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."
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?