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Valve: Linux Better Than Windows 8 for Gaming 768

Posted by samzenpus
from the top-of-the-heap dept.
dartttt writes "In a presentation at Ubuntu Developer Summit currently going on in Denmark, Drew Bliss from Valve said that Linux is more viable than Windows 8 for gaming. Windows 8 ships with its own app store and it is not an open platform anymore and Linux has everything they need: good OpenGL, pulseaudio, OpenAL and input support."
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Valve: Linux Better Than Windows 8 for Gaming

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 29, 2012 @11:48AM (#41805157)

    He's just angry that Windows Marketplace is going to cut into his donut funds.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 29, 2012 @12:01PM (#41805449)

      There could be technical reasons too - porting their games to Linux showed a massive performance increase over the Windows version. And that's without having spent the months/years tuning the Linux version that had been done on the Windows one.

      http://games.slashdot.org/story/12/08/02/1738229/is-it-time-for-an-opengl-gaming-revolution

      • by Score Whore (32328) on Monday October 29, 2012 @12:25PM (#41805877)

        If a 3.8% advantage is "massive", what words do you reserve for things that have advantages/improvements on the order of 50%+?

        • by Vanderhoth (1582661) on Monday October 29, 2012 @12:36PM (#41806077)
          "unheard of" or "impossible" comes to mind
        • by Baloroth (2370816) on Monday October 29, 2012 @12:54PM (#41806411)

          If a 3.8% advantage is "massive", what words do you reserve for things that have advantages/improvements on the order of 50%+?

          That's 3.8% after Valve improved the OpenGL version using what they'd learned from Linux. It's 20% going from DirectX Windows to OpenGL Linux. That's pretty close to massive, considering the vast amounts of work and money MS has poured into developing DirectX and Windows in general.

          • by jgtg32a (1173373)
            IIRC they were running in DirectX 9 mode.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Luckyo (1726890)

            This says little about linux being better then windows.

            It says a lot about valve optimizing it's graphics engine.

            • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Monday October 29, 2012 @04:49PM (#41810305) Homepage Journal

              Not really. Most games that are a decade old or less almost always show improvements over framerate using OGL/OAL vs DX, this included the experimental OGL APIs for these engines.

              This is because D3D is CPU-bound whereas OGL is GPU-bound (and only barely CPU bound since the CPU sends all the stuff to the GPU.)

              This has been demonstrated with various wrappers/native implementations from PC-primary games to emulators. Starting from Unreal Tournament GOTY '99 through most iDTech engines and the latest Unreal engines, and also Torque3D.

              Plain and simple, direct to hardware (Open*L) is faster than CPU-to-hardware (DirectX)

      • by apexwm (1612713) on Monday October 29, 2012 @12:53PM (#41806385) Homepage
        No surprise there. The same applies to many different areas where Linux is way more efficient than Windows is. Everybody knows Windows is bloated beyond comprehension. I use Linux for my primary machine, and also use Windows machines daily and in comparison the Linux desktop smokes Windows. Everything from data processing, running virtual machines, LAN performance, you name it. Windows has a monopoly and since it has close to 90% of the market, software companies will continue to develop for it. If Linux had more market share, more companies would develop commercial software for it. So, even though Windows has a majority of the market share, it is definitely not the best OS. It's simply the most popular OS, for now.
        • by Tharkkun (2605613) on Monday October 29, 2012 @01:02PM (#41806603)

          No surprise there. The same applies to many different areas where Linux is way more efficient than Windows is. Everybody knows Windows is bloated beyond comprehension. I use Linux for my primary machine, and also use Windows machines daily and in comparison the Linux desktop smokes Windows. Everything from data processing, running virtual machines, LAN performance, you name it. Windows has a monopoly and since it has close to 90% of the market, software companies will continue to develop for it. If Linux had more market share, more companies would develop commercial software for it. So, even though Windows has a majority of the market share, it is definitely not the best OS. It's simply the most popular OS, for now.

