every direction I looked, and even a human toe on the ground. After processing this disturbing information, I began panicking and frantically looking around for my computer. I spotted an employee covered in blood sitting up against the wall, and noticed that his wrists had been slashed open. Thinking quickly, I ran up to him, grabbed him by the collar of his shirt, shook him around, and began screaming, "Where is it!? Where is my computer!?" After a moment of silence, he passed away, completely shattering my expectations. Such a thing! "What a meaningless individual," I thought.

Enraged, I tore the building up even further than it already had been in my desperate search for my computer. Eventually I discovered a door leading to an area that was normally only accessible to employees. I entered without hesitation and was met with a long, skinny hallway that a single person would have trouble moving about freely in. I proceeded down the dark hallway and bumped into the body of an employee hanging from a rope tied to something on the ceiling. I screamed, "Not only do you people have the gall to allow my computer to be endangered, but even in death you intend to block my path!?" After finally managing to push aside the worthless obstacle, I traveled down the hallway and came to a small black door. I entered without a moment's notice, and in the middle of the dark and dreary room, I spotted my computer; it was completely unharmed. With a sigh of relief, I picked it up, left the building, and drove home as if nothing of importance had occurred there.

Upon returning home and hooking up the computer (whilst wearing a cheerful expression the entire time), I, to my horror, discovered that the computer hadn't been repaired. There was nothing in the world that could have contained my fiery anger at that point. I broke almost every single one of my possessions, smashed all the windows on my house, physically abused my family, and then drove back to the computer repair shop to defile the dead lumps of meat that had failed to carry out the task I had given them. After realizing that I shouldn't be meaninglessly wasting my time with such worthless pieces of trash, I remembered the piece of software that I'd discovered earlier. With renewed confidence, I blissfully visited the local library, downloaded the software, and took it home to install on my computer.

I knew. I knew, even before installing it, that MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] would be my salvation. MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] would come through with flying colors where no one else could. MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] would completely, totally, and utterly eradicate the virus in the most merciless, efficient way possible. MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] was not a piece of software that could fail to meet my exceedingly high expectations. MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] would not fail me like all the other imbeciles had. At that point, it could be said that I could genuinely see into the future and be accurate in my predictions. I gleefully began installing MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] and laughed like a child at the thought of finally being able to attain revenge upon the virus that had shamed me so.

I was absolutely in awe of MyCleanPC's [mycleanpc.com] wonderfully efficient performance. Without a single issue, MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] utterly annihilated in moments the virus that many others had failed to remove after hours of attempts. I let out a victory cry and swore to never turn to any "professionals" to fix my computer ever again. Once again, I was able to predict the future. I knew that I would never need any worthless "professionals" again as long as I had MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] by my side.

MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] is outstanding! My computer is running faster than ever! MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] came through with flying colors where no one else could! MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] totally cleaned up my system, and increased my speed! I couldn't believe how much overclocking my gigabits and speed were doing! Even restructuring the BIOS wouldn't allow for the miraculously high degrees of efficiency that MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] allowed me to attain.

I highly and wholeheartedly recommend that you use MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] if you're having any computer troubles whatsoever. In fact, even if you're not having any visible problems, I still recommend that you use MyCleanPC. [mycleanpc.com] There could be dormant or hidden viruses on your system, or problems that MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] could easily and efficiently resolve. Just by using MyCleanPC, [mycleanpc.com] your gigabits will be running at maximum efficiency, and at last, you'll be overclocking with the rest of us! What are you waiting for!? Get MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] today!

MyCleanPC: For a Cleaner, Safer PC. [mycleanpc.com]

Re:Bootysnap! (1)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218427)

I might be burning some karma here on this advertising post....

The first seven posts weren't that bad. I wasn't sure what to expect with post until I hit paragraph 8. Based on the article in question I wasn't sure if this post was going to try blaming Steam and I was greatly looking forward to the plot twist. Paragraph 8 ruined my expectations. This story could have been twisted into an anti-steam rant but alas the potential was not realized. I believe others can properly conclude the story.

Debian is 250 % more effective than MyCleanPC (5, Funny)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218913)

Debian is 250 % more effective than MyCleanPC, already the first millisecond. Debian then just goes on and on, beyond the pathetic performance of MyCleanPC.

