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Ask Slashdot: Is Linux Set To Be PC Gaming's Number Two Platform? 281

monkeyhybrid writes "Following a tweet from the developer of Maia (a cross platform game soon to hit Steam) that Linux was bringing him more game sales than OS X. Gaming On Linux decided to investigate further by reaching out to multiple developers for platform sales statistics. Although the findings and developer comments show Linux sales to still be sitting in third place, behind those of OS X and Windows, they are showing promise. Developer feedback certainly appears to be positive about the platform's future. With Steam OS on its way, surely leading to more big title releases making their way to the Linux platform, could Linux gaming be set to take the number two spot from Apple?"
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Ask Slashdot: Is Linux Set To Be PC Gaming's Number Two Platform?

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  • Betteridge says... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Laxori666 ( 748529 ) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @08:04PM (#46105491) Homepage
  • by Volguus Zildrohar ( 1618657 ) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @08:41PM (#46105837)

    On the Maia website, for system requirements:


  • by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @09:03PM (#46106007)

    To keep this debate from collapsing into one of definitions [], I'll offer some. In the retro-gaming community, an "emulator" simulates the operation of an entire computer, using an interpreter or dynamic recompiler to simulate the CPU. This emulator imposes a substantial performance penalty. For example, DOSBox and Bochs are emulators. Wine, on the other hand, is just a set of libraries that run on your existing machine; the application's code runs natively. VirtualBox and VMware are somewhere in the middle as "virtual machine monitors", which execute unprivileged code directly and recompile privileged code into the same instruction set but without use of privileged instructions.

    Let me put it another way: If you think Wine is an emulator, then Qt is an emulator too if I install it on a GTK+ based distribution like Ubuntu or Xubuntu, and GTK+ is an emulator if I install it on Kubuntu.

    To keep this debate from collapsing into one of definitions, you offered a specific definition of the term as used by a specific niche of people in a specific sector instead of the actual definition.

    Emulator. Noun. One that emulates. See emulate.
    Emulate. Verb. To rival.

    WINE emulates an implementation of the Win32 API. Whether you use the actual definition (rivals) or the typically-accepted incorrect definition (imitates) it holds true. Even when you use the sector-specific jargon of a computer system implementing the functionality of another computer system, there is no stipulation that an emulator must be software and the emulatee must be hardware. All computer systems are ultimately a combination of hardware and software - the line is irrelevant and often blurred (see firmware).
    WINE is an emulator.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @09:19PM (#46106155)

    Q: Didn't you tell me to develop for Ubuntu? Do I need to install Debian to build for SteamOS?
    A: All Steam applications execute using the Steam Runtime which is a fixed binary-compatibility layer for Linux applications. This enables any application to run on any Linux distribution that supports the Steam Runtime without recompiling.

  • by tepples ( 727027 ) <{tepples} {at} {}> on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @09:24PM (#46106195) Homepage Journal
    If you use that definition, then nothing on Linux can be native because Linux is a UNIX emulator.
  • by Guspaz ( 556486 ) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @10:40PM (#46106675)

    Here's one set of benchmarks from a guy who did it using a rather indirect way involving a thunderbolt-to-expresscard adapter combined with an expresscard-to-pcie adapter: []

    And here's a guy who did it more directly using a thunderbolt-to-pcie adapter: []

    You can see the benchmarks there for yourself. External monitor benchmarks are higher, probably because of the extra copying that has to go on to use the internal monitor. As an example, the first guy on an 11" 2013 macbook air got 69 FPS running Bioshock Infinite on max settings at 1366x768 (versus 15 FPS on the stock iGPU), and the second guy reported running Battlefield 3 on "Ultra" quality at 40FPS at 1920x1080.

    Is there a big performance hit from doing all this, including using a dual-core ultrabook-class CPU? Sure, but it's hard to argue that the results aren't playable. It certainly proves the concept, and a properly supported solution at an affordable price could make one hell of an improvement to a notebook docking solution. Having the portability of an ultrabook, but docking it at home to your home monitor/speakers/mouse/keyboard/storage/network/etc? That'd be pretty nice. For many people, it might obviate the need to have both a desktop for gaming and a notebook for portability.

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