Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Why Valve Wants To Port Games To Linux: Because Windows 8 Is a Catastrophe

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the goodness-of-their-hearts dept.

Linux Business 880

An anonymous reader writes "Gabe Newell wants to support Linux because he think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in PC space. He wants to move away from a closed ecosystem of Microsoft Windows 8. He recently made a rare appearance at Casual Connect, an annual videogame conference in Seattle. From the allthingsd article: 'The big problem that is holding back Linux is games. People don't realize how critical games are in driving consumer purchasing behavior. We want to make it as easy as possible for the 2,500 games on Steam to run on Linux as well. It's a hedging strategy. I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space. I think we'll lose some of the top-tier PC/OEMs, who will exit the market. I think margins will be destroyed for a bunch of people. If that's true, then it will be good to have alternatives to hedge against that eventuality.' Some Linux users think that this is a win-win situation for Linux users as it will brings good game titles on the Linux system that haven't been there and it will protect steam business model from both Apple and Microsoft."

cancel ×

880 comments

Good luck... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40775739)

We want to make it as easy as possible for the 2,500 games on Steam to run on Linux as well.

If you want to flush money down the toilet, why not just give your money away to anyone you see on the street?

Re:Good luck... (4, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#40775765)

Most of the games on Steam will be DirectX, not OpenGL.

Re:Good luck... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40775793)

Would a clean room implementation of DirectX for Steam on Linux be impossible?

Re:Good luck... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40775867)

considering Wine has been trying to achieve that for many MANY years I think the answer to that is yes.

Re:Good luck... (4, Insightful)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 2 years ago | (#40775909)

Hell, ATI/AMD has been trying to make working OpenGL drivers for longer than that!

Re:Good luck... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40775871)

Yeah, it's heavily patented.

Re:Good luck... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40775947)

yes, because microsoft never stole^H^H^H^H^ reverse engineered their competitors technology...

Re:Good luck... (3, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#40776071)

In an era where Apple can patent a fucking rectangle with rounded corners, you can bet pretty much EVERYTHING is patented these days. It's almost guaranteed that the second you achieve any success at all on a given product, reversed engineered or not, you *will* be sued (probably by multiple companies).

Re:Good luck... (1)

hackula (2596247) | about 2 years ago | (#40775883)

Probably possible legally. I highly doubt anyone would be able to pull it off, however, and have it be up to date, stable, etc. Maybe Linux can catch the next train with whatever comes after. DirectX is very mature at this point.

Re:Good luck... (0)

Junta (36770) | about 2 years ago | (#40775989)

You mean wine?

Re:Good luck... (4, Informative)

Wovel (964431) | about 2 years ago | (#40775891)

Steam has a lot of OpenGl ports for OSX.

Re:Good luck... (4, Interesting)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about 2 years ago | (#40775799)

Speculation has it that one of the reasons Valve is bringing Steam to Linux is that they are developing a "Steambox" PC-based game console that would run Linux and Steam. Valve has also been confirmed to be working on a version of Steam that plays well with TV screens and gamepad controllers so Steambox would be a natural extension of that. Though I forget whether there were any rumors on Steambox itself though or whether people just saw the rumors of Linux support and gamepad/TV support and put two and two together...

Re:Good luck... (1)

hackula (2596247) | about 2 years ago | (#40775983)

I hope they get it better than their Mac implementation. Barf. It is practically unusable on my quad core 3.1 Ghz iMac with almost full specs. Unresponsive to the point of making your hair fall out. I am not too impressed with their cross platform record at this point and I will have to see it to believe a stable Steam on a *nix system. Not to say that I would expect it to be easy or anything. Making a mature system cross platform is damn near impossible if you do not plan it from the very beginning. Dependencies, dependencies, dependencies. Most people outside the development world have no clue how difficult porting can be.

wow (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40775751)

I see you've cleverly rewritten about 10% of the article and pasted the rest verbatim into the article summary.

How's that journalism degree working out for you, timothy?

Re:wow (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 2 years ago | (#40775833)

Better than the /, summaries that have nothing to do with TFA.