Check out www.debian.org.

Debian makes MyCleanPC look like a virus.

Debian wipes the floor with MyCleanPC.

Check out www.debian.org.

Debian has about 30,000 apps for free.

There is no need to use MyCleanPC.

Debian makes MyCleanPC look really bad.

Check out www.debian.org.

Developers, developers, developers (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218205)

The bigger question is, will it motivate developers to port to Linux?

Re:Developers, developers, developers (4, Informative)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218225)

Thanks to efforts like the Humble Indie Bundle, there are already a bunch of games on Steam that have Linux ports, in addition to whatever Valve ports.

Re:Developers, developers, developers (-1, Troll)

yincrash (854885) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218529)

I believe all the Humble Indie Bundle games that have Linux downloads are just using a CodeWeavers CrossOver wrapper. At least the ones I've downloaded so far.

Re:Developers, developers, developers (2)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218535)

Apparently you haven't downloaded many of them!

Re:Developers, developers, developers (4, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218561)

bzzt wrong.

Very few of them are using any form of wine. Many were ported by icculus.

Re:Developers, developers, developers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40219053)

I was very disappointed with the Humble Bundle ports to Linux.

Amnesia seems to work really well.

Bastion runs great but requires a restart every hour or so because of horrible memory leaks. Leaks about 2GB of RAM per hour (for me) which seems to be related to level loading. As you must constantly change levels, you can't avoid the leaks. Great game play for a platformer and the narration and music is fantastic. It more than makes up for the massive memory leaks.

Psychonauts crashes like crazy with audio bugs. Also seems to have occational rending problems. For example, "video" rendered on objects is invisible. It crashes so much its not really playable. Turning off the audio isn't really an option as many instructions and game play generally requires audio for the game to be playable. Too bad as the game appears to be wonderfully quirky with unique style and game play.

LIMBO is not actually a port but rather a recompile via Wine. It crashes at launch. Searching on Google seems to indicate I'm not alone. Basically the game is crapily crash-tastic.

I haven't placed Sword And Sworcery. So I can't comment.

Over all, I'm very disappointed with the quality of the ports in general. I paid $10 and thus far, seems like the only winner is Amnesia with a runner up of Bastion.

Made worse is the fact that Humble is supporting the Mac and Linux ports and support is basically non-existant. Only a robo-reply via email. So basically, Mac and Linux ports are completely unsupported - at least thus far.

If this is the future of Linux gaming, its doomed and Humble is doing us absolutely no favors. Honestly, if Amnesia, Bastion, and Psychonauts all works properly, it would easily have made the bundle worth while. As is, 20% (40% including Bastion; ignoring the leak) success isn't much of a success for a bundle.

Re:Developers, developers, developers (5, Insightful)

buanzo (542591) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218241)

Yes. Steam already has the market. I'm pretty sure they are making this move with good pre-analysis. Gamers that only boot Windows to play games will definitely support it, to say the least.

Re:Developers, developers, developers (4, Informative)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218539)

I have stuck with windows for the past 10 years for specifically this reason. I'm a Linux admin by trade. I see no reason after steam games are stable on Linux to stick around. (except the crap feast which is origin.)

Re:Developers, developers, developers (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218679)

Hell yeah. With Steam on Linux, it's the beginning of the end of me having to boot Windows. I hope it plays well with BSD. I've been Windows only for years(would have Linux if I had more than 1 computer). Finally.

Re:Developers, developers, developers (4, Informative)

Bonobo_Unknown (925651) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218711)

Except that most of the games on steam won't be available on Linux (as they aren't on os x either).

Re:Developers, developers, developers (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218929)

Linux has a fairly well-funded user-base and a low entry point being a free OS. While I do agree that many of the current games may never get ported, I can see an up-swing in Linux only or multi-platform games in the future. I would be willing to repurchase many indie games if they made a new Linux version.

Re:Developers, developers, developers (2)

yincrash (854885) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218695)

Wouldn't mind a Linux Netflix player as well.

Re:Developers, developers, developers (-1, Troll)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218295)

No.
Linux is a Server OS. Not a desktop OS.

