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Google plans their own version of Wine to run Windows games on Stadia

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Stadia is something we don't really talk about here too much now, as Google has let it slide considerably from the original aim but it's still going and it seems Google still has some interesting plans for it.

There's an upcoming Google For Games Dev Summit on March 15, which includes Android and Stadia. For the Stadia service that runs on Debian Linux, Google has a few talks including "Play Testing Made Easy on Stadia", "Stadia Adventures in slow server code on Unity" and "Profiling on Stadia" but the perhaps bigger one is titled "How to write a Windows emulator for Linux from scratch?" that notes:

Detailed overview of the technology behind Google's solution for running unmodified Windows games on Stadia. This is a deep technical walkthrough of some of the core concepts with the goal to allow curious programmers to better understand such technologies and potentially to build their own.

We don't know yet if it will be open source but the bigger question perhaps is why they didn't go with all the existing code that has already proven itself? We are of course talking about Wine / Proton, DXVK and VKD3D-Proton which powers Windows games on Linux desktop and the Steam Deck. It's already shown to have great performance.

It's an obvious move for Stadia though to help increase the game library, the same reason Valve created Proton from Wine to bring more games to Linux systems. We'll be taking a look over the talk on March 15 and will make some notes for you.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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56 comments
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How curious.
kokoko3k 10 Mar
Quoting: Maximilian_KorberHow curious.
Ahah, your avatar next to that sentence is hilarious in this particular context
Linas 10 Mar
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I would be shocked if they actually wrote an emulator from scratch. Maybe it is something more akin to the infamous eON from Virtual Programming? Very curious indeed.

Although I fully expect that Google will not release the source code, and that we will benefit from it not at all.
If they DO plan to write it from scratch, I'm betting that Amazon's Proton plans will get to market long before Google.
AsciiWolf 10 Mar
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One of the good things about Stadia was that it could potentially bring new native Linux ports (that could also be made available for regular GNU/Linux systems outside of Stadia). And for Stadia users, it was also much better because these ports were optimised for Stadia - basically a custom console-like ports. Google is killing all of this now and bringing a GeForce Now-like experience to Stadia (but you will have to buy the games again, unlike GeForce Now). I understand their reasons (they are trying to save a dying platform which Stadia sadly is), but this is not a good thing at all, at least in my opinion.
DebianUser 10 Mar
Quoting: AsciiWolfOne of the good things about Stadia was that it could potentially bring new native Linux ports (that could also be made available for regular GNU/Linux systems outside of Stadia). And for Stadia users, it was also much better because these ports were optimised for Stadia - basically a custom console-like ports. Google is killing all of this now and bringing a GeForce Now-like experience to Stadia (but you will have to buy the games again, unlike GeForce Now). I understand their reasons (they are trying to save a dying platform which Stadia sadly is), but this is not a good thing at all, at least in my opinion.

"One of the good things about Stadia was that it could potentially bring new native Linux ports"

That's what I thought, but if we look behind, how many games Stadia has bring to the Linux market ?
99% of the Stadia games remains like this.. a potential.. but without real effect.
Publishers just see Stadia as an opportunity to have the ultimate DRM, nothing more.


Last edited by DebianUser on 10 March 2022 at 1:21 pm UTC
Linas 10 Mar
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Quoting: AsciiWolfOne of the good things about Stadia was that it could potentially bring new native Linux ports (that could also be made available for regular GNU/Linux systems outside of Stadia).
Unfortunately we have seen none of that as none of the games that were ported to Stadia came to desktop Linux afterwards.

I remember developers commenting that Stadia is quite different from desktop Linux. I have no idea what is actually different, but I could easily imagine that they have their own stuff for input handling, rendering, etc. You know, just like Android is technically a Linux system under the hood, but the API's that you are actually coding against are completely custom.
disterp 10 Mar
If they're talking about "write a Windows emulator for Linux" then it can't be something like Wine, because Wine is not an emulator, is it?
Shmerl 10 Mar
I'm highly skeptical they'll pull off their own Wine alternative there without reusing anything. But I guess we'll see.
RichardYao 10 Mar
Quoting: disterpIf they're talking about "write a Windows emulator for Linux" then it can't be something like Wine, because Wine is not an emulator, is it?

Wine originally stood for WINdows Emulator and did releases on an emulation newsgroup. The complaint about not being an emulator is to distinguish it from hardware emulation. However, OS emulation is also a form of emulation and the wine developers are unique in refusing to acknowledge that they are doing OS emulation.
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