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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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605 comments
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Shmerl 21 August 2018 at 10:43 pm UTC
NeptNutzQUESTION: Once this goes stable, what's to stop every desktop gamer jumping to Linux, especially with bright new horizons like Mesa 18, RADV, and Linux completely smacking the pants off Windows with the new Threadripper?

Nothing stops them even now. This just makes it easier for many Steam users. Lower barrier for entry - more potential users.


Last edited by Shmerl at 21 August 2018 at 10:45 pm UTC
Whitewolfe80 21 August 2018 at 10:44 pm UTC
NeptNutzQUESTION: Once this goes stable, what's to stop every desktop gamer jumping to Linux, especially with bright new horizons like Mesa 18, RADV, and Linux completely smacking the pants off Windows with the new Threadripper?

Cant see it happening if they have already paid for a windows licence chances are they are staying on windows some may come across and that is a good thing as it grows the marketplace value but then again only if we are still getting native ports.
liamdawe 21 August 2018 at 10:44 pm UTC
UPDATE

Opt out of beta, opt back in - works. Downloading Doom now.
Woodlandor 21 August 2018 at 10:46 pm UTC
For those having trouble getting this to work, 2 things:

1) A re-released update came about 15 minutes after the first (check for steam updates)

2) I had to restart my computer (log-out and back in would probably suffice)

Now I can install the selected white-listed games I own, and the Settings menu no longer Seg-Faults the Steam client.

Hope that helps
Cheers!
Whitewolfe80 21 August 2018 at 10:46 pm UTC
liamdaweSo...Skyrim when?

Techinically now since you can whitelist anygame and it already works on wine out the box with controller support (only tested non hd version will test with valve wine as soon as i can get it to work at all)
archnem 21 August 2018 at 10:49 pm UTC
I'm both super happy and kinda worried.

I hope developers don't go thinking they shouldn't be making native Linux versions of their games. I think it's cool that Valve has worked on a solution to bring Windows games to Linux with the least amount of hassle, but developers might think that Valve/Steam will be responsible to support any issues raised from the compatibility layer, and with some many game engines out there, I think it'll be hard to manage.

Also, as miro suggested, I hope there's some tracking mechanism that still counts games played under Linux via the modified Wine as a Linux purchase.
omer666 21 August 2018 at 10:49 pm UTC
My point of view concerning whether we should rejoy or worry about that piece of news is going to be quite pragmatic.

What makes a successful gaming platform is its catalog. If people want to play a specific games, they will buy accordingly.

Now, will developers rely on it, I doubt so. Wine has many regressions depending on the version you're using, and developers know Linux gamers are quite tech-savy and want native games.

We clearly need more time to evaluate the impact of this decision, but more titles played more easily is always better, even if my personal opinion is that I want native titles badly.

Oh and it's not working yet so we can't even evaluate the tool for now.
anewson 21 August 2018 at 10:50 pm UTC
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liamdawe 21 August 2018 at 10:50 pm UTC
Update from Valve to me:
QuoteHey 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.
Excellent.
Shmerl 21 August 2018 at 10:53 pm UTC
QuotePerformance for multi-threaded games has been greatly improved compared to vanilla Wine.

Are these patches applicable to upstream Wine? I'd be interested in trying them out.


Last edited by Shmerl at 21 August 2018 at 10:53 pm UTC
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