Linux had a chance to become a premiere desktop OS last decade with Microsoft Screwup on top of Screwup. However, it seemed that Apple Took the Gold and Linux Lagged

Re:Developers, developers, developers (3, Insightful)

dark12222000 (1076451) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218367)

That's just not true. A lot of people use Linux on the desktop - yes, currently, a majority of these people are programmers, but in the past year alone, I've installed Linux as the main OS for 12 non-techie people, all of whom still use it today.

In addition, Linux isn't just a "Server OS" (though, it is a great one!). It's also a mobile OS (android), a router firmware, it powers things like the Boxee box, and so on. It certainly is NOT just a "Server OS".

Re:Developers, developers, developers (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218509)

Get back to me when non-tech people replace Windows with Linux, without the urging, or help, of tech people.

Re:Developers, developers, developers (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218659)

Get back to me when non-tech people replace Windows with Linux, without the urging, or help, of tech people.

How many "non-tech people" do you know who actually installed Windows from disk? Something tells me that if you were to ask most of these folks when they installed their OS, the response would be akin to "Uh, it was on there when I bought it."

Re:Developers, developers, developers (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40219063)

> Get back to me when non-tech people replace Windows with Linux, without the urging, or help, of tech people.

Macs are no different.

Windows being entrenched is the problem. 30 years of FUD and "legacy" apps have been quite effective at making people believe there aren't any other options out there.

Re:Developers, developers, developers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218425)

Look here:http://www.kde.org and here http://www.gnome.org and http://linuxmint.com or maybe here http://fedoraproject.org
there seems to be plenty of evidence that linux is indeed capable to be considered a desktop OS... funny, isn't it

Re:Developers, developers, developers (2)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218503)

Obvious troll is obvious.

Linux won't become a major force on the desktop until it gets the full package down- which includes usability, hardware compatibility, software, and in particular games. Gaming on Linux has historically always been poor- making it better can only be a good thing for Linux. The complete "Linux just works" package is closer today than ever, and gaming is one of the major holes that still needs patching.

And if you want more Microsoft screw-ups, Windows 8 is lining itself up nicely. Unless you really think that Apple (with their single-vendor, premium price-tag approach) is going to be the only one that benefits from a Microsoft market-share slip, you're not thinking straight.

Re:Developers, developers, developers (1)

Zemran (3101) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218567)

I install Linux on the desktop of anyone I like. I do not want to spend every visit fixing their computer so I prefer them to run something that does not break. I spend my time with my friends chatting and having fun. I install windows on the computers of people that pay me. When I installed Linux on my mum's computer it ran for 3 years before anyone had to look at it and then she bought a nice shiny iMac because she liked the ones she used at uni. Linux is on as many desktops as it is on servers but it is more famous on servers because windows is soooooo bad on servers.

Re:Developers, developers, developers (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218811)

No. Linux is a Server OS. Not a desktop OS.

Linux had a chance to become a premiere desktop OS last decade with Microsoft Screwup on top of Screwup. However, it seemed that Apple Took the Gold and Linux Lagged

Never overestimate Microsoft. They seem to be on course for another major debacle with windows 8 and windows RT.

That doesn't change the fact that until the software people want to run are easily available on Linux, Linux isn't going "mainstream". Even supported software (like VMWare for example) is a relative PITA to install on Ubuntu (widely touted as being "easy mode" Linux) vs installing VMWare on a windows box. Linux as a community has a LONG way to go in the user friendliness area before it will be a serious contender for the desktop of an "average" user. I don't hate Linux, and I'm sure the Linux fans here will mod me down, but sometimes the truth hurts a little.

Re:Developers, developers, developers (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218921)

How is vmware hard to install?
It is in the fancy store, can't get much easier.

Re:Developers, developers, developers (2)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40219035)

Apple "took the gold"? What gold? It's still an "also ran" just like Linux. It is in exactly the same position with it's user base getting equally excited at the prospect of an Indie game or a Steam port.

When the "app store" gets as robust or as comprehensive as yum or apt-get, then you can start talking.

Re:Developers, developers, developers (1)

Deorus (811828) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218343)

Considering how tiny the Mac library is, I doubt it. Porting from Mac to Linux is relatively easy compared to porting from Windows to anything else, but when you speak of Linux you speak of a number of distributions that do not agree about a number of different things, drivers that lack proper support or adherence to established norms, etc.