          Until Linux stops all their internal bickering and decides on one native standard for all gaming they will never been seen as better. The reason Microsoft dominates is because they standardized the market on Directx. Write once, work on all. For Linux it's not that easy yet and 3% performance doesn't outweigh the headaches.

          • by ghostdoc (1235612) on Monday October 29, 2012 @01:22PM (#41807035)

            No surprise there. The same applies to many different areas where Linux is way more efficient than Windows is. Everybody knows Windows is bloated beyond comprehension. I use Linux for my primary machine, and also use Windows machines daily and in comparison the Linux desktop smokes Windows. Everything from data processing, running virtual machines, LAN performance, you name it. Windows has a monopoly and since it has close to 90% of the market, software companies will continue to develop for it. If Linux had more market share, more companies would develop commercial software for it. So, even though Windows has a majority of the market share, it is definitely not the best OS. It's simply the most popular OS, for now.

            Until Linux stops all their internal bickering and decides on one native standard for all gaming they will never been seen as better. The reason Microsoft dominates is because they standardized the market on Directx. Write once, work on all. For Linux it's not that easy yet and 3% performance doesn't outweigh the headaches.

            Agree with both, but once Valve decides to bring Steam to the Linux party and get most of the games library working then two things happen:
            1: one of the major reasons (if not *the* major reason) for using Windows at home disappears: gaming.
            2: the Linux development community can go on bickering all they want, but unless their proposed solutions are compatible with what Valve are building Steam on they'll be irrelevant as no-one will use them. Steam will effectively create the standard.

            Linux is simply better code and a better architecture than Windows, as it should be; it's had developers calling the shots not commercial managers. So it's not at all surprising that it will run stuff faster than Windows. I suspect a LOT faster once there's been a few iterations.

            Interesting times :)

            • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Monday October 29, 2012 @02:27PM (#41808277) Journal

              I'll get hate for saying this, but its the FOSSies at the top that will ruin it, Valve or not. By "FOSSie" I mean those that hold GPL as inviolate and will hate Valve for daring to bring their DRM platform to Linux. We saw this right here when many of the old guard devs were posting things like "Well as long as they don't put it in the repo" because God forbid things should be easy for a non GPL package!

              You see right now Linux is split in 2, on one side you have the pragmatists that just wants the damned thing to work for as many as possible, then you have the FOSSies that don't give a shit if its the most fiddly obtuse mess on the planet as long as GPL is held above all. I have a feeling that Valve is gonna find out like so many before that the FOSSies hold positions in the higher levels of your system internals and there is gonna be a LOT of "Ooops, broke your shit Valve...well if you'd just open your source code why that shit wouldn't happen".

              This is why the ONLY time Linux has gained any ground is when Google just took the system internals away from the devs and took everything in house, where they could force some order and direction. If Valve thinks those devs that hold GPL like the ten commandments are gonna play nice with their DRM platform? Shiiit, they might as well ask for abortion clinics at the RNC, it would probably go over as well.

              Final verdict? Win 8 bombs, OEMs continue selling Win 7, Gabe quietly lets the Linux version rot after he has to do a couple of major rebuilds thanks to the FOSSie faction trying to force him to Open Source his code, and that will be the end of that. There is A REASON why you don't get proprietary software on Linux, its not because you can't make it run, its because the FOSSie faction will make damned sure it won't run for long, so why bother? Until the faction that worships GPL isn't in command you can give it up Chuck.

              • by Requiem18th (742389) on Monday October 29, 2012 @04:08PM (#41809761)

                Pragmatism is unpragmatic in the long term. It seems I need to remind you how many times people have dissmissed free software and its ideals or have declared RMS alunatic paranoid just to be proven wrong again and again. I remind you that 20 years ago people were declaring free software imposible, 15 years ago, free software was dying, 10 years ago it was never going mainstream, 5 years ago it was a fad, now it's not going to last. Please, stop.

