If you’re a regular here, you already know that Valve has been working up a Linux-flavored dish of Steam
for some time. You might’ve even been one of the reportedly more than 60,000 people who put their names in the pool for the upcoming Beta. Scratch that – the existing Beta
. The Steam for Linux
Beta is up today with support for Team Fortress 2 and several other Steam games.
In addition to TF2 and other titles, Steam for Linux Beta also supports Big Picture, the feature that lets you play on a TV. Right now, Steam for Linux Beta supports Ubuntu
12.04. Valve opted for the Ubuntu distro based on feedback from Steam users who also use Linux, but it plans to add more distro support down the road. User feedback will direct the order of these distro adds, too.
The big question for all of us (including Windows users): Is this a Big Deal? After all, Steam for Linux isn’t appearing out of the blue, and neither is Valve’s support for Mac. Gabe Newell, Valve’s founder, has made clear that he thinks Windows 8 is bad news
for gamers (and for everyone, in fact). Blizzard has weighed in with a similar, if slightly less harsh, assessment
of the shiny new operating system.
Meanwhile, Linux his getting a lot of attention from the gaming community. Nvidia
recently released new GeForce drivers
that should vastly improve gaming performance on Linux systems, and it’s already been reported that Left 4 Dead 2 runs faster
on Linux than it does on Windows 7.
So, what do you think? Are you excited to see Valve’s push into Linux (or Mac, for that matter), or are you gaming on Windows 8 and wondering what all the fuss is about?