Can Canonical make a difference with free software where Apple with its tight control over their platform is failing? I don't think so, BUT don't lose hope yet, the Linux client may just as well be part of a bigger plan: the rumored Valve console with PC hardware and peripherals...

Re:Developers, developers, developers (5, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218531)

I would bet on your last point above all. Valve wants their own console, they are afraid of windows 8 for good reason. Making a linux steam client paves the way for their own steam box.

Re:Developers, developers, developers (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218707)

Would be great for all... looks like Win8 games will just be ports of cell phone games.

Re:Developers, developers, developers (2)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218985)

I would bet on your last point above all. Valve wants their own console, they are afraid of windows 8 for good reason. Making a linux steam client paves the way for their own steam box.

Wish I had a mod point for you. I hadn't thought of that, but you've probably hit the nail right on the head. +1 insightful. Most valve games run on relatively low end hardware (compared to pretty much any other game), so it would make the valve console super easy to create.

Re:Developers, developers, developers (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218715)

Considering how tiny the Mac library is, I doubt it. Porting from Mac to Linux is relatively easy compared to porting from Windows to anything else, but when you speak of Linux you speak of a number of distributions that do not agree about a number of different things, drivers that lack proper support or adherence to established norms, etc.

Most Mac titles are just Windows titles recompiled using Transgaming's Cider environment which is basically a commercial WINE derivative for OS X. It seems likely to me that Steam for Linux will operate along similar lines or perhaps Steam might even pack a version of Cedega or native WINE under its hood. So it won't be so much as porting games as testing and running them against WINE. There may be a smattering of genuinely native games but I expect most will be appear through this route.

STEAM AND GENESIS !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218209)

A match made in HELL !!

Humble Indie Bundle (4, Informative)

De Lemming (227104) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218219)

Great!
Remember that all games from the current and previous Humble Indie Bundles [humblebundle.com] (overview of all games [wikipedia.org] ) have a Linux version, and most of them are on Steam too. So that's already a nice range of games to start.

Re:Humble Indie Bundle (2)

Jerry Atrick (2461566) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218341)

True but for non techie users just working which of the various Linux install packages to download will stop them dead. Steam should remove that roadstop and maybe we'll stop needing to hack configurations or guess which dependencies the installer didn't deal with.

I gave up trying to install games for my wife under Kununtu, it's been easier running many under Wine than getting native builds to work.

Re:Humble Indie Bundle (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218593)

Desura handles this very well. Not sure the recent bundles have keys for it, but it is very steam like and runs on linux.

This is great news! (5, Funny)

hort_wort (1401963) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218235)

DRM in Linux is practically nonexistent, and I'm glad to see this gap filled! I was starting to feel lonely without being groped by a lawyer.

Re:This is great news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218303)

Yep! This is it! This is the year of Linux!

Re:This is great news! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218325)

Steam is a lesson in how DRM should be done. Ever used it? It's really nice, could storage of saves by default, all your games accessible wherever you are with your steam password. It actually makes your life *easier* than piracy which is practically unheard of for DRM. Valve seem to understand that money, like water, follows the path of least resistance.

Re:This is great news! (0)

mybeat (1516477) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218439)

Actually, it doesn't store your save games in the cloud, just look in C:/Users/$username/My documents?/, somewhere there. The only thing it saves (source based games atleast) are your key configs.

Re:This is great news! (4, Informative)

Terrasque (796014) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218563)

Actually, it does store your save games in the cloud, for the games that support it.

Either that, or my desktop and laptop have some weird data quantum entanglement going on.

Re:This is great news! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218575)

Evidently you haven't used Steam in quite a while. Files are stored locally (because not doing that is a dumb idea), but they're also synced across Steam's servers. I uninstalled HL2 a while back to save room, then reinstalled it the other day on my new computer, and all my old saves came with it.

Re:This is great news! (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218933)

Same with Torchlight, I was pleasantly surprised, when I loaded it up to show some workmates, that I had my character and progress saved online.

Re:This is great news! (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218603)

Actually, it doesn't store your save games in the cloud, just look in C:/Users/$username/My documents?/, somewhere there. The only thing it saves (source based games atleast) are your key configs.

It depends on the game. Valve-made single-player games, such as Half-Life 2 and Portal 2, do indeed save your games in the Steam Cloud.

