Today Valve announced something they’ve had in the works for a while: a Steam client for Linux, specifically the Ubuntu distribution.
This is exciting to Linux fans because really these people constantly crave validation about how great they are for downloading and using a free OS. I should know, I run Ubuntu and I see these people on the support forums all the time. But there are reasons that the other 99% of humanity which doesn’t feel like messing with command lines should be excited. Here’s why.
Valve Has Also Ported Source
The Source Engine is officially Linux capable… which means that the costs of game development have just dropped considerably. Running Linux boxes is a lot cheaper than other programming hardware. There’s little reason to think the Linux community will turn out a game worth a damn, but it’s easy to see programmers making more use of Source to deliver new types of games.
This Is The First Step to Steam For Android
This is something we’ve pointed out before, yet once again the press stubbornly refuses to make the link. Well, let us help you with that, guys. Linux is a microscopic segment of the PC market fragmented across dozens of distributions.
Android is an enormous section of the mobile market with, OK, lots of fragmentation. The key problem is creating “touch-screen” controls for games, but Valve is likely working on that. Porting the code to Linux is really half the battle.
And with the step to Android will come a second, much bigger step.
This is the First Step Toward Steam for Ouya
This is all but inevitable. In fact it might be the first Android platform to get Steam.
The Ouya may not be able to handle some of the most technologically complex games currently on the PC market, but it can sure handle a huge chunk of Steam’s content. And it’s unlikely Valve hasn’t noticed the extreme success of Ouya.
Similarly, it’s unlikely Ouya isn’t courting Valve. In fact they’ve probably put a lot of energy into getting Gabe Newell’s attention.
So, brace yourself: Steam for Linux may trigger a lot more change than it may at first appear.