Windows 8 is not a catastrophe.... (5, Funny)

jkrise (535370) | about 2 years ago | (#40775757)

Windows 8 is a catastrophe only for those who use it with a keyboard and mouse. For the rest of us, it is the greatest desktop operating system.

Re:Windows 8 is not a catastrophe.... (4, Funny)

Astatine (179864) | about 2 years ago | (#40775795)

What exactly does this desktop of yours look like, and is it situated underneath a bridge?

Re:Windows 8 is not a catastrophe.... (5, Funny)

jkrise (535370) | about 2 years ago | (#40775859)

Sorry, I had put 'sarcasm' and '/sarcasm' tags in my original post; they didn't appear though. Been a few years since I posted regularly on Slashdot.

Re:Windows 8 is not a catastrophe.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40775801)

And how are you going to play Deus Ex or something without a keyboard and mouse? Hence, catastrophe.

Re:Windows 8 is not a catastrophe.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40775845)

Game Pad

Re:Windows 8 is not a catastrophe.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40776135)

>>FPS
> Game Pad
No

Re:Windows 8 is not a catastrophe.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40775809)

Err, it is a catastrophe regardless of the manner in which it is manipulated.

Re:Windows 8 is not a catastrophe.... (5, Funny)

Ynot_82 (1023749) | about 2 years ago | (#40775849)

Windows 8 is a catastrophe only for those who use Windows. For the rest of us, it is the greatest Microsoft operating system ever

FTFY

Re:Windows 8 is not a catastrophe.... (5, Interesting)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 2 years ago | (#40775869)

Windows 8 is a catastrophe only for those who use it with a keyboard and mouse.

It's also a catastrophe if your business model involves running a 3rd party app store. Good luck competing against Microsoft, Gabe.

Re:Windows 8 is not a catastrophe.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40776003)

Valve helped establish the closed system model with Steam. And now they're bringing that shit to Linux. Thanks for nothing, Valve.

Re:Windows 8 is not a catastrophe.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40775875)

Have fun writing lengthy code/papers/email/etc on your touchscreen...

I rather enjoy losing half the display to a keyboard myself...

Re:Windows 8 is not a catastrophe.... (0)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 2 years ago | (#40775915)

Windows 8 is a catastrophe only for those who use it with a keyboard and mouse. For the rest of us, it is the greatest desktop operating system.

Well then I'm sure you, the the twitterati, and all the little kids who love playing with Daddies' cellphone will really enjoy it.

The rest of us will get back to work.

P.S.
It must take you ages to type these posts.

Re:Windows 8 is not a catastrophe.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40775919)

People complaining about using the interface with a mouse but think it's great with a touchscreen don't know what a mouse is. Specifically, it's a low-tech (think of the originals with rollers and a ball) replacement for your finger and a touchscreen. Valid complaints about the interface are about how it works when you click or touch. Complaining about not being able to figure out how to use a mouse just means the person doesn't know how to use their finger.

Re:Windows 8 is not a catastrophe.... (1)

Tsingi (870990) | about 2 years ago | (#40776021)

I know how to use my finger, but you can't see me, so I have to use my keyboard.

Re:Windows 8 is not a catastrophe.... (3, Funny)

hackula (2596247) | about 2 years ago | (#40776029)

I am still hoping that Windows 8 will drop mouse and touch support entirely. Trackballs only please.

Re:Windows 8 is not a catastrophe.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40776073)

^ i think he's being facetious, in that that's how people almost exclusively interact with (at least pc s) computers ^

Windows 8.5 will probably be good again (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40775761)

I think a lot of people will stay at Windows 7 and just skip Windows 8. I don't see how that is a problem for Valve.
Yes Microsoft will have their own app store, but Steam has many people locked in right now...

Re:Windows 8.5 will probably be good again (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 2 years ago | (#40775931)

Because in order to stay modern they are going to have to make Steam compatible and integrate it well with Windows 8 because that is what a huge chunk of PC users are going to use simply because the OEM slapped it on there.