          • by SplashMyBandit (1543257) on Monday October 29, 2012 @01:41PM (#41807375)

            Huh? there is one input model for Linux (plenty of libraries to access it), OpenAL (which is now recommended by Microsoft), OpenGL (which has been there forever), standard networking etc.

            I'm writing a modern jet combat flight simulator and use Java, JInput, JoGL etc etc and find I can run on Windows, Linux and Mac with vary little customization for each platform required (just a little for the GLSL implementation differences for Nvidia vs ATI on each platform). Linux is less hassle than Windows in many respects and I get better performance too (just like Valve) do. Java 1.6 U10 and later also kick ass for performance (I sit there with the JDK's JVisualVM and watch what goes on in real-time; this is an awesome [free!] tool).

            We cross-platform devs have been trying to tell the DirectX guys for ages that it is completely possible to write cross-platform games for *less* effort than it is to write around the MS APIs (due to their cruft and version churn). However, the MS devs don't listen, won't listen and when they do finally listen they resist for ages.

            So, even though Windows has a majority of the market share, it is definitely not the best OS. It's simply the most popular OS, for now.

            Windows is the most popular *desktop* OS, this is true. However, it is not dominant on the server (eg enterprise and web serving spaces), consoles (PS3 and XBox are fairly even) or mobile devices (where the revenue growth is; Android [which is a customized Java+Linux]) has installs of 1.3 million new devices *each day*.

            So, it makes economic sense to develop for Windows if you could only develop for one platform exclusively. However, if you are smart you can develop cross-platform applications that work on Windows *and* Linux *and* Mac *and* Android *and* PS3 without too much hassle (Xbox and iOS are kinda in siloes). The economics has been against developing for Windows only. The smart money has always been using the right tools to do cross-platform work. That way, when the IT landscape changes (eg. the advent of mobile, and one day whatever becomes the new hotness) your code will be able to quickly ported to the new platform. All because you chose the strategic (cross-platform) over the tactical (eg. DirectX ease of use but Windows-only).

            Here's a case study I like to quote of someone who chose cross-platform technologies which allowed him to personally make $US 3.5 million dollars when the IPad and iPhone came out. He says if he had put himself in the Microsoft straightjacket with DirectX then he couldn't have done this (and this is why DirectX was invented, to keep you on Windows, and that has been a very successful strategy so far for MS, but it about to marginalize them in the coming heterogenous computing world):
            http://techhaze.com/2010/03/interview-with-x-plane-creator-austin-meyer/ [techhaze.com]

            Hopefully this is a bit informative for you, and why the "develop for Windows only" mentality is wrong (and in fact has always been wrong; it suits Microsoft's purposes to keep you on the desktop, not the game developers who needs to adapt to future trends). Now here I have to give credit to the *new* Microsoft, they finally seemed to have grokked that there are other platforms out there and are starting to play nicely. This is very very good, but there is still a lot of MS stuff from the bad old days to be overcome (including indoctrination of its users, such as your mistaking Windows desktop popularity as a reason to develop using Windows-only technology :) ).

          • by Microlith (54737) on Monday October 29, 2012 @01:58PM (#41807755)

            Until Linux stops all their internal bickering and decides on one native standard for all gaming they will never been seen as better.

            If people would stop referring to "Linux" as if it could have "internal bickering" like it were a single, homogenous company we'd be better off.

            The reason Microsoft dominates is because they standardized the market on Directx.

            The reason Microsoft dominates gaming on the PC is because they dominate PC operating systems as a whole and pushed their proprietary DirectX down everyone's throat.

            For Linux it's not that easy yet and 3% performance doesn't outweigh the headaches.

            That's why they're exclusively targeting an Ubuntu LTS release. Most popular Linux platform with the least amount of pain, and 4 years of stability.

    • by wmac1 (2478314) on Monday October 29, 2012 @12:37PM (#41806101)

      Anyone remembers Kylix (Borland Delphi for Linux)?

