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Reddit seems to be buzzing with information from SteamDB (full credit to them for finding it) showing indications that Valve might be adding support for compatibility tools to enable you to play games on operating systems they weren't designed for, like Wine.

I won't copy all of it, but a few interesting bits do certainly stick out like the string named "Steam_Settings_Compat_Info" where the description reads "Steam Play will automatically install compatibility tools that allow you to play games from your library that were built for other operating systems.".

There's also "Steam_Settings_Compat_Advanced_Info" which reads as "You may select a compatibility tool to use with games that have not been tested or verified to work on this platform. This may not work as expected, and can cause issues with your games, including crashes and breaking save games."

Valve do also have a Valve Compatibility Manifests and Valve Compatibility Manifests for Beta Testing set of packages that show up on SteamDB.

That certainly sounds like something Wine related, perhaps with a sprinkle of something like DXVK, don't you think? However, it could even just be DOSBox, a Valve-sponsored tool or anything—we simply don't know enough at this point.

Having the ability to use tools like Wine from within the native Linux Steam client, is actually something that has been requested for a long time by quite a number of people. It could certainly make using Wine less of a hassle for Steam games. If so, it might even give developers a better idea of how many people are on different operating systems if it showed up in their statistics when someone's using such a feature.

It might even be quite a smart business move for Valve, as it might push more people to buy games that have a decent enough rating through one of these compatibility tools.

It could all end up being nothing, so take it with your usual pinch of salt. Even if it does end up being a real feature, it could be quite a long way off too. I'm only posting it because I personally found it quite interesting, I'm pretty sceptical about it for a number of reasons, but doesn't stop it being somewhat exciting too.

What are your thoughts?

56 Likes, Who?
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89 comments
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Liothe 14 August 2018 at 11:07 pm UTC
This is something I've been expecting (although not so soon).
I do hope it's true
BFG9000 14 August 2018 at 11:11 pm UTC
If this becomes a real feature and is done well, it could be a real game changer if they make another big GNU/Linux push at the same time.
DamonLinuxPL 14 August 2018 at 11:13 pm UTC
Well this is amazing news but I have been disappointed with such things many times. Worst of all if it will be a compatible profile for running games from xp/vista/7 in Windows 10
liamdawe 14 August 2018 at 11:18 pm UTC
DamonLinuxPLWell this is amazing news but I have been disappointed with such things many times. Worst of all if it will be a compatible profile for running games from xp/vista/7 in Windows 10
You know, it didn't even occur to me (it should have) that it could indeed be for Windows games no longer running on later versions of Windows...

Although, it would be a little amusing if that feature was in both Windows/Linux and used Wine for both. There must be a few games by now that run better in Wine than on the latest version of Windows due to how many changes it's been through. There's a reason we see a lot of remasters coming out after all part of their feature is usually "now works on latest operating systems".
mrdeathjr 14 August 2018 at 11:24 pm UTC
If is a steam native with wine builtin but with valve support will be awesome

Swiftpaw 14 August 2018 at 11:30 pm UTC
Valve will never allow gamers to be able to easily pay money for, and play games, in unsupported ways.

Gamer: "I paid money for this thing that doesn't work!"
Dev: "I...don't support that at all, sorry."
Gamer: "You SUCK!" *WRITES NEGATIVE REVIEW*

The only way this could happen is if developers officially supported whatever thing that was being used, such as Wine. In order for a developer to properly do that, they'd want to control it so they could play test it, so they'd simply release a Wine bottled version of the game, and mark it as being officially supported and released for Linux! Plus, you as a gamer would then want to know which games are officially supported Wine games, so they'd STILL need to mark the game somehow, so again, use the Linux icon and release an official Wine bottle of your game!
neowiz73 14 August 2018 at 11:34 pm UTC
this would be a really nice feature for sure. that way i wouldn't need one or more steam on wine installs in addition to the native steam client. plus if this is done developer side with all the needed tweaks done for you, that would be nice as well.
Comandante Ñoñardo 14 August 2018 at 11:36 pm UTC
Well... Somebody is funding DXVK and the Developer refuse to accept donations, so...
14 15 August 2018 at 12:14 am UTC
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GuestOh please no. Please don't let this happen Valve. We don't need more people playing Windows games. Wine is the worst what ever happened to Linux gaming. We need the opposite, Wine users should be banned or disadvantaged somehow. DXVK development is something that should stop immediately. R.I.P. Linux.
Sounds like you've been radicalized. Please don't expect everyone to join you at your level.
Swiftpaw 15 August 2018 at 12:20 am UTC
GuestOh please no. Please don't let this happen Valve. We don't need more people playing Windows games. Wine is the worst what ever happened to Linux gaming. We need the opposite, Wine users should be banned or disadvantaged somehow. DXVK development is something that should stop immediately. R.I.P. Linux.

You're missing some key points about this. This COULD be a good thing, but either way you don't need to fear, and here's why. From my post above:

QuoteThe only way this could happen is if developers officially supported whatever thing that was being used, such as Wine. In order for a developer to properly do that, they'd want to control it so they could play test it, so they'd simply release a Wine bottled version of the game, and mark it as being officially supported and released for Linux! Plus, you as a gamer would then want to know which games are officially supported Wine games, so they'd STILL need to mark the game somehow, so again, use the Linux icon and release an official Wine bottle of your game!

Regardless of how it was done, Valve can't just make all Windows games playable in Wine with magic, there has to be official support for whatever it is from the developers. Valve can't force developers to suddenly support a new platform, whether that's Linux+Wine, or whatever. Developers have to decide to do that, and then communicate that in an official, legal way on Steam, and that way should always be with a SteamOS/Tux/Linux icon on the game's store page. If the developers do provide that support, the game better run well and be bug-free, otherwise it's going to get bad reviews, plain and simple. If more developers release Wine bottles that are done right and are good games, that's a good thing and not something any of us have to fear. If native Linux games that don't use Wine bottles perform better, some devs will do that instead. There's still incentive to make gaming on Linux be a thing, no matter how that is done, and that's not something that will ever go away!


Last edited by Swiftpaw at 15 August 2018 at 12:25 am UTC. Edited 2 times.
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