Re:Windows 8.5 will probably be good again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40776005)

To be fair, Gabe's probably not looking at the interface or Windows itself. He's looking at Microsoft's decision to release their own tablets to push the OS on mobile devices, and lock down the OS with UEFI. The OEMs are rightly worried that they won't be able to build custom systems anymore, and even if only around 10% of market share goes to Linux variants, that's 10% of hardware buyers that cash-strapped OEMs won't be able to rely on anymore unless they buy non-UEFI systems to sell to that 10%.

The catch-22 for Steam's lock-in (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 2 years ago | (#40776049)

The problem for Valve is that Windows 8 is going down the app store route, and the main point of Steam is really to be an easy download and auto-update platform for games. Sure, Steam does other things too, but if it weren't for the distribution channel (which is the only distribution channel for Valve's own big name games) I don't really believe anyone would stick with it just for the minor perks. This leaves only two possibilities:

1. Steam has a powerful lock-in. In this case, a lot of people who have spent a lot of money with them based basically on trust are about to have their faith questioned. Since Steam's standards terms and conditions are a joke as far as guaranteeing anything to anyone but themselves, this leaves two variations:

1a. They will do right by their customers at almost any price, assuming this is even possible with whatever technical and commercial infrastructure MS adopts to go with Windows 8. This might save their reputation and business model, but would surely hurt Valve's bottom line significantly.

1b. They can't or won't pay that price and customers who move to Windows 8 will suffer a worse user experience, limited ability to buy new games, or in the worst case lose access to the existing library they've already paid for. In any case, Steam will take a huge PR hit that will at best severely damage Valve's credibility.

2. Steam's lock-in isn't that powerful. In this case, Microsoft can beat them at their own game (no pun intended) and outright steal their business.

There are exactly zero outcomes in there that are positive for Steam, and some represent an existential threat.

The Gabe (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40775767)

I serve the Newell

He's Right (5, Insightful)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | about 2 years ago | (#40775791)

Look no further than iOS and Android. No matter what the fanbois of each platform say, games invariably are among the top downloads.

Re:He's Right (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | about 2 years ago | (#40775925)

For 1-2$ tops, sure. Without a keyboard and mouse, who's going to pay dozens of dollars for a game?

Re:He's Right (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#40775937)

Except he's not right. The vast majority of PC buyers do not play games beyond what comes preinstalled with Windows or what they find online. Even the entire user base of Steam represents maybe a couple of percent of all PC owners.

Re:He's Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40775985)

Hu... 4M user peak every day... so may be 6 millions...

Re:He's Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40776051)

So, Steam is worth less to Windows than WoW according to those numbers?

Re:He's Right (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#40776117)

You realize that there are more than a billion PC owners worldwide, right? Your 4 M would be no more than a statistical blip.

Re:He's Right (2)

Tsingi (870990) | about 2 years ago | (#40776055)

Except he's not right. The vast majority of PC buyers do not play games beyond what comes preinstalled with Windows or what they find online. Even the entire user base of Steam represents maybe a couple of percent of all PC owners.

if you had a penny from a couple percent of all PC owners, you'd easily be set for a very comfortable life.

Re:He's Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40775991)

Great. Where's World of Warcraft for my phone? See, its really not viable. For a tablet....MAYBE.

3. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40775797)

enough said.

Hardware partner (5, Interesting)

FictionPimp (712802) | about 2 years ago | (#40775811)

If they are serious about this, they need to get Dell or HP to start building gaming oriented linux desktops and notebooks. Linux will never gain traction as long as the users have to actively decide to install it.

Re:Hardware partner (2)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#40775973)

And they'll be reluctant to do that. They Sell Windows boxes largely because Windows is a standard OS that's easy for users and it lets them offload a good chunk of their support costs. Dell doesn't want to help you unfuck your Linux system because too much of the support and warranty costs would fall on Dell. The more closed the system is the easier and cheaper it is to.maintain and support. That's why so many employers have such overbearing support and security policies.