      It was a great project but almost no one obtained or used it. It cost perhaps millions for Borland to develop and the cost (along with the unsuccessful Borland Java Builder) made Borland almost bankrupt.

      I had the pleasure of using Kylix, but who else cares?

  • by hinchles (976598) on Monday October 29, 2012 @11:48AM (#41805159)
    I've read alot about companies saying win8 is bad for gaming yet very few are actually willing to put their money where their mouth is and actually produce linux native games (or at least games that work perfectly well under wine). Couple that with the lack of installed userbase with capable hardware and the commercial aspects of linux don't really stack up. As much as I'd love to run mint full time its stuck on its vm currently or on underpowered hardware (where linux really shines as a desktop making old/low powered hardware useable!) neither of which are gaming capable.
  • Finally (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kral_Blbec (1201285) on Monday October 29, 2012 @11:49AM (#41805163)
    The only thing tying a lot of people (myself included) to Windows is gaming. With how much I hate the new ModernUI, I've been taking another look at going back to Linux as a main O/S.
    • Re:Finally (Score:5, Interesting)

      by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Monday October 29, 2012 @12:09PM (#41805573)
      I installed Windows 8 RC on my work PC today, purely because we'll either be upgrading to Win7 or Win8 come summer 2013, and I thought I'd best at least give it a go before dismissing it entirely. If you've not used it, try it; Metro is not bad. In fact, i'd say it's almost exactly like Win7 Start Menu, only it has more information on it.

      The only reason I can see for hating Metro (besides the "walled garden" thing, which is a MAJOR turn-off) is that you're still navigating the start menu folders with your mouse. After about 5 minutes, I thought I'd try hitting the Start key and typing a program name, as you can in Win7; It worked exactly as I expected; List of apps with the same name, then other shortcuts in other areas, then files.

      If your biggest issue with Windows 8 is the UI, then at least have a good go at using it. It took me around an hour to get used to it, and I've been a point-and-click Windows user since MSDOS 4. I reserve judgement about the rest of the "features".
    • Re:Finally (Score:5, Interesting)

      by KugelKurt (908765) on Monday October 29, 2012 @12:32PM (#41806011)

      The only thing tying a lot of people (myself included) to Windows is gaming.

      A lot? According to this interview with Ubisoft representatives, only 7% of Ubi's 2011 revenue was generated on PC and 5% of Activision's revenue:
      http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/09/05/ubisoft-drm-piracy-interview/ [rockpapershotgun.com]

      That means that >90% of gaming happens on other platforms anyway (consoles, smartphones) and for those users gaming is not what's keeping them on Windows.
      From my experience with Windows users, many have a completely irrational attachment to Windows. They use it because they "know" it and they don't want Linux because they "don't know" it, even though their Windows installations are full of crapware and they could be fooled by any random Linux distribution with a Windows-themed splash screen.

      • Re:Finally (Score:4, Insightful)

        by HaZardman27 (1521119) on Monday October 29, 2012 @01:36PM (#41807277)
        Ubisoft is the worst company to quote for PC games sales data. I'm almost certain their Always-On DRM they had been bundling with their games was killing their PC game sales.
      • Re:Finally (Score:5, Interesting)

        by tnk1 (899206) on Monday October 29, 2012 @02:13PM (#41808053)

        Admittedly, I am not a lot of people, but more than 90+% of my gaming happens on a PC, and I game *a lot*. I don't so much refuse to buy a console as much as I really just don't like them and have never bothered with one since the original Nintendo. It may have something to do with how much I like FPS games. I do have some games on my tablet or phone, but those get played only when I'm bored or I can't get to my PC.

        I'm also a System Engineer who works 95% of the time in Linux. I don't have any irrational need to stick to Windows. I cannot play the games I want to play on Linux, and I refuse to bother with WINE just to make a point. I'm happy Valve is looking into this, but until there is some serious traction on Linux gaming and a few other areas on the desktop, I'm sticking with Windows for everything that doesn't require me to code or run a server on it. It's not great, but it's sufficient, whereas desktop Linux isn't even sufficient for my needs.

