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As we speculated previously, Valve have now officially announced their new version of 'Steam Play' for Linux gaming using a modified distribution of Wine called Proton, which is available on GitHub.

What does it do? In short: it allows you to play Windows games on Linux, directly through the Steam client as if they were a Linux game.

What many people suspected turned out to be true, DXVK development was actually funded by Valve. They actually employed the DXVK developer since February 2018. On top of that, they also helped to fund: vkd3d (Direct3D 12 implementation based on Vulkan), OpenVR and Steamworks native API bridges, wined3d performance and functionality fixes for Direct3D 9 and Direct3D 11 and more.

The amount of work that has gone into this—it's ridiculous.

Here's what they say it improves:

  • Windows games with no Linux version currently available can now be installed and run directly from the Linux Steam client, complete with native Steamworks and OpenVR support.
  • DirectX 11 and 12 implementations are now based on Vulkan, resulting in improved game compatibility and reduced performance impact.
  • Fullscreen support has been improved: fullscreen games will be seamlessly stretched to the desired display without interfering with the native monitor resolution or requiring the use of a virtual desktop.
  • Improved game controller support: games will automatically recognize all controllers supported by Steam. Expect more out-of-the-box controller compatibility than even the original version of the game.
  • Performance for multi-threaded games has been greatly improved compared to vanilla Wine.

It currently has a limited set of games that are supported, but even so it's quite an impressive list that they're putting out there. Which includes DOOM, FINAL FANTASY VI, Into The Breach, NieR: Automata, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, Star Wars: Battlefront 2 and more. They will enable many more titles as progress on it all continues.

To be clear, this is available right now. To get it, you need to be in the Steam Client Beta.

There will be drawbacks, like possible performance issues and games that rely on some DRM might likely never be supported, but even so the amount of possibilities this opens up has literally split my head open with Thor's mighty hammer.

Read more here.

Holy shit. Please excuse the language, but honestly, I'm physically shaking right now I don't quite know how to process this.

Update #1: I spoke to Valve earlier, about how buying Windows games to play with this system counts, they said this:

Hey Liam, the normal algorithm is in effect, so if at the end of the two weeks you have more playtime on Linux, it'll be a Linux sale. Proton counts as Linux.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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572 comments
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Arehandoro 22 Aug, 2018
I didn't have time to try Proton/Steam Play yet but I'm guessing this also means full SteamLink support, isn't it? If this is the case, I'm even happier.

As commented earlier in the post, I really hope GOG also starts wrapping more games with the available tools. For instance, albeit late, it would be a nice gesture towards Linux peace to do it with The Withcer 3. I guess my games in Origin (Mass Effect Saga) won't have the same luck, but still.

Happy days.
Leopard 22 Aug, 2018
Quoting: Alm888
Quoting: ColomboVulcan(sic) is already well-developed product with a strong corporate backing (Valve) that seems to be more adopted than DX12. The only way Microsoft might fight this is making proprietary extension for Vulcan(sic).
We can only hope Vulkan prevails it the end but so far I'm not convinced this already happened. I've been monitoring news (in my country) regarding DX12 vs. Vulkan on the "General Purpose" gaming news sites (i.e. Windows™-centric) and so far an average Joe constantly hears about DirectX™ 12 while there is almost no news regarding Vulkan. The Vulkan news I've found, ironically, were panic-inducing ones (regarding Nvidia's new ray-racing features only working in DirectX™ and not in Vulkan).

The biggest shot in the foot Microsoft® made was "DirectX™ 12 Windows™ 10 lock-in". :D

It is already opposite in my country.

1-) Doom 2016 was a huge successful Vulkan marketing when it got update for Vulkan. Because that literally blown minds of AMD users , thanks to performance benefits.

2-) Wolfenstein 2 also received good attention too. People got introduced " Vulkan exclusive " term.

3-) Many emulators also introduced them Vulkan. RPCS3 , PPSSPP , Dolphin were notable ones. Also Cemu emulator ( Windows only ) is looking into Vulkan possibility. Right now it is on OGL and many AMD users just learned about Mesa OGL because of that.

4-) Probably Doom Eternal will be another Vulkan exclusive.

5-) Pretty sure CS GO will be updated to Vulkan. And other incoming Valve games too.
legluondunet 22 Aug, 2018
The compatibility list is far bigger than the whitelist, few of my windows games don't work with Proton.
A lot of windows games need a lot of tweak to run on Linux, but on Steam you install it and it just works!
Dragon Age, Assassin SCreed, Bioshock remastered, Need fo speed, Skyrim...
It's a lot of work to obtain this result, Steam team had work hard this last year (or more).
Wine team should be proud of what happened today, their product, a pure FOSS borned on Linux plateform, will help Linux users (even Macosx users) to play games with ease and comfort.
Less time to test and tweak game means more time to play.


