Five years ago on this day, Valve released Steam for Linux in a limited Beta form for a lucky bunch of users. It's been quite a ride, hasn't it?
For those who weren't around or don't remember, Valve started by putting up a survey to gather testers for the upcoming Beta release. What they didn't expect, was over 60K people signing up to become a tester. The initial release only had around 30 games available for Linux, but look at us now at around 3.8K (give or take a few that show up, but haven't actually released). This month alone, we've already seen around 20 games release with Linux support and we're only on the 6th!
We've got masses of indie games, a few AAA titles (and hopefully more big titles to come!) and all sorts of genres available on Linux. With thanks to the likes of Virtual Programming, Aspyr Media, Feral Interactive, Ethan Lee, Ryan Gordon, Aaron Melcher and many more helping to bring titles to Linux. There's plenty of junk released for Linux now too as well, but thankfully now there's a lot of choice when it comes to good games.
Going by the date of the limited Steam beta for Linux, we've published close to nine thousand articles. We've actually hit over nine thousand right now, but the amount we put out increased dramatically since Steam arrived. There's just so much to report on for Linux gaming, it's truly crazy.
In a few days, on the 10th of November, it will also mark two years since SteamOS, Steam Machines and the Steam Controller were officially released. I still remember how completely underwhelmed I was by the launch, as I'm sure many of you were as well. You can pry my Steam Controller from my cold, dead hands though as I love it.
It still remains to be seen what Valve intends to do with SteamOS and Steam Machines, hopefully some sort of re-release. I think if they did a Steam Machine themselves where they controlled the pricing and everything else, it could go down a lot better than the wildly varying machines we've seen previously. There's probably a lot of issues with doing it that way though, for it to pay off Valve would need to market it a lot better and there would need to be more timely game releases for bigger titles (and more!).
While Steam Machines didn't go the way we hoped, they've obviously moved Linux gaming further along than anything else ever did.
What are you most looking forward to for Linux gaming over the next year? How do you feel about the current situation? Open up the in the comments, but please do remember to be respectful to your fellow users.
Let's also never forget Steam for Linux bug #3671.