        And the applications... I swear, I must keep downloading The GIMP or Open/Libre/Whatever Office every six months or so hoping that trying to use it doesn't make me claw my eyes out. I get that I'm used to a lot of the Windows crap, so that's part of it, but I've been using office and image tools since I bought a toaster Mac, and I still don't understand why I can go from Mac to Windows seamlessly, but for some reason, the Linux version of everything needs to be different. And it's not that I just use MS or Adobe apps either.

        Anyway, still waiting anxiously for someone to figure out games and to a lesser extent, applications, so I can switch my Windows box to be a VM under my Linux box, instead of vice-versa.

  • Fear... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rwven (663186) on Monday October 29, 2012 @11:51AM (#41805213)

    What I fear is that Valve will dive deep into Linux, and then suddenly realize that supporting software like steam and games on Linux may be a bit more challenging than they thought it would.

    The myriad hardware types out there with myriad sets of less-than-optimal drivers might present myriad problems, even if Valve does master the video-card/opengl end of things. I know I get vastly different experiences with Ubuntu depending on if I install it on one desktop versus another versus my laptop. They all have their own sets of issues, and none of them are remotely perfect.

    This whole affair with valve just reminds me of some computer user adopting a new platform with vim and vigor...and then realizing it's not all it's cracked up to be a few weeks or months later. I myself did this with mac, but it took a couple years for me to come to my senses, unfortunately.

    There are MANY legitimate reasons why Linux on the desktop has not taken off. I fear that Valve just hasn't encountered the right set of those reasons yet.

    • Re:Fear... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by second_coming (2014346) on Monday October 29, 2012 @11:56AM (#41805321)
      SteamOS... the next logical step.
      • Re:Fear... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Githaron (2462596) on Monday October 29, 2012 @01:18PM (#41806941)
        It is more likely that they will have a Steam compatible specification for Linux distros. If a Linux distros want to be compatible with Steam, they have to follow the specification. Steam will probably work closely with at least one distro in the beginning (probably Ubuntu) to make sure that at least one major distro supports the specification.
    • Re:Fear... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by zrbyte (1666979) on Monday October 29, 2012 @11:59AM (#41805389)

      This may work if the real plan of Valve is to release a Linux based console having Steam. From there supporting Linux is a no brainer.

    • by Microlith (54737)

      And this is somehow worse than Windows?

      Seriously, I've seen an install on Windows 7 behave very differently between systems as well. Rock solid on one and willing to puke at the drop of a hat on another.

      • by Type44Q (1233630)

        Seriously, I've seen an install on Windows 7 behave very differently between systems as well. Rock solid on one and willing to puke at the drop of a hat on another.

        Plug a power supply tester into that badboy and run memtest86+ while you're at it...

    • Re:Fear... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by OG (15008) on Monday October 29, 2012 @12:04PM (#41805493)
      While there are challenges, i think that Valve's doing it at least partly right. For starters, they're initially supporting Steam on a specific distribution and release. While some people may disagree with that stance, I'd say that it's smart to focus on the most popular distro first and get that working well, as it'll provide a much more solid base for the product. Additionally, if they could recommend/support specific drivers for optimal performance, that would also reduce initial variability. I think part of the problem with launching an application on Linux (especially a game or gaming system, which tends to really utilize all of the different components of a system) is the thought that it needs to run on all Linux distros out of the box. That may be a great goal, but it's a support nightmare. It's probably better in the long-run to target a certain platform, get it working great on that platform, and then expand from there. It'll be interesting to see how this turns out for them.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      What I fear is that Valve will dive deep into Linux, and then suddenly realize that supporting software like steam and games on Linux may be a bit more challenging than they thought it would.

      The myriad hardware types out there with myriad sets of less-than-optimal drivers might present myriad problems, even if Valve does master the video-card/opengl end of things. I know I get vastly different experiences with Ubuntu depending on if I install it on one desktop versus another versus my laptop. They all have their own sets of issues, and none of them are remotely perfect.

