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Steam For Linux Will Launch In 2012 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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Steam For Linux Will Launch In 2012

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @08:50AM (#40218205)

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

  • by buanzo ( 542591 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @08:54AM (#40218241) Homepage
    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.
  • that sucking sound (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Phoenix666 ( 184391 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @09:06AM (#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...

  • by dark12222000 ( 1076451 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @09:07AM (#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:Windows 8 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bigstrat2003 ( 1058574 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @09:18AM (#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.

  • by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <joham999@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @09:33AM (#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.

  • How about no? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Robert Zenz ( 1680268 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @09:38AM (#40218613) Homepage
    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?!
  • by VGPowerlord ( 621254 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @09:43AM (#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.

  • by TigerTime ( 626140 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @09:58AM (#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.

  • by LateArthurDent ( 1403947 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @10:30AM (#40219155)

    Yes. Steam already has the market.

    I hope not. I'm hoping Linux users are more anti-DRM than that, and that Steam crashes and burns.

  • by hendridm ( 302246 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @10:35AM (#40219231) Homepage

    Nearly all people don't give a rip about Slashdot pundits. They buy a PC at Best Buy or Dell.com's "For Home" section and it comes with Windows. Done deal.

    I'm a Linux advocate, but come on! To suggest that Uncle Larry will switch to Linux because she doesn't like the tile interface is absurd!

  • by Svartalf ( 2997 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @10:40AM (#40219305) Homepage

    And some were native out of the box by the studio and some were ported by myself.

  • by Baloroth ( 2370816 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @11:25AM (#40219911)

    I wish Valve would issue an IPO so that I could invest.

    No, you don't, because then Valve would be forced to answer to investors, which means a focus on quarterly-earnings, which means rushed games and restrictive DRM and bullshit like that. Look at what happened to Ubisoft, EA, and Activision-Blizzard. Valve manages to be better than most of the other publishers in large part because they are a privately owned company who can afford to mess around if they want (and because of their unique management structure, i.e. they don't have one). Also means their employees are extremely well paid, which pays off in the long run with talented employees sticking around.

  • by Tyr07 ( 2300912 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @11:58AM (#40220327) Homepage

    Really? You don't think Joe computer would use linux because he doesn't like how the other one looks?

    Hello, have you seen mac users?

    Apple made a teal case that was partially see through so it was cool and 'future' so it made people feel self important. Thus the mac user was born.
    Now that I've teased the mac users out there, yes I know there's a lot of things macs are good at and more power to you if they work for you.
    But like religion, keep thy mac to thy self.

    Do not underestimate what trival thing people will switch because of. I work on IT. You know how choked people get if they have to two one extra button
    to do something?

  • by Belial6 ( 794905 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @12:45PM (#40221133)
    The people that have a problem with games being ported via Wine are really shooting themselves in the foot. Modern software is loaded with layer after layer of abstraction. Wine is just one more layer. If the game is tested and works, there is no good reason to care how it was coded. The standard "It doesn't run as good as if it was written native" has two answers. 1) Ported via Wine certainly runs better than not written at all native. 2) No. It doesn't. Fewer abstraction layers will sometimes bring faster code, but 'native' does not mean fewer abstraction layers. We are way past the point of developers eeking out every last bit of performance from the hardware. We are well into the age when developers use abstraction layers to ease development. And that is all Wine is in this case.
  • by sound+vision ( 884283 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @04:12PM (#40224339) Journal
    "Avoiding Vista" is worlds away from "Actively seeking out Linux." The mantra last time around was "Stick with XP", this time around it'll just be "Stick with 7". (Or, in 10-15%, still stick with XP...) You say Linux has been progressing, and I'd like to know how you're measuring that progress. (No, I don't want to hear about Android. People don't know it's Linux-derived, plus we're talking about x86 desktops, not ARM smartphones.)

    I, even being a techie, have actually moved farther away from Linux. There was a point around 2005-2006 where I actually used Gentoo as my primary desktop OS - Then Elder Scrolls 4 came out and I didn't want to reboot and switch operating systems all the time. These days, with Win 7, the experience of using Windows has improved to a point where I don't even think about Linux anymore unless I'm doing server stuff. The stability, ease of use, vastly improved GUI (both functionally and aesthetically) - are all so much better than they were at the low point of the XP/early-Vista days.

    As far as the games go.. OK, we're getting L4D2 and the Steam client on Linux, that's great. Way to go, Valve. But will I be able to play Max Payne 3? No. Skyrim? No. Dragon Age 3? No. Grand Theft Auto? No. Civilization 5? No. Linux still isn't going to cut it for gamers. Windows is the gamer's OS because of it's huge library. One, two, or even a dozen games isn't going to change that.

    Really, we've got a hard time getting developers to even do proper Windows ports these days... Seems like the games that do end up on Windows still tell you to move the left analog stick while holding the B-button...
  • by westyvw ( 653833 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @08:02PM (#40227205)

    Thank you for that. I use Linux, I buy the bundles. I will pay for Linux gaming. Thank you again.

The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable. -- John Kenneth Galbraith