Linux Gaming Inches Closer to Reality

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linux-logoThere are games on Linux but the selection available is paltry compared to Windows. And the reasons why the selection is so limited is due to lack of middleware support and the dominance of DirectX.

Crytek have ported their CryEngine to Linux and will be demonstrating its capabilities at GDC 2014 next week. I’m curious if it will perform better than the DirectX version.

Valve is continuing their efforts to sway the masses away from Microsoft and DirectX with “ToGL“, a DirectX to OpenGL translation layer. It’s limited to DirectX 9.0c for now but it’s a start. If developers can just flip a switch and port to OpenGL with minimal effort, they would be more inclined to support Linux.

All these efforts sound good but how long would it take before we see day and date high profile releases from the likes of Activision and Electronic Arts?

Thoughts on the Future of Steam

steam_logoLast week Valve rolled out teasers and announcements concerning their future plans for Steam. After a week of contemplation and speculation, I thought I would pen down some of my thoughts.

At first blush

I have to stress that these announcements were leaning closer to the teaser side. Specifics? There were none. Most of what Valve announced could fit within Twitter’s 140 character limit and you have the complete picture.

It felt like these announcements were premature and were drawn out for no good reason. Valve started with Steam OS, which was light on information already, and then moved onto something with even less info, the Steam Machines. On the bright side, the Steam Controller divulged the most information but it was also the one that caused the most ruckus on the forums.

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Valve’s Steam OS Announced

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Valve announced their very own Linux distribution today. Steam OS will be geared for living room machines and offer the following:

  • Improved audio and graphics performance
  • Reduced latency
  • Home streaming solution for games not compatible with Linux
  • Media streaming

Of course, as with all Linux distributions, this will be free.

Will this succeed? I hope so but I have many, many doubts which I will keep to myself for now. Valve still has a couple of Steam related announcements to unveil. I suspect one will be hardware related.

Checkpoint: Certified Linux Admin Edition


I’m now a Red Hat Certified System Administrator. It wasn’t something I sought out; I was offered the opportunity and said: why not? Even after this first certification (going to take the RHCSE in a week) I’m still not a big fan of Linux in a role other than server.

User friendliness and compatibility with games I care about is a big road block for me. Red Hat, Fedora and CentOS distributions are just not very user friendly. Ubuntu is superior in the friendliness department but it too doesn’t supplant Windows or Mac OS X in my books. As for game compatibility? That’s a huge issue at the moment — even id Software who were big supporters of Linux in the past didn’t release a version of RAGE on Linux. If I were to pick a Unix based OS to switchover to, I would choose Mac OS X. At least Apple’s operating system is actually on the radar of high profile game developers.

I haven’t incorporated a Linux distribution into my home network and I don’t have any plans to do so. If/when I go through with my VMWare project, I’m planning to run it with FreeNAS, Mac OS X and Windows Server 2012 but since Plex Media Server is working so well with Windows Server 2012, I don’t know if that’s going to happen any time soon.

I just finished the last level of Rayman: Origins but I’m not 100% done with the game. It’s one of those titles that I’m going to 100%. I have Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, God of War: Ascension, Tomb Raider and a copy of BioShock: Infinite coming but I’m still playing Rayman.

Oh and Mechwarrior: Online. I can’t put that down either.

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