Re:This is great news! (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218587)

Agreed. I don't pirate games now... solely because of steam. Steam makes paying for the game easier than pirating it. Steam also solves all sorts of general issues that have plauged gaming for decades. Centralized billing... losing CD keys, storage of media, losing your saved games, centralized password, REAL bans for hackers (their account is linked to their steam account) I wish Valve would issue an IPO so that I could invest.

Re:This is great news! (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218361)

Well take your pick, either you get the games with DRM, or you don't get your games. You still have that choice now, you don't like the DRM, then dont get Steam For Linux.

Remember these are just Games, Entertainment, They are really not a big deal in the grand scheme of life, heck they probably distract you from having a lot of life's great moments.

Re:This is great news! (1)

hort_wort (1401963) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218501)

Remember these are just Games, Entertainment, They are really not a big deal in the grand scheme of life, heck they probably distract you from having a lot of life's great moments.

Stop undermining my rage!!! You and your logic....

Re:This is great news! (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218471)

Actually there are quite a few commercial apps for Linux that require authentication over a network. Most Linux users don't know about it because most Linux users find the free apps that come with a good distro more than adequate for their purposes.

Re:This is great news! (4, Informative)

Deorus (811828) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218513)

They lock my games to a single account and that's about it. In exchange, they backup my saves, backup my games, allow me to install my games wherever I wish, provide me with free voice chat services that I would otherwise have to host or pay for, provide me with awesome deals, etc.

Thanks to Steam promotions alone, my game library there has 273 games that cost me an average of $6 each, so I don't know about you, but $6 per game in addition to all the other advantages is quite a bargain in exchange for their "DRM" that is more permissive than what you can usually find in the retail versions of the same games.

Re:This is great news! (1)

hort_wort (1401963) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218583)

Thanks to Steam promotions alone, my game library there has 273 games that cost me an average of $6 each, so I don't know about you, but $6 per game in addition to all the other advantages is quite a bargain in exchange for their "DRM" that is more permissive than what you can usually find in the retail versions of the same games.

Yep, when the prices get that low I usually snatch them up too. They do some good stuff. I'm just *very* hesitant to buy a game full price because it feels like such a commitment. It took a couple friends to talk me into getting Skyrim, which I considered to be worth every penny but didn't know it until afterwards. A lot of people who got Diablo 3, I believe, didn't fare so well.

Re:This is great news! (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218989)

This is more-or-less the same thing I've been saying all along: Steam DRM itself is really benign, but in exchange for the DRM you simply get so many advantages that it is worth it. My favorite features are that all my games are accessible from anywhere as long as I have Internet so I don't have to bother with physical discs, or keeping the damn CD-keys safe, and that all my games are kept up-to-date without me having to do anything about it. My collection of games is something a bit over 100 games at the moment and if Valve doesn't screw thing up my collection will keep on growing.

Steam under Wine (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218245)

Steam itself runs fine under wine.

Gabe, I'm thinking of becoming gay, just for you (2, Funny)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218253)

Nope, just kidding. Still, excellent news!

Re:Gabe, I'm thinking of becoming gay, just for yo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218335)

Nope, nope. I've heard this sort of story before. I still say, binaries or it didn't happen.

This wakes me wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218257)

If their console will be linux based, running this steam port? That would be very nice indeed if it meant that cross-compatibility would be a side effect!

Mac Ports of Source Games (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218269)

Seeing as just about all of the Valve games on the Source engine have been ported to Mac, would I be correct in thinking that it is a vastly reduced job to then bring them to Linux?

Anyway, this is great news.

2012 - Year of the Linux Desktop!!

Re:Mac Ports of Source Games (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218465)

Actually, the games were probably a pretty easy port. The server logic has been ported for years - there have been Linux dedicated servers pretty much since HL2 came out. All that was really needed was input handling, and a renderer. The Mac port handled the renderer, and at least made sure the input system was able to be ported to a new system easily, not heavily DirectX-dependent.

Most of the difficulty was probably making it run *well*, not making it *run*. As well as porting Steam itself - I know that it does some weird filesystem things that may have been tricky.

I do have to say though, that I probably won't even install Steam on my Linux partition. Judging by my experience with Mac Steam, it's not worth it when I have a Windows partition. Outside Valve itself and the various indie games I have, there were only a handful of Mac-capable games (Assassin's Creed 2, Civilization 5, Psychonauts, Duke Nukem Forever, and the two Penny Arcade games), and half of those would not run on my specific system. And those that did run, tended to run better on Windows, on the same hardware.

