There Are Now Over 1500 Native Linux Games on Steam

Prior to the release of Windows 8, gaming on Linux predominately revolved around emulating core libraries through WINE and rarely featured stable games without configuration problems. Valve’s CEO, Gabe Newell was so incensed by Windows 8, and its lack of freedom, that he decided to launch Steam for Linux and create SteamOS, a gaming-optimized Linux distribution. Whether or not you agree with Gabe Newell’s analysis, it’s impossible to deny that Linux could become a viable gaming platform. Currently, there are over 1500 native games on Linux compared to 6464 on Windows while OS X users can choose between a library of 2323.

So what does this mean? Linux gaming is still on the rise, but it’s so small in comparison to Windows. Additionally, the majority of games are indie titles without any major graphical demands. There are exceptions such as Counterstrike: Global Offensive, Shadow Warrior and Metro Redux but the library is still far too limiting. Perhaps, things will change as Valve’s Steam Machines hit the market. Ideally, Valve should announce a number of Linux versions to coincide with their hardware launches.

Windows 10 has been a monumental success and this could impact on Valve’s Linux project. However, with concerns about privacy and a rumoured subscription model in the future, it seems like Linux will have a niche audience. Originally, Valve argued that Linux provided much better performance in their testing but this was done with DirectX 11 comparisons. Frankly, DirectX 11 is a horribly optimized API, and DirectX 12 should bring major improvements across the board. This raises the question, is there still a need for SteamOS anymore?

It’s certainly an interesting discussion and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Would you ditch Windows for Linux if all the games were playable?

Image courtesy of The New Boston.

Thank you Phoronix for providing us with this information.

Improved Apple Watch SDK Will Drastically Improve Third-Party Apps

It has been common knowledge that Apple would release a native SDK for the all new Apple Watch, something developers can get their hands on to make more useful applications than the default Apple applications.

Apple is going to provide a beta version of the SDK a week after its Worldwide Developer Conference keynote on June 8, which means that we’ll probably get more information about it during the keynote. A final version will be distributed in the fall, which is when we’ll hope to begin seeing our first native watch apps from developers.

While WatchKit applications and Glances are at the moment, limited and mostly static screens that rely entirely on the connected iPhone for processing, native third-party apps should be a bit more flexible. Apple say that native apps will be able to access the watch’s sensors (which would hopefully include the heart rate sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, and barometer) and the Digital Crown, and that the native SDK would include more tools for game developers. Game developers are already experimenting with WatchKit, of course, but it seems that Apple’s limitations are proving challenging

What we don’t know is whether native apps will be able to function when out of range of the paired iPhone or keep data on the watch’s internal storage, something that Apple’s first-party applications support to varying degrees.

Thank you to Ars Technica for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Ars Technica