      Linux has achieved feature-parity with Windows at last!

      Longer, slightly less snarky explanation follows: if you seriously think this differentiates Linux from Windows in any way, you are completely mistaken. The situation with hardware and drivers on Windows is so dire that it is often necessary to install an older version of a driver just to play a game without it crapping. This has come up time and again even with nVidia hardware on Windows. They "fix" something so a new, important game works and your old

    • Re:Fear... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 29, 2012 @12:28PM (#41805927)

      I honestly don't understand this argument. Valve is perfectly within their rights to say "we intend to ONLY support certain hardware and software profiles for certain Steam-for-Linux profiles".

      We all know they have limited resources, and gamers are already perfectly willing to shell out tons of money on specific hardware. If my webserver can't play L4D, I don't think I'll particularly care. Nor if my Android device isn't able to play all Steam games.

      Being forced to install Pulseaudio or buy from a certain range of video cards might seem distasteful, but what are the alternatives? No Steam, or use another supported platform. I think I'll take the less expensive option, thank you.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Tom (822)

      The myriad hardware types out there with myriad sets of less-than-optimal drivers might present myriad problems

      So you're saying the PC/Windows platform is a bitch. But what do you think about Linux?

    • Re:Fear... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Sarten-X (1102295) on Monday October 29, 2012 @12:47PM (#41806271) Homepage

      What I hope is that Valve expects this, and is taking a chance at martyrdom for the greater good of gamers.

      While forking and customization is the heart and soul of Linux, the fragmentation is also its weakness. With a target market of "only people who think like I do", each new standard sees only minimal adoption and leads to having whole branches of inheritance that are incompatible with each other. Consider, for example, the schism between RPM and dpkg packages. Effectively, a new project must be packaged twice, placing extra burden on the developer, or as (one format and) source, placing the extra burden on (some) users.

      What I see as being immensely useful to Linux overall is having a major altruistic push toward compatibility, and Valve appears to be positioning itself to help. Tongue-in-cheek, I'll call it the One True Platform. Certainly not the only option, but rather a lofty goal of certain compatibility standards to be met. Rather than having to support Linux in general, with the myriad variations, a developer can just offer support for "Steam on Linux", work through Steam (and, conveniently/profitably, Valve's engines) as a compatibility layer, and trust that everything will be fine.

      In large part, this process has already been begun by Ubuntu making a simple distro that usually just works (in some fashion), so it can be the baseline recommendation for users, reducing the burden on new users. With Steam as a baseline for game development, the burden on developers is also reduced. All together, that makes a single market for hardware vendors to target, with a fairly low support burden, hopefully leading to more cooperation from vendors in the long run.

      It's a tricky game for Valve, with only a few long-shot chances at major profits, but if it works, the benefit to the Linux community is enormous. In the mean time, Valve gets to play the knight in shining armor, saving FOSS-loving gamers from the tyranny of Microsoft, which also distracts from Steam's inherent nature as DRM.

    • Re:Fear... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Lonewolf666 (259450) on Monday October 29, 2012 @12:49PM (#41806315)

      I'm sure there will be some initial problems. Such as some drivers not being very good.

      But with GPUs in particular, I guess Valve can get away with a few "recommended configurations". Such as NVidia cards with binary drivers. While those are not exactly in the spirit of FOSS, they may be a pragmatic way to get things started.

      I'll be optimistic and say that some good things may come from Steam games running well on a few selected graphics cards. It would increase the pressure on other vendors to put some more effort in upgrading their Linux drivers.

    • That is why when I installed steam recently for the first time, I encountered two errors, both with extensive user provided workarounds involving rebooting in special mode to get around rights issues. On perfectly normal PC with perfectly normal Windows 7 64 bit.

      Companies like Valve maintain expensive banks of PC's just to test all the countless configurations possible and STILL fail to deal with all of them as the extensive work arounds available to deal with a INSTALLER show.