This is still a very good piece of news, don't get me wrong, but it's no Half-Life 3 announcement.

Re:Mac Ports of Source Games (1, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218565)

It's a shame that the Mac Steam client is the way that it is - you'd expect it to perform well, but it's a resource hog (especially CPU) on lower-end systems. The internal html engine is Webkit, yet the steam store inside the client (with the videos, sliding graphics etc) is pretty sluggish, but the same content viewed in Chrome or Safari on the same machine is perfectly fine.

Not sure what it is that Steam is doing wrong there, but it's annoying.

Mac-native games, however, are excellent. I also like that I can have a library of games in there that covers both Mac and Windows, so even the games with no native port are still kept there (with achievements and community participation with my friends etc) - I have to dual boot to play them, of course, but it's a start.

Fix the issues with the performance of the client itself and it would be ideal. I run it in Small Mode when playing games to cut the RAM and CPU use and it works ok, but I'd prefer they fixed the underlying issue.

'Yes' (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218285)

not 'Yes.'

Re:'Yes' (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218923)

Wrong. When you end a sentence with a quote, the mark goes outside the period whether or not the entire sentence was the quote. Thanks for playing.

2012 Valve Time? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218317)

https://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Valve_Time

Windows 8 (1)

CMcQueeny (682013) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218331)

Rumour has it that the decision to finally port Steam to Linux was in part motivated by Microsoft's bold and exciting decision to release Windows Phone as a desktop operating system. With mainstream games being one of the last things keeping me from running Linux full-time, this may be the Year of the Linux Desktop... at least for me, and I'm guessing there are others like me.

This may not be a popular idea on Slashdot, but Windows 8's secure boot requirement may also help Linux: by making it a little more difficult to produce a functioning distro, it could have the effect of culling the distribution to a smaller number, with more developers focused on each. Choice is great and all, but I think the sheer variety in Linux can be a bit dizzying to newcomers.

Re:Windows 8 (1)

darthdavid (835069) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218375)

Actually secure boot doesn't make it any harder to create a linux distro, it just makes it slightly harder to install one (because you have to disable it before you can do so unless your distro and hardware of choice have the right keys).

Re:Windows 8 (4, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218437)

this may be the Year of the Linux Desktop... at least for me, and I'm guessing there are others like me.

Very few people will switch to Linux because Windows 8 is a mess. They will simply keep using Windows 7.

obligatory (1)

Therad (2493316) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218347)

This will be the year of linux on the desktop!

Re:obligatory (1)

HyperQuantum (1032422) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218619)

Apparently, also obligatory for some people to mod down all posts saying that this is good news for Linux.

Have some WINE? (1)

kiehlster (844523) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218353)

It'd be awesome if they can integrate WINE into this. If so, maybe some of the good Windows titles will work regardless of Linux ports.

that sucking sound (5, Insightful)

Phoenix666 (184391) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218363)

That sucking sound is all my productivity flying out the window when this goes live. The last few years since the dvd drive on the family Wii console died I have gotten so much done. After all, on linux we all know the fun is in the coding and productivity tools (albeit a rarified kind of fun that you gotta immerse yourself in). If steam goes live with good games, well, I could see the 15 minute break I take when stumped by a coding challenge stretching into a week...

Re:that sucking sound (1)

miknix (1047580) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218533)

You damn right about that. There were only a very few games (curiously Valve produced) that after all these years actually made me install Windows to play them. If more games start showing up in my Linux boxen at a distance of a few clicks and dollars, I might very well just drop my time from random opensource projects and game on a little.

Re:that sucking sound (2)

miknix (1047580) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218547)

By the way, this might not be the year of Linux on the desktop after all since we will see a mass slowdown on kernel.org development cause everybody will be playing HL2 EP3 on Linux :P /joking

No probably not (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218553)

Please remember Steam is a distribution platform, nothing more. So all it does it make it easier to get games. It doesn't bring any new games over, it isn't a system for porting or emulating games. So it will only have games already available for Linux, with the exception of any Valve games they port.

