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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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  • Maia and Linux (Score:5, Interesting)

    by blackraven14250 ( 902843 ) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @08:09PM (#46105537)
    Maia isn't a game that's "soon to be released". Maia is in a very early alpha stage with very little of the final functionality - you'd expect Linux to be over represented in that particular sample.
  • Unknown sources (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tepples ( 727027 ) <{tepples} {at} {}> on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @08:15PM (#46105607) Homepage Journal
    As I understand what I've read, Steam OS allows the user to exit the Steam client, run GNOME, and install games from unknown sources. Android (both Google Play and Fire OS flavors) likewise lets users install games from unknown sources. The odd man out here is iOS.
  • by asmkm22 ( 1902712 ) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @08:21PM (#46105681)

    The problem is that Linux still needs a baseline distro for developers to target. Ubuntu had a lot of promise until the last few years where it's been shifted to target every device *except* desktops. Not to mention the weird shit they've been pushing like ads in the OS.

    I'd really like to see something to the effect of a Linux Gaming Standard, where as long as certain structural conditions are met within any given distro, developers could simply target those standards and build their rpm/deb packages and not have to worry about supporting Ubuntu specifically. I'm talking things like specific libraries and drivers that need to be present for "Linux Gaming Standard" certification, so that people aren't having to worry about hunting down the right repo by blindly copy/pasting some forum suggestion for someone else into their terminal hoping to make magic happen.

  • by tepples ( 727027 ) <{tepples} {at} {}> on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @08:22PM (#46105685) Homepage Journal

    Sure Linux has Wine support but I would prefer to have native support instead.

    Wine is not an emulator but a reimplementation of the Win32 API. So long as the developer of a video game or other application tests its product on Wine, it's just another toolkit, just as GTK+ and Qt and SDL are toolkits. In such a case, I don't see how an app running in Wine is any less "native" than, say, a Qt app running on a GTK+-based distribution. If you complain instead that not enough developers and publishers of games designed for Windows care about Wine compatibility, I can agree with that complaint though. Is that what you're trying to say?

  • by Guspaz ( 556486 ) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @08:39PM (#46105825)

    Annoyingly, you'd be able to use discrete graphics cards with any modern Mac if Apple would stop refusing to license thunderbolt PCIe bays. Benchmarks (via enthusiasts hacking together solutions) show that even a Macbook Air can provide good gaming performance (5x or more the framerate of the iGPU) when connected to a high-end graphics card via Thunderbolt (even on the internal display). Since Apple refuses to license them, however, you're restricted to doing it under bootcamp with expensive enterprise-targeted enclosures.

    In other words, there is no technical reason why you couldn't simply plug an external discrete GPU into any Mac and instantly get massively improved gaming performance. Apple is actively blocking such things.

  • by KiloByte ( 825081 ) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @08:44PM (#46105857)

    Wine: an emulator of the win32 API+ABI on POSIX+X.
    WinXP/Vista/7/8: an emulator of the win32 API+ABI on NT.

    Neither is native in this sense.

  • Linux is GPL 2.0 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TrollstonButterbeans ( 2914995 ) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @08:48PM (#46105885)
    Linux is GPL 2.0. General Public License 2.0 does not have the "2.0 or any greater version clause" so Linux can't have a viral open source lock-down like GPL 3.0 and Linus Torvalds doesn't seem interested or able (the contributions to GPL 2.0 *cannot be relicensed to GPL 2.1 or GPL 3.0*

    So things like Android and Steam OS aren't going to bring Linux style "freedom".

    You can still do TIVOization and use the operating system itself but also have proprietary stuff (think NVIDIA Linux video card drivers.

    So in some ways these Linux "forks" that are gaming solution, and these are important, aren't necessarily "open source" or "freedom" wins. Still, there are very few good reasons why gaming needs to be on Windows --- and I am thankful for Linux gaming stepping forward.

    But I'm a realist and I understand that due to the above, don't think Linux solutions are the absence of evil in these scenarios.

    There are and WILL be strings, unlike the operating system itself. Correct me if I am wrong, but I'm pretty sure I am correct --- and please only people that know what they are talking about (so thank you in advance!).
  • by steveha ( 103154 ) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @09:00PM (#46105969) Homepage

    Linux still needs a baseline distro for developers to target.

    I think Linux has one now; it's called SteamOS. I've said this before: []

    John Carmack has talked, in the past, about the insane difficulty of packaging games for Linux. There are so many distros out there. Well, SteamOS solves that problem.

    I predict that game developers who support SteamOS will not accept bug reports filed against any other distro; instead they will tell the user "it runs fine on SteamOS, so tell your distro it needs to get compatible."

    I am fine with the above, as long as SteamOS is free and open. Well, it is. So I think this is the best possible news for Linux gaming.

  • by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @09:25PM (#46106217) Homepage Journal

    I would think Linux already has taken #2 if you include Android game apps.

"My sense of purpose is gone! I have no idea who I AM!" "Oh, my God... You've.. You've turned him into a DEMOCRAT!" -- Doonesbury