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And integrated better into Steam. I’ve always thought it was dumb that you had to install Steam a second time, under Wine, in order to play games under Wine. I should be able to launch a Windows game in Wine directly from the Linux client. (Come to think of it, I should also file an issue for this.)
(AFAIK it’s still that way - Valve could’ve changed it since I last checked. I doubt it though.)
Or just buy Crossover or Transgaming, and throw resources at it. I mean, Valve could probably by both of those companies with the spare change they make by skimming trading card sales.
They may be too niche. The general public using normal consoles probably don’t even know about it. Most PC master race probably have a better more upgradeable machine already, with their every day OS on, attach a 360 controller, attach it to the TV and put it into Steam big picture mode and it is pretty much a steam machine. I just do the latter.
Sad, but probably spot on. However, for the indie or somewhat indie market, the SteamOS setups are fine. As long as you don’t care about mainstream bestsellers.
Most engines support Linux, and Steam achievements, making it cheap to publish for that platform.
I repurposed an aging linux desktop by putting SteamOS on it, and I actually think it’s pretty nice. I mainly play quirky indies which tend to be released on Linux/SteamOS anyway. The Steam controller is okay but I prefer dual-stick to stick-and-touchpad. I’m considering buying an Xbox controller for dual-stick games (currently Enter the Gungeon for me).
Two things that are legitimately annoying about SteamOS:
I really wonder whether the number of self built steam machine is, or what the number of Steam on Linux installs is in comparison to Steam specifically on SteamOS and SteamOS on machines that were sold as Steam Machines.
From what I’ve seen the cost of dedicated Steam Machines was rather high, so I’d think interested people that themselves have some basic knowledge (and gamers looking those up probably at least can follow some YouTube tutorial) or ask someone to do it for them.
I don’t know whether that would be a significant portion, but it might be interesting to know in the context of how successful a platform that essentially says “choose your own hardware” is.
The happiest are probably Linux users, because Linux became a very fundamental platform and many big releases make it onto Linux. At the same times that platform got serious support from game engine developers. While it might have existed before SteamOS certainly caused them getting rid of some rough edges there. Unity certainly runs more smoothly than it used to.
I’ve even seen unofficial launchers for Unity games made by people from the community that have it run natively on Linux, despite not being officially supported (but allowed by the actual developers). I don’t know much about how much Unity does outside of Mono or how compatible versions of Mono are, but it seems that such launchers mostly take care of patching, which despite Mono being an open source VM is something that doesn’t necessarily have to work that well. I’ve seen those things done wrong in the Java world a lot.