You can see this on the Mac version now. If you look at the games for Windows and games for Mac you find that there are major differences. Some titles are listed as "Steam Play" meaning they run on both, however far more titles are Windows only and will not run on a Mac, Steam doesn't help there.

So unless your problem has been the inability to find and buy games for Linux, it isn't going to change anything for you.

In the long run it isn't likely to make much difference in game availability either. I doubt developers have said "Man we'd so port this game to Linux if only Steam was available." More likely to make a different is Kickstarter, and more in particular how things go in the long run with the games from there. A number of games announced Linux versions due to requests from the community. How the response is (like how many people use it, how happy the community is, how helpful they are, etc) will probably determine if they keep it up with future titles, or decide not to bother.

Re:No probably not (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218763)

it isn't a system for porting or emulating games.

Not strictly, but it is a system for making it easier to do so. Just like it solved dll-hell on windows by installing 50 different copies of directx (it seems it installs directx again every time I install a game) it can automatically install whatever libraries the programmer wants for their app.

I am curious how they're doing DRM though. To me, it seems that the easiest way to implement application DRM would be to write a custom version of ld-linux.so (ld-steam.so?) that speaks to steam to decrypt executable files.

Re:No probably not (3, Informative)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40219099)

...so it acts like apt-get for games.

Re:that sucking sound (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218617)

You know you can attach a USB hard drive to the Wii and load games from it, right? :^P

Tin foil hat, full engage,.... (3, Interesting)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218451)

Considering the direction Microsoft is taking with the desktop (Windows 8) and rumours I've heard about Gabes opinion on Microsofts decisions with 8 (apparently extremely unhappy / disapointed) I suspect Valve is looking towards a future where linux is on significantly more desktops than it is now.

Admitedly, it's highly unlikely but you never know, Microsoft really are making a mess with Windows 8

Re:Tin foil hat, full engage,.... (4, Interesting)

miknix (1047580) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218485)

Not only that but if you think on it, Valve can actually create a dedicated gaming platform using Linux (with dedicated hardware or not). Steam on Linux might just be the entry point for it.

GREAT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218537)

Maybe then they'll fix the shit they broke in Half-Life 2. They seriously broke the series when they ported it to Mac. It was odd when I saw Alyx close one of them combine doors at Nova Prospekt, only to then walk THROUGH the door as it closed. Then she suddenly teleported out of nowhere.

Also, physics. Broken.

Re:GREAT! (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218907)

Sorry dude! Looks like you'll have to get a real computer with mouse buttons and upgradeable parts and such.

Sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218557)

I'd never port a game over to Linux. It's simply not a good platform to develop a game on. There is no incentive to sink all the work into it. OpenGL, whatever you use for sound, the OS, etc. is completely capable of doing anything Windows can do. I'm not refuting that. It's outside of my expertise and there is no incentive to learn it. Hence, no ports.

A lot of other developers feel the same. You can bash them and exclaim their incompetence and stupidity until you are blue in the face, but it's not going to get your Windows games ported to Linux.

Re:Sorry (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218637)

I think the incentive is money.
Besides most devs will never port it, they will hire that work out to someone like icculus. That is what gets games ported to linux.

Re:Sorry (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40219109)

Fortunately, real game developers don't seem to be dominated by the sort of people that post anonymously on Slashdot.

So what "you would never do" is probably pretty damn meaningless.

How about no? (3, Insightful)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218613)

Wait, so Phoronix has a screenshot from *someone* which shows an e-mail from Newell...and this is "evidence"?! What the hell is wrong with the Internet?!

Productivity (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218649)

Oh no! If that happens, my productivity will go down! I'll be playing games suddenly!

No technical commentary? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218657)

No technical commentary at all? Come on /. try harder.

I'm curious how they'll integrate with the numerous distros and numerous desktop environments, or sadly, more likely not integrate at all.

I've often thought an interesting add on for apt-get and friends would be the limited support required to set up a "for pay/for donation" app store. Anything other than a really ugly hack would require lots of work.

Several puzzles to solve. Proper place in the file system hierarchy? Assuming its some place in /opt, modifying the path? Icons for popular desktops (or just some?) Integration with the universal menu system? Dependency management?

Of the eleven supported archs seen on debian.org/ports, and twenty three supported plus unsupported archs, which will steam support? Sadly I'm guessing i386 only, not even amd64.