Re:Hardware partner (2)

Tsingi (870990) | about 2 years ago | (#40776087)

If they are serious about this, they need to get Dell or HP to start building gaming oriented linux desktops and notebooks. Linux will never gain traction as long as the users have to actively decide to install it.

It will be a huge engineering headache requiring the skill to insert a Linux CD rather than a Windows CD.
They'll certainly never be able to automate it.

TFA != TFS (5, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#40775817)

So the summary is implying that several years ago when Linux Steam work began, somehow Valve knew that Windows 8 would be bad even before Microsoft had done much with it beyond initial planning? TFA actually presents a much more balanced picture: Gabe Newell had an interview, and spoke about many things including wearable computers, open platforms, and Linux support. As usual, the Slashdot submitter posted the most inflammatory piece, and the editors like it that way. TFA only even mentions Windows once, in the quote TFS copied!

Re:TFA != TFS (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40775897)

I'm guessing that the Steam on Linux work began as a side project for more-or-less bored Valve employees, who, as I understand it, get significant leeway as to what they spend (part of) their time on. Later, though, when it became apparent that Windows 8 appeared to be a crappy OS, Gabe and other seniors realised that this Steam on Linux thingy might actually be a very very good idea to finish before long. Meaning they allocated more resources (including hiring new people) to the project, and actually, you know, acknowledging its existance.

Re:TFA != TFS (1)

Jade_Wayfarer (1741180) | about 2 years ago | (#40775933)

On the other hand, considering WinME and Vista, it's not really hard to predict that the next MS OS will be... somewhat disappointing. So why mention it more than once?

Re:TFA != TFS (1)

omfglearntoplay (1163771) | about 2 years ago | (#40776041)

Thank you for setting the record straight.

how 'bout an Office suite (1, Insightful)

acidfast7 (551610) | about 2 years ago | (#40775819)

the real thing holding back Linux is games?

how about the fact that opening MS Office docs on Linux with one of the many "Open Office" solutions is still a nightmare?

Re:how 'bout an Office suite (3, Informative)

Sollord (888521) | about 2 years ago | (#40775865)

The only think I ever really have issues opening are horrific kill it with fire power-point presentations so its not a feature i really miss

Re:how 'bout an Office suite (0)

acidfast7 (551610) | about 2 years ago | (#40775895)

you must never open word documents with embedded graphics or excel workbooks with scripts/coding or general mathematical calculations (in multiple languages where the "," versus "." for placeholders is a big deal.)

Re:how 'bout an Office suite (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40776001)

you must never open word documents with embedded graphics or excel workbooks with scripts/coding or general mathematical calculations (in multiple languages where the "," versus "." for placeholders is a big deal.)

And you must be using the wrong tool for the wrong job. How about a build-in kernel that spawn a dozen internal process, including a web browser for 'embedded web pages'...

Re:how 'bout an Office suite (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40776089)

In many jobs you have to be able to read word documents send by other people. That makes it difficult to use linux at work. I realize that Gmail allows me to open many documents in Google docs, but that is not always an option.

I don't care (2)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 2 years ago | (#40775879)

When do normal people at home open office documents? I never have the need or the desire. You do? Well, that says a lot about you that at home on your game machine, you have a burning desire for some edge case document formatting or love that challenge of creating a truly disastrous spreadsheet.

For most people, wordpad is more then enough. The proof? That so few computers are sold with Office installed.

Why don't you try another one? How about CAD software? Financial software?

Come on, surely you can come up with something better then Office for software people don't use on game machines at home?

Re:how 'bout an Office suite (-1, Flamebait)

acidfast7 (551610) | about 2 years ago | (#40775907)

also, go to hell for modding me down, as you know it's true (i.e. the OO solutions suck.)

Re:how 'bout an Office suite (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40775953)

how about the fact that opening MS Office docs on Linux with one of the many "Open Office" solutions is still a nightmare?

LOL. You still of ms-office. What is that? 1995?

