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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.

158 Likes, Who?
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SystemShock 22 August 2018 at 3:47 am UTC
Wow, these are awesome News so early in the Morning

I will try Proton as soon as i can.

Last edited by SystemShock at 22 August 2018 at 3:48 am UTC
logge 22 August 2018 at 3:48 am UTC
Well, money goes to companies who refuse to support Linux as a platform to develop their games for. That's sad, and its not Valves fault.

Asides from that: Great! Thank you!

Edit: Especially thank you for Dawn of War - Dark Crusade and Soulstorm!

Last edited by logge at 22 August 2018 at 4:03 am UTC
hummer010 22 August 2018 at 3:48 am UTC
This is friggen cool!!!

I decided to go with Age of Empires II for my first test - somehow it seemed fitting to run a Microsoft game first
Madeanaccounttocomment 22 August 2018 at 3:53 am UTC
Pfft... all the people that have been broadcasting the idea that Valve is no longer dedicated to linux and they've been pulling the strings in a major operation from behind the scenes.

Hopefully Valve forks WINE so that it can better be targeted as a linux solution in a way that the WINE developers were never willing to do. The WINE devs have long refused to implement OS specific ways to improve compatibility and performance as they want to reduce platform specific code. This sometimes results in them duplicating effort to make their own wine specific code that doesn't always work out so great.

Admirable goal and a good idea for software which is meant to be used by both Linux and Mac but Valve is only targeting Linux and there are probably some low hanging fruit that could be plucked by eschewing those convictions.

Last edited by Madeanaccounttocomment at 22 August 2018 at 4:05 am UTC
coryrj19951 22 August 2018 at 3:56 am UTC
Well, I guess I didn't need next weekend... or week Now to test some stuff!
Xpander 22 August 2018 at 3:59 am UTC
Can it run Crysis? haha. OMG, those news are amazing. I was speculating that the DXVK dev is paid by Valve quite some time ago, cause that didnt make any sense that he didnt want to accept any donations and the speed of the updates/improvements of DXVK was insane.

Hope more devs will jump into Vulkan bandwagon now, even if they dont want to support Linux by default.

Linux gaming will grown now more. People who couldn't make the switch because this or that didnt work on linux can now look again.

ElectricPrism 22 August 2018 at 4:06 am UTC
bingusThis is amazeballs. It pretty much confirms a few conspiracy theories we all had, and its nice to finally hear some news from Valve.

Conspiracies? Nah, speculation.

bingusThey can also see how many people are playing thru Proton, and if the numbers increase it may make them think twice about doing Linux natives.

This definitely drops a new market right in developers laps. Developers spending time reading posts from Linux users, observing SteamPlay stats about Linux, getting feedback and bug reports about Linux and spending time Thinking about Linux is a BIG WIN / WIN for Linux.

Suddenly, a seemingly invisible platform used in Billions of devices has entered the thoughts of developers on a regular basis and they are forced to interact with and acknowledge us.

That is the first step to a native port.

TemplarGRIt begins. Linux world domination. Next stop, Steam OS based console...

I think both blind optimism and blind pessimism are both dangerous and our CHOO CHOO all aboard the Hype-Train is at a high with this announcement.

Although I do think it is likely at some point they relaunch the Steam OS Console, my estimate is around the time PlayStation 5 launches. They definitely have been getting things in shape. (AMD MESA HDMI Audio, FreeSync is being reformed in the current Kernel, graphics driver version buffs, etc...)

TemplarGRTo all those who have concerns about linux native games, keep in mind that the vast majority of games never come to Linux anyway. If they are playable in some automagical way with acceptable performance, that will still remove a huge roadblock that prevents a lot of people from installing Linux. It only gets better from there.

I think also overlooked is that just because Linux Gamers "can" buy and install windows games over Proton -- it doesn't automatically mean they WILL.

A lot of Linux Gamers will still see that as "high-risk". Some will not compromise. Some will compromise on a handful of titles. Others will go ham and buy tons of Windows games to play on Linux.

There isn't any "one" effect it will have on people.

TemplarGRThe thing you need to understand is that we need to reach "critical mass" on the Linux desktop. We need a valid percentage of users so more proprietary companies can take us seriously and provide native ports, like Adobe for example, and proper hardware drivers for niche hardware. Once that happens, even more people will install Linux and it will snowball from there.

Linux native will always have the benefit of better performance + less bugs. So developers will still prefer this choice if they can, especially if Linux gets more marketshare.

Two points I'd like to make.

1. Buffing our numbers is CRITICAL to our survival, growth and evolution as a community. We really can't afford to be idealistic and expect 100% open source games. It's a fucking game, not a pacemaker or router -- industries where it matters.

2. Windows may at some point retire win32 to push their lock-down and crowning king Windows Store. In this instance, existing content will work on SteamOS should Microsoft pull the plug on non Windows Store software.

3. This is good for the Wine SNOWBALL effect. The more shit that works in wine -- the even more shit that works in wine.

eg: DXVK 9 - 12 upgrades meant for gaming improve Photoshop rendering on Linux,

This is what is also known in competative MOBA as a DEATHBALL, exponential improvements if you will.
eldersnake 22 August 2018 at 4:09 am UTC
Well, I'm currently somewhere with a very limited internet connection and only my laptop running Void Linux (not my main gaming desktop), but even still I enabled the beta, installed Doom II and it worked no problem at all. Granted a game wrapped with DOSBOX will work anytime, but I was just pleased that Steam itself and automagically installing the Proton stuff worked fine. Certainly makes things so much easier.
ElectricPrism 22 August 2018 at 4:09 am UTC
I wonder if this will be on Mac too via MoltenVK, if so IIRC that's like 7% of Steam may have access to new games never before available -- that could make a lot of money for publishers and money for valve.

Edit: Again in other words I wanted to reiterate that just because a game runs on Linux doesn't mean it has my or everyone's favor. I will compromise some (suchas buying the whole Final Fantasy series), but there are still many situations I am unwilling to run into bugs, so I will put my dollars to Linux FIRST publishers and content first.) I am certain I am not the only one who matches my alignment.

However for noobs, converts, and everyone else, it's a dream come true.

Last edited by ElectricPrism at 22 August 2018 at 4:12 am UTC
gustavoyaraujo 22 August 2018 at 4:12 am UTC
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