Linux Gaming News

Linux gaming is bigger than Steam’s Hardware Survey outlines

Over the last three years #Linux #gamers have had a great deal to be thankful about. But other online media sources have used Steam‘s hardware survey to imply that Linux gaming is on a decline. Is it?

Steam Machines and #SteamOS are one venue, sure, but so are drm-free games from Humble Store and So we have no idea what the actually statistics are on those platforms. Where Linux gaming is more popular and under-rated over all, but the numbers outlined in the Steam Hardware Survey do not include SteamOS, so may not be entirely accurate. Which poses an issue.

Chris Hoffman, a writer at PCWorld issued a post recently highlighting Steam’s hardware survey as misleading. And we agree, there are more Linux gamers now than ever before.

Chris Hoffman reports for PCWorld:

How many Linux gamers are there? It’s tough to say. We don’t even know how many Linux users there are in general. Valve‘s Steam Hardware Survey supposedly sheds light on the OS breakdown among gamers, and it appears to show Linux use declining. But Valve’s Steam Hardware Survey is misleading, obscuring the fact that Linux gaming is healthier than ever.

Here’s one obvious caveat: Steam’s user numbers are growing. So while Linux usage on the Steam Hardware Survey has declined from about 2 percent in March 2013 to 0.91 percent in February 2015, that smaller percentage is from a larger overall user base.

So let’s look at percentages. In October 2013, the Steam Hardware Survey showed 0.98 percent of Linux users. That’s about 637,000 Linux gamers. In February 2015, the Steam Hardware Survey showed 0.91 percent of Linux users. That’s over 1.2 million Linux gamers!

Here’s something surprising: Valve’s Steam Hardware Survey doesn’t include its own SteamOS operating system as part of the Linux market share, nor does the Steam Hardware Survey show it as another operating system. The Steam Hardware Survey just doesn’t appear for users in Big Picture Mode, and Steam on SteamOS is always in Big Picture Mode.

More at PCWorld

To be honest, none of this information is anything new. We held off writing about the Steam Hardware Survey in the past for that very reason. But since the PCWorld posted, it’s a pleasure to see other big media sources pointing this out. And we do not know how many other other Linux gamers are really out there, as some people do not like Steam and it’s system tracking.
More to the point, we don’t even have an accurate number of the Linux desktop users available at this time.


You Might Also Like