      Compared with that, Linux is F

  • Just greed. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Haxagon (2454432) on Monday October 29, 2012 @11:52AM (#41805235)

    Windows 8 isn't had for gaming, it's just bad for Valve. Vale has wanted Steam to be a general App Store for a long while, and if regular plebes start using the Windows Marketplace, they'll lose that battle before they even begin. Valve's just concerned with their potential market being at risk.

    • Perhaps, but... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Junta (36770) on Monday October 29, 2012 @11:57AM (#41805351)

      In this case, Valve's agenda is the lesser of two evils. Either MS gets their way and Linux desktops continue with the relatively sparse gaming library compared to Windows systems, or Valve gets their way and at least Linux gets a lot of the titles that were formerly Windows-only.

      I'd rather a viable company scheme be one that operates within the structure of the general structure of Linux based desktops than requiring Windows or wine. Purists can still run their desktop with the same (or even better) selection of truly free software, and the rest of us can use a free desktop without compromising or dual boot to get at a few titles we really would enjoy.

    • Re:Just greed. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Microlith (54737) on Monday October 29, 2012 @12:02PM (#41805475)

      Wouldn't you be concerned if the vendor of the OS you're dependent on suddenly comes along and decides to push their own store with it? You end up like IE6, one dominant platform for the OS. And given that Microsoft has very obvious goals of deprecating Win32 in favor of WinRT, which requires software using it come from the store, yes Valve has every reason to be worried. As does every other software vendor out there, because this gives Microsoft an overwhelming amount of power, over both them and you.

      Pushing to make Linux a viable platform is good for everyone.

      • by Teckla (630646)

        Pushing to make Linux a viable platform is good for everyone.

        I agree, but I cannot help but think it is a long shot:

        1. * Valve creating a Steam client for Linux is one thing, getting game makers to make games for Linux is another, especially when desktop Linux has such a tiny market share. It is a tough catch-22.
        2. * AMD, nVidia, and Intel graphics drivers need to perform well and be taken seriously by all three companies. Right now, they are often questionably supported and of questionable quality.
        3. * I have heard complaints about the Linux kernel folks not taking things l
      • by Jojoba86 (1496883)

        Wouldn't you be concerned if the vendor of the OS you're dependent on suddenly comes along and decides to push their own store with it?

        Ahem. [wikipedia.org] And Ubuntu seems to be the preferred target by Valve. So why does it matter that Windows 8 has an app store if Ubuntu has one too?

        • by swillden (191260)

          Wouldn't you be concerned if the vendor of the OS you're dependent on suddenly comes along and decides to push their own store with it?

          Ahem. [wikipedia.org] And Ubuntu seems to be the preferred target by Valve. So why does it matter that Windows 8 has an app store if Ubuntu has one too?

          Because on Ubuntu it's trivial to add a new app store -- and in fact it's easy to integrate your store into the Ubuntu store, at least from the user's perspective. Or you can put your own UI on it. Whatever. Running a system with multiple apt repositories has worked just fine for almost 20 years.

  • by dstyle5 (702493) on Monday October 29, 2012 @11:53AM (#41805269)
    Steam works the same in Windows 8 as in Windows 7 from what I've seen thus far. There is no way most gamers would buy a game in the Microsoft app store if the same game was available on Steam. Seems like Valve is more concerned about the competition from the Microsoft App Store than about how open Windows 8 as an O/S is.
    • by Microlith (54737) on Monday October 29, 2012 @12:05PM (#41805495)

      WinRT is not open at all, and Microsoft intends on deprecating Win32 in favor of it. I imagine it won't happen until Windows 9, but eventually the newest version of DirectX will require use of WinRT (probably WinRT 2.0 when they iron out the last of the Win32 dependencies) at which point Microsoft will move to close off the openness of the PC completely, reserving Win32 access and whatnot to "legacy VMs" and "Enterprise" platforms.