For nearly 2 decades, we all knew why ms-office document are not portable; MicroSoft is intentionally crippling the format to disturb competion and free market. A other gross abuse of an illegal monopoly. Typical MicroSoft.... The solution for that is also well known for years, get rid of ms-office. Keeping It is not worth the hassle. Be of your time, vote with your wallet and stop sending your money to MicroSoft.

Re:how 'bout an Office suite (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40775979)

...or that support is weak...or that there is very little software in GENERAL (not just games) for it.

I used to think that this kind of thing wouldn't matter much for the general user. But when I looked into installing it on my parent's computers (so they wouldn't get viruses that I have to come fix), I found that my mother was using software to interface with her high-end sewing machine and my dad was using specialized software from work. The sewing machine software was available only for Windows/Mac and Dad's software was only available for Windows. So no Linux for them. And they are FAR from power users or gamers.

The essential problem in installing Linux for any user is that moment when you really need to install that particular piece of software. Being a Windows user means never having to worry if your OS is supported.

Re:how 'bout an Office suite (2)

jon3k (691256) | about 2 years ago | (#40776031)

Huh? Install Ubuntu, Fedora, etc. Login. Double click excel file. It opens. Where's the nightmare?

Re:how 'bout an Office suite (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 2 years ago | (#40776035)

Aside gaming, which is important, the parent brings up another important point. Many businesses would be interested if you got Linux to play very smoothly in the Office and Exchange ecosystem.

I'm shocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40775825)

A guy facing losing his main income source to a rival calls that rival names? I'm shocked I tell you shocked!

And.... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40775831)

Most folks will continue using Win7, etc, until Windows 9....and the number of Linux users that are gamers will remain unchanged.

gabe is a tard.

Re:And.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40775935)

Games are the only thing stopping me from using linux as my primary OS and its been that way for years. If it ever changes enough to where all my games run smoothly and without trouble on linux I would dump Windows in a heartbeat.

Problem: DirectX lock-in (5, Insightful)

Kelerei (2619511) | about 2 years ago | (#40775837)

In my opinion, the biggest hurdle that Valve will face won't be porting Steam itself over to Linux, but porting the library of games over.

While I don't know what the actual facts and figures are, I think that it's a fairly safe bet that most of the games on there will have been coded around Microsoft's DirectX graphics API, making the games themselves Windows-only. Yes, they can be rewritten to use OpenGL instead, but this would require substantial effort -- Valve would have the resources to do this with their own titles, but some of the other publishers on Steam may be of the opinion that it's not worth the effort.

This is as close to a perfect example as one can get as to why vendor lock-in is a bad thing. Arguably, the DirectX lock-in is probably why gaming on OS X hasn't really taken off either.

Still, this move by Valve could well be the snowball that sets off the avalanche...

Re:Problem: DirectX lock-in (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40775963)

Take a look at the already sizable Mac section on Steam, there's already quite a few non-valve games for OS X.

Re:Problem: DirectX lock-in (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#40776017)

That's because most of those games were shoddy Cider ports.

Re:Problem: DirectX lock-in (1)

tom229 (1640685) | about 2 years ago | (#40776009)

My thoughts exactly. Given that steam isnt much beyond a web browser with an e-store I wouldn't think the "port to linux" would be terribly difficult. What's always been the challenge is that almost all commercial games are written using DirectX for which there is no linux support. The bulk of the effort required to realistically "bring gaming to linux" is way out of Valve's hands.

Re:Problem: DirectX lock-in (1)

electrofelix (1079387) | about 2 years ago | (#40776085)

I don't think that will be as big as problem as you think. PS3, Mac, Andriod and iOS are all OpenGL based devices. Xbox and Windows PC's are the only ones that are DirectX. Anyone developing games these days that use an engine that can only compile a game for DirectX is locking themselves out of a sizeable market.

I think the Mac is what has tipped things, enough titles are starting to support OSX on the desktop/laptop, that the hurdle to making the game work on Linux becomes much smaller. I see quite a few that are quite a few already on steam (~380) that support OSX.

