Valve has revealed that it’s working on bringing its Steam gaming system to Linux computers. It’ll hopefully mean an end to awkward attempts to run Steam games via Windows emulators.
The project is very much in the early stages and the idea will be to get it working well with one specific set-up before spreading it more widely. The initial project will be to get a Steam client on Ubuntu 12.04, the most recent stable release of arguably the most popular Linux client.
A dedicated Valve team has already ported Left For Dead 2 to Ubuntu, so this will be the first game available. Though it already works on the system, there’ll be further work before release to improve performance and have it run smoothly at a high frame rate.
The prospects of extending coverage to other flavors of Linux depend on the success of the initial project (technical and/or commercial.)
The news has been welcomed by Valve’s more dedicated followers, a good proportion of which report that gaming is the only reason they ever boot into Windows.
It’s not the only expansion of focus for Valve. The newly released Steam app for Android devices lists a range of genres other than games, ranging from Accounting to Photo Editing. How many titles will appear in these categories isn’t yet clear, but it does appear Steam could effectively become an app store in itself.
That’s particularly intriguing given the company has just launched Greenlight, a system by which users can vote on which in-development games they like the look of and the highest rated will get priority approval and promotion in Steam. Such a system could work well as a filter for the sheer number of Android applications.