      And it's not really fair to call it "competition" when the store is pushed by the company whose OS holds a monopoly in the market it'll be pushed on.

      • >(probably WinRT 2.0 when they iron out the last of the Win32 dependencies)

        Will that even happen? Right now, WinRT seems to be built 100% on top of Win32...

      • by afidel (530433)

        LOL, MS trying to push everyone to WinRT will have the same result as Intel trying to push everyone to Itanic, they'll spend billions into trying to develop a market for a product nobody wants and end up eating crow. The only reason the market puts up with Intel and Microsoft is that they have the ubiquitous platform that supports a several decade long legacy train, without support for all that legacy software you're suddenly opened up to alternatives and the Wintel rent seekers are not at the top of anyone

  • by CAPSLOCK2000 (27149) on Monday October 29, 2012 @11:55AM (#41805309) Homepage

    Valve is one of the most influential companies in the gaming world. If they speak people will listen.
    This single statement will cause thousands of gamers to check out Linux.

    This is a market that is willing to spend hundreds of dollars and hours of tweaking to gain a few percent more performance. Any rumour about a better system will cause a flood of gamers that want to be the first to get the advantage.

    • by Rockoon (1252108) on Monday October 29, 2012 @12:17PM (#41805747)

      This is a market that is willing to spend hundreds of dollars and hours of tweaking to gain a few percent more performance.

      Umm, no. Check out Steam's hardware survey sometime. The most common CPU speed is ~2.5ghz and the most common number of cores is 2. There is definitely an enthusiast gaming market, but Valve isnt really serving it. Valve is serving what is essentially everyone (at the moment.)

  • by aglider (2435074) on Monday October 29, 2012 @11:56AM (#41805317) Homepage
    Maybe only Windows 8 is better on Windows 8 than on Linux.
    Maybe Unless specifically designed to be the other way around.
  • by dtjohnson (102237) on Monday October 29, 2012 @11:59AM (#41805373)

    The problem with Windows 8 is that it isn't the best choice for anything anymore. Want to run old Windows apps? Want to run old games? Want to develop new games (as in TFA)? Want to run current Windows apps? Want a tested, stable Windows platform? Want a minimal hardware Windows platform? Whatever your question, there are better alternatives than Windows 8. Microsoft has really dug themselves into a deep hole at the moment...and the implications for the future are breathtaking.

  • by ab_iron (622116) on Monday October 29, 2012 @11:59AM (#41805377) Journal
    The heading is somewhat misleading. I think that this should be clarified that Linux provides a better environment for game development. Linux has not actually hit that tipping point of having more available games.
  • Steam is already an effective and popular app store on Windows. And they hope to become the proprietary app store on Linux. That's why Valve is so dead against Windows 8 - Microsoft could take away their status as the app store.

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Monday October 29, 2012 @12:00PM (#41805423) Homepage

    Roll another Debian-a-like, tailor it to games, market it through Steam to Windows users and say "Why update to Windows 8? Here's a free OS. Live boot it and see if you like it."

    Disclaimer: the author is tired of keeping a creaking XP partition going just for Steam, and would bite their hand off to get in on a beta and help out.

  • it is not an open platform anymore

    What the fuck are you talking about? I'm running windows 8 right now with with your piece of shit bloatware steam running constantly in the background. If that's not an open platform maybe I don't understand what an open platform is. Just because MS has a program exactly like your program, but not as intrusive, you have to go around name calling? I'm not a fan of the Win8 market program, and I'll most likely never use it, but that doesn't "close" the OS. The OS works just like every other windows OS. You can install still anything you like on it.

  • by WilliamGeorge (816305) on Monday October 29, 2012 @02:14PM (#41808059)

    It is pretty much identical to Windows 7's gaming performance, with some minor exceptions (which will likely be fixed with driver updates or game patches over time). Don't just take my word for it either, check out the conclusion to this article from TomsHardware:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/windows-8-gaming-performance,3331-13.html [tomshardware.com]

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