Of course any of the older games using dosbox, will be straight forward to port :)

The real difficulty will be in building into steam the necessary diagnostics to determine, what needs to be configured correctly on the various distributions to allow the ported games to work perfectly without the various developers getting inundated with complaints as to their game being a big ball of crappiness on Linux.

Re:Problem: DirectX lock-in (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#40776137)

I think the Mac is what has tipped things, enough titles are starting to support OSX on the desktop/laptop, that the hurdle to making the game work on Linux becomes much smaller. I see quite a few that are quite a few already on steam (~380) that support OSX.

You realize that most of those Mac ports on Steam are just wrapped in Cider and not actual ports, right?

Good Luck, Valve. (5, Interesting)

neokushan (932374) | about 2 years ago | (#40775841)

I don't think it's possible to understate how much of a monumental task this is. Not just for Valve, but for everyone with an interest in the Linux world.
If Valve wants this to succeed, they'll need to do more than just port their games and Steam to the platform. They'll need to really get the likes of AMD and nVidia on board to get better driver support, they'll need to convince the big publishers that it's worth taking the time to port their games and find some way to make WINE and its equivalents run at nearly native speed for the ones that can't be easily ported for whatever reason.
Then you have to deal with all the old DRM schemes that still exist and throw a fit even on newer versions of Windows, never mind a completely different OS. SecuROM rootkits? Yeah, good luck with that.

Still, for all the issues, all the potential pitfalls I really do wish Valve the best of luck with this as it can only be a good thing for everyone. Well, everyone except Microsoft maybe.

Steam is not sufficient (4, Insightful)

teg (97890) | about 2 years ago | (#40775843)

Even if games was a major factor in holding Linux back, just making Steam available is not going to fix that.

Steam was launched for Mac two years ago [macworld.com] , but other than Valve's own games the only top game that has been made available is Civilization V. Some indie games, sure, and Blizzard's games are available outside Steam, but all the other games are just as absent as they were before Steam was ported.

Re:Steam is not sufficient (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#40775957)

Even if every single steam user switched to Linux, which they won't, it would be nary a blip in market share change. This whole "we just need games!" is just the latest excuse for why desktop Linux still fails.

Re:Steam is not sufficient (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40775969)

Not all Steam games got ported to Mac when that happened. In fact, most Half-Life 2 mods don't even run on mac, even though Half-Life 2 itself was one of the first things that got ported.

It's a shame, because I think mac users would really get a kick out of the Stanley Parable...

So, yeah. Any multiplatform initiative by Valve can only be a good thing, long-term, for both mac and Linux users. Especially if someday Source 2 / Half-Life 3 Engine ends up being built from the ground up to be something that's code-once, deploy multi-platform.

Re:Steam is not sufficient (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40776069)

They are all on the Mac App Store [apple.com] .

There are a couple of compounding problems with Steam on the Mac.

Their game ports are good but the Steam application sucks ass. It doesn't use any native controls or interface elements. Because they wrote their own interface elements from scratch, it has high CPU and memory usage, it doesn't work on retina displays, scrolling windows is jerky and horizontal scrolling doesn't work, etc... There Steam application is so bad that I have decided never to buy anything off of it ever again.

If the first party publisher doesn't release the game cross platform, then it must be ported by a third party. The way payments from steam play work, is that when buy a game then it looks for which platform you played it on first, that pays the developer for that platform. That's fine for first party developers. However a porting house had to spend money to port that title to the platform. So if you had been playing it on windows, then downloaded they Mac version, the porting house receives no placement. So there is no incentive for a third party porting company to release any of their titles on Steam.

Ohhhmmmmm...Ohhhhmmmmm...... (0)

hackula (2596247) | about 2 years ago | (#40775853)

Ohhhhhmmmm.... This statement of peace and unity has been repeated as a mantra through out computing history...Ohhhhhmmmm.... Sidartha Torvalds will guide us by his warm light.... Ohhhhmmmm.....

Microsoft Wants To Be Apple (3, Informative)

RudyHartmann (1032120) | about 2 years ago | (#40775855)

I think this is a Microsoft strategy to take control more and become a PC OEM theselves like Apple. I think they're success will be limited. If I were a PC OEM, I would be real concerned by The Surface and Xbox.