I speak from experience that its much more work to be on Debian but not in Debian, than it is to be on Debian and in Debian.

A funny way to implement this would be to do it all by virtualization. Your host can be redhat or whatever, but you're going to be running a virtualized hypercustomized ubuntu image.

Re:No technical commentary? (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218803)

Ubuntu can and does sell some software through their software manager, so you're interest in the "apt-get donation" has sort of been addressed, though not directly as an apt-get add on.

I'll believe it when I see it. (3, Insightful)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218661)

While Steam on Linux isn't a bad thing, a screenshot of someone's gmail window is hardly evidence of anything, due to how easy it is to fake. Hell, even if it is a real GMail window, Firebug makes it trivial to add new output directly to a live page.

Good News (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218717)

YAY!

Why developers don't use OpenGL 3? (1)

goruka (1721094) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218737)

Even though it's lacking a little in some areas (like accessing resources from different threads), OpenGL 3.3 and OpenCL are more than enough for running the most hardware stressing games currently coming out for the PC and consoles, and nowadays driver support for it is excellent in both AMD and NVidia.
Given that Macs now support OpenGL 3 with Lion, and that mobile world is almost exclusively OpenGL ES 2.0 (which is mostly forward compatible to OpenGL 3), I'm still puzzled that PC developers almost exclusively use DirectX any more.
I can understand the need to develop lower end titles for DirectX9 because it's the only API that works on the Intel GMAs (shipped in most of the low end notebooks), but Steam hardware survely clearly shows that most of their users have DirectX10 / OpenGL 3 compatible hardware installed.

well (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218775)

Just a new way to get Sudoku games?

I am not a gamer, but here is to the hope that it provides "real" games. It's good for all of us that use Linux as our everyday OS. It encourages support in other areas as well...

Costs... (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218783)

If games are linked to your steam account, will that mean someone who bought a title for windows will automatically be able to run that same title on linux or mac if its available?
I would certainly hope so, i hate the idea of having to pay again for a game i already bought...

This would greatly benefit those who dual boot for the purposes of gaming, depending on the games they play this could eliminate or greatly reduce the amount of time they spend booted into windows... On the other hand, if they have to buy the games again most people won't... Also this would create fragmentation with some of their game library on linux and some on windows, and discourage use of linux for gaming as it will undoubtedly have a smaller library.

Incidentally, dual booting can actually be beneficial... Plenty of people use windows for gaming (and only gaming), and use linux for everything else... It means that their windows install doesn't get bloated up with random applications that might interfere with their games.

3D accel (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218801)

Whomever gets the first well supported opensource drivers for their mid-grade GPU first, stands to win the affections of the Linux community. AMD vs nVidia. Intel could possibly be a contender if they had a mid-grade GPU to offer.

ports of ports (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218815)

I have a Windows box for gaming, who doesn't... I bought GTA4 when it came out, and am likely never to buy again.

GTA4 was basically ported from XBOX to the PC, complete with a few remnant Xbox logos here and there in various dialogue boxes... I couldn't even use a gamepad, I was told I MUST use a XBOX controller... Worst gaming experience ever.

Gabe Newell is asking for what?!?!? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218915)

Cheeseburgers with an extra side of gluttony?

which distros? (1)

JC61990 (2653877) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218939)

does anyone know which distro's primarily will get steam? from what ive been reading and hearing it looks like its mostly going to be ubuntu. im am not the biggest ubuntu fan ever, i mainly use Arch and Fedora and im sure in time they will get ported to those distro's as well. but right now is it mainly ubuntu?

Only One Reason (5, Interesting)

zero0ne (1309517) | more than 2 years ago | (#40219119)

There is only one reason STEAM is doing this, and it's pretty simple.

When they decide to release their own console (oh and they will), they want to make sure their platform will work on it, and that game developers have already started thinking about porting them over to *nix. Why pay a licensing fee for some OS to put on a console (or a licensing fee to XBOX or Sony to get STEAM on their platform), when they can instead make sure their platform works flawlessly on *nix, and then create a console using *nix.

the desktop *nix community will be like a beta test for their console, without all the demands of "I want a fix yesterday" that you would get from the Windows community.

Long term, they will end up taking a significant chunk of the current consoles market share.

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