Last edited by legluondunet on 22 August 2018 at 9:55 am UTC
libgradev 22 Aug, 2018
Quoting: pb
Quoting: chancho_zombieso many games to download I need a new hard drive ^_^

Word.


You need help :D
tonR 22 Aug, 2018
Totally Linux newbie questions... Should I try it?

Very tempting to play The Sims 3....
libgradev 22 Aug, 2018
Quoting: Luke_Nukem
Quoting: Spud13ySo I guess this is how gaming on Linux will die.

No... It won't.

This means that all those people who said "But muh Windoz gamezs!!!" no longer have that excuse to not try Linux. This plus the use of Proton counting as a Linux sale means GOOD THINGS!

This ^^

Making more Windows titles easily available will encourage people over to Linux. Which in turn will increase user base and make native ports more, not less, likely.
libgradev 22 Aug, 2018
Oh and this is fucking amazing news ^_^ (no apologies for swears) :D
Mal 22 Aug, 2018
  • Supporter
Quoting: mirooh well, I am really not that happy as most people.

from now on I'm really afraid that too many publishers will use this as an excuse not to provide native linux builds in case it runs "well enough" with proton/wine.

since this is now to be built-in, most people will not have to understand what wine even is, they will take the running binary for granted. hence what is to expect is less performance and continuous direct x instead of opengl or vulkan

this would totally be acceptable for older/legacy titles, but I really think too many will jump on that train that it runs with proton and that there is no need to compile it for linux.
we'll see.

I am torn.

The fundamentalist half of me tells me exactly what you wrote.

But the pragmatic half invites me to look at reality: for linux now it's not an issue of technology anymore. It's very possible to develop new titles to be portable an native. Why is not happening then? You all know why. Market share. That cold heartless numbers that will convince the board dudes that there actually people out there willing to buy your linux version. Infact Valve confirmed that wine will count as linux.

If we have to deal with the devil for these numbers so be it. What has linux world to lose anyway? We're stuck in a limbo. If it works good. If it backfires screw it. I'll change hobby to bird watching,
Whitewolfe80 22 Aug, 2018
Quoting: liamdaweTried Star Wars: Battlefront 2 and yup, works like any other game. Tried S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat (not on Valve's official list) and also worked like a dream.

Sadly, Skyrim Special Edition didn't give me any NPC voices, so that was a bit of a bust for now.

Doom is going to take forever to download, so I think it might be time to get some sleep and gather my thoughts...

Play Skyrim the normal version with the hd texture pack ran no problem for me with full controller support the special edition is problematic due to changes in the game code and new texture mapping etc
miro 22 Aug, 2018
Quoting: Mal
Quoting: mirooh well, I am really not that happy as most people.

from now on I'm really afraid that too many publishers will use this as an excuse not to provide native linux builds in case it runs "well enough" with proton/wine.

since this is now to be built-in, most people will not have to understand what wine even is, they will take the running binary for granted. hence what is to expect is less performance and continuous direct x instead of opengl or vulkan

this would totally be acceptable for older/legacy titles, but I really think too many will jump on that train that it runs with proton and that there is no need to compile it for linux.
we'll see.

I am torn.

The fundamentalist half of me tells me exactly what you wrote.

But the pragmatic half invites me to look at reality: for linux now it's not an issue of technology anymore. It's very possible to develop new titles to be portable an native. Why is not happening then? You all know why. Market share. That cold heartless numbers that will convince the board dudes that there actually people out there willing to buy your linux version. Infact Valve confirmed that wine will count as linux.

If we have to deal with the devil for these numbers so be it. What has linux world to lose anyway? We're stuck in a limbo. If it works good. If it backfires screw it. I'll change hobby to bird watching,

well I am not pessimistic about this, surely it will do lots and lots of good.
I am just afraid that too many people will blame "linux" for the less performance and more bugs, not understanding that this is not a native build, that there is dx->vulkan translation and .dll emulation aka at least one additional layer which makes things slower and more buggy.

for whom mentioned that even native binaries can be or are slower: do not forget that graphics card vendors heavily optimize their GPUs for directX - OpenGL was always secondary, I hope this will totally change with vulkan since it became more and more important for everyone, not just linux.

However, I think directX will be the main priority for a long time, there is too much market share and the GPU instruction sets needed for DX are already very well tested, where vulkan is too new and OpenGL with too little market share.

The good news in this good news is that it counts as a linux sale, that is quite something, but I'd like to know how/when exactly?

- what if a game is _not_ marked as proton-compatible, one nevertheless buys it and plays it with proton?
- or do games have to be marked as compatible + bought with steam running on linux?

the first case would mean that only those games that are greenlit for steam play do count as a linux sale and the others not.

liamdawe, could you clarify with valve?
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