Re:Microsoft Wants To Be Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40776027)

They're also going to (rightfully) get antitrust lawsuits up the wazoo if they try to emulate Apple's anti-competitive moves wrt walled garden etc. Apple can get away with it due to marginal market share (on computer), but as a monopoly MSFT will get in trouble.

Talk is cheap (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#40775857)

Considering how few games there are for Linux on Steam right now, how about you stop talking and start porting?

How many of us got involved with computers (4, Insightful)

Rooked_One (591287) | about 2 years ago | (#40775889)

for the first time, or at all, BECAUSE of games? I know I did. I know that they taught me lots of things - especially even just programming very rudimentary games on the apple deuce in 7th and 8th grade. That gave me a huge appreciation for computers, what they can do, and what a good product looks like. My text based zork type games were very easy to write, however the pixelized boxing game (that I was creating with the wrong process) took many many lines of code and required mass critical thinking.

And I can relate this to what was supposed to be a huge blockbuster, although I don't know if their programmers are just new, inexperienced, or just don't know what a good game is - or, they were told to dumb it down as the company wanted an incoming stream of income like they had with their graphical chat room (WoW).

Gamers move to Linux? (5, Interesting)

azahar31 (1492521) | about 2 years ago | (#40775893)

I just posted this on my blog...

Steam on Linux is a strategic move for Valve. They have enjoyed success on the Windows and Mac platforms for years and now they have recently announced that the penguin crowd will get to enjoy the games (no, not the Olymic ones).

Why am I even bothering to point this out? Windows 8 is lurking, that's why.. and Gabe Newell, the boss at Valve, knows it. Speaking at the recent Casual Connect conference in Seattle, Gabe expressed his concerns and criticisms of Windows 8 and in particularly the new Windows Store.

Why?
Because in order to make the Windows Store a success, Microsoft needs to block the competition, just like Apple does with its App/Mac stores. As Steam is an online store itself for gamers, this is where its going to hurt Valve as potentially, no more Steam on Windows.

Microsoft could very well only have games that link to its own XBox system. This makes sense as a business and to up-sell to existing Windows customers.

Gabe Newell worked at Microsoft for 13 years before he started up Valve, and its here where they have recently embraced the penguins as a "hedging strategy" to further gain customers. He is worried that potentially losing the Windows customer base will cause lasting damage to their own customer base. I'm sure he thought that when he said "Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space."

Now think about this...

Steam has an average of 4 million users connected at any given time.
Windows has an average desktop market share of, say 80%. That's 3 million gamers.
Now suddenly, Steam is no longer available on Windows, but it is on Linux.

Will those gamers switch? Or even try?
Some will move to a console, some to a Mac. But some, lets say a optimistic 30% or 1 million of those start using Linux, just for Steam? That's a lot.

The Year Of the Linux Desktop? No seriously... stop laughing, it may happen.

Re:Gamers move to Linux? (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#40776057)

Some will move to a console, some to a Mac. But some, lets say a optimistic 30% or 1 million of those start using Linux, just for Steam? That's a lot.

No, it's actually not. Considering Microsoft sold 600 million Windows licenses that 1 million represents less than .2% market share change.

Re:Gamers move to Linux? (1)

Lord_Naikon (1837226) | about 2 years ago | (#40776119)

OTOH a lot of users are already invested in to the steam platform. They of course want to be able to access their games on Windows 8 so they will install steam one way or the other, ensuring steam's survival.

Interesting opinion, but what's the rationale? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40775899)

[citation needed]

I'm not questioning the value of more Linux support for games as a hedge against problems on other platforms, but I don't understand *why* he thinks Windows 8 is going to be a catastrophe in the way that he says. Sure, I can guess some reasons and I have my own opinion, but what were Gabe's reasons? There is *NOTHING* in the article about it. Zero.

How unfulfilling.

