On Wednesday, courtesy of the r/linux-gaming subreddit, it was discovered that there might be a possibility that Valve is working on a compatibility hook to enable PC games that run in Windows to run in Linux OSes. This seems like par for the course for Valve in a lot of ways, especially since the gaming company wanted to push Steam into the living room via the (wildly unsuccessful) SteamOS.
In the subreddit, there are some text strings that refer to things such as “compatibility tools,” that if used will let Linux users run Windows-specific titles. It shares similarities with Wine, the well known Windows program emulator, but in this case, Valve would be supporting and managing this. Obviously, some games will work better than others, that is a given. But before you get ready to throw your Windows installation away – you shouldn’t anyway, because Windows supports way more programs – Ars Technica makes the extremely valid point that finding code doesn’t particularly mean that it is close to an official rollout of the technology. Ars Technica also states that games running on SteamOS “tend to take a performance hit” compared to the same titles on Windows, so adding another tool to the mix could make those problems worse.
With Valve still “actively working hard” on SteamOS, as well as “other Linux initiatives” that they’re not ready to reveal, it seems that Valve still wishes to make Linux a more valuable OS for gamers and users.
Editor’s Note: As much as I appreciate Linux, there is a lot of undeniably inane talk about how Windows will take a hit if Valve gets Linux to easily run Windows games. I’m not one hundred percent sure that this will change the landscape in any significant way, however, if you’re like Gabe Newell – and just don’t like Microsoft, PERIOD – I have no doubt you’ll be waiting with bated breath. I hope it’s moderately successful, regardless.