So, one of the 3 announcements we got from steam today was about the hitherto well kept secret, the SteamOS. Initially i was very excited about this, an OS designed and developed with gaming in mind can only be a good thing. However as i looked into it more and more i felt the inevitable groan rising from my throat.
The SteamOS is going to be a Linux based system, and while i understand the reasons behind it, they really couldn’t have picked a worse platform. While it’s certainly true that more and more games are being built to work with Linux, the fact is those games are a drop in the ocean. The vast majority of them are still windows based and use the DirectX platform. To get them to run on Linux you usually have to either dual boot or use something like Wine.
While it may be true that more and more dev.’s are working on Linux compatible games, the simple truth is until such a time as we get patches and updates for any recent game (and we’re talking in the last 10 years minimum) to make them work on Linux natively, people wont make the change.
OpenGL used to be included in a lot of games, way aback in the 80’s and early 90’s but as MS rose to dominance DirectX became the norm and OpenGL pretty much died. I’ve not really followed OpenGL, but i do wonder if a platform that hasn’t really been used in near 15 years, and for the most part, is developed by coder enthusiasts, how it will handle these days.
Is it robust enough to do the tasks of the modern game? What’s more are the graphics card drivers going to be able to handle the workload? I used Linux for a while at the beginning of the year, but found it to unstable for gaming, i ran into to many problems with graphic cards and OpenGL. While a more Linux savy person could easily fix them, but your average joe doesn’t want issues. We simply want to plug and play.
Everything that’s been revealed so far about the SteamOS so far tells me it’s lacking in to many areas. that said, only time will tell as to how well it works. However on the up side, SteamOS because it uses Linux is going to be a free OS, so you could easily dual boot and try it out before getting rid of your Windows OS completely