Same ole story (2)

Ensign_Expendable (1045224) | about 2 years ago | (#40775901)

Meh. We hear the old refrain every time Microsoft comes out with a new version of Windows. "It's the worst thing ever.". "People will be migrating to OSX/Linux/whatever in droves." The sad fact is that businesses and IT are so heavily invested in the Windows ecosystem that they have no choice but to eventually upgrade. Think of all the specialized apps out there on the Windows platform: banking apps, auto shop diagnostic apps, imaging apps, etc. Even if developers want to switch to another OS, how are they going to migrate their users? Tell them they have to throw out their PCs and buy Macs? Or wipe their drives and set up an Ubuntu partition?

Who? (1)

bazorg (911295) | about 2 years ago | (#40775923)

I was well aware of Valve, but not of who this guy is. Now that he picked up a few big headlines in traditional "xyz is doomed" style, I imagine he has a bit more Klout points. Congratulations Gabe.

Re:Who? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40775999)

How have you not heard of him? He's that really fat guy.

Re:Who? (2)

Zorque (894011) | about 2 years ago | (#40776083)

He doesn't really need any more publicity, if you're any sort of PC gamer you'd be among the minority not knowing who he is. He's only the founder of one of the more prolific PC game devs of all time, in addition to him having created the platform that revolutionized digital distribution and made it a viable market to enter into.

'Windows 8 Is a Catastrophe'... for Valve (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40775929)

Since Windows Store comes installed with Windows 8, who's gonna be interested in publish a game with Steam? Nobody.

Hate for 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40775955)

Sounds to me like someone isn't a big fan of 'Windows Store' http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/apps. Microsoft coming out with their own app store was only a matter of when. Now that it has a release date, Valve is looking a little scared.

He think? (0)

OakDragon (885217) | about 2 years ago | (#40775965)

Do he now!

linux is cross platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40775987)

The core libraries for linux systems can be compiled on a variety of processing architectures. Most importantly the arm and x86. If valve works at a level above the very specific hardware integration of these architectures, their application will be easily portable to all sorts of linux based devices. Such as linux based set-top boxes, kiosks, inexpensive open source handhelds and gaming systems (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ouya/ouya-a-new-kind-of-video-game-console), android cell phones, tablets, and even built in tv OSes. Windows pigeon holes valve into predominantly pc/laptop market, while embedded linux can run on virtually anything(http://dmitry.co/index.php?p=./04.Thoughts/07.%20Linux%20on%208bit). Kidding aside, i was able to port all libraries and my work which was written in highly optimized c, to run on an raspi (arm) from having been written for a standard x86 and cuda implementation with minimal effort. Hope nvidia/amd/opencl work on letting us get at those multicore gpus soon though, be a shame to let all that number crunching go to waste.

Re:linux is cross platform (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#40776095)

You don't know much about game programming do you? There are extensive amounts of architecture specific assembly optimization in most games. So, no, they won't be "easily portable".

Only thing missing... (2, Insightful)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | about 2 years ago | (#40776013)

... is DRIVERS!!! Good luck getting real open source drivers out of Nvidia, ATI/AMD, and Intel for their graphics hardware.

What do Slashdot editors actually do? (1)

BrunBoot13 (787805) | about 2 years ago | (#40776039)

Besides fail to edit this jibberish: "Some Linux users think that this is a win-win situation for Linux users as it will brings good game titles on the Linux system that haven't been there and it will protect steam business model from both Apple and Microsoft."

Boot to game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40776043)

I've long wondered why game companies don't simply include a little, hidden linux-distro as part of the their game installation. So to maximize computer resources and minimize compatibility issues with various OS's, they always boot into their own OS before loading the game. It would be a little inconvenient for gamers in that they would need to reboot to load a game, but it might solve a lot of headaches and improve performance.

Boot-to-Game (5, Interesting)

pscottdv (676889) | about 2 years ago | (#40776129)

I have wondered for years why game-makers haven't already started working on writing games for Linux so that they can sell games that boot directly to the game on any system.

To me it seems so obvious. Now you don't have to worry about which version of what a user has on their computer and the user doesn't need to install the game.

Why hasn't this already been done?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...