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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?

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Tags: Steam, Valve
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Liothe 14 Aug, 2018
This is something I've been expecting (although not so soon).
I do hope it's true
BFG9000 14 Aug, 2018
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 Aug, 2018
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 :D
Liam Dawe 14 Aug, 2018
Quoting: 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 :D
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 Aug, 2018
If is a steam native with wine builtin but with valve support will be awesome

neowiz73 14 Aug, 2018
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 Aug, 2018
Well... Somebody is funding DXVK and the Developer refuse to accept donations, so...
14 15 Aug, 2018
Quoting: 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.
qptain Nemo 15 Aug, 2018
Quoting: GuestRegardless 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!
Yes they can and there is no magic necessary. Wine is steadily getting to the point where it will play 99% of all Windows games.

On one hand I see what you mean. I imagine it's the very reasoning Valve used to avoid officially support Wine before now. However, the benefits from properly adding "run with Wine" functionality into Steam are immense and absolutely worth the risk and effort. It would change the status of SteamOS only having 19% of games to having 99% of games. The issue of player dissatisfaction you raise is a real one, but it's by no means insurmountable. There are many ways around it. It's not even that difficult to completely avoid it, for example by carefully selecting games that are supported by the "play with Wine" feature, storing the last known version of Wine that definitely runs them well along with them and so on. You won't have to deal with customer dissatisfaction if it never happens. Valve could provide support for this feature themselves as a part of their platform. They then can carefully expand that list of supported titles and still let people who really know what they're doing use it on games that aren't officially supported after clicking on a disclaimer. If you develop some tools for automated compatibility testing, this process can become even more efficient. And so on. Also obviously, from a non-idealistic point of view, the important part isn't having 99% of games, it'd take solid support of like 20 hot AAA titles to make a ripple.

Last edited by qptain Nemo on 15 August 2018 at 1:01 am UTC
qptain Nemo 15 Aug, 2018
Quoting: GuestCould Valve be creating an SDK for Steam?
Developers will no longer need to target the OS, and instead just code games direct for the Steam API.

Now that would seriously shake up Microsoft.
That would be awesome but so so tricky to pull off. It'd have to be the mother of all game development frameworks.
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