Portal now Officially available to all platform users on Steam

It’s no lie: legendary first person shooter and puzzle mashup Portal is now available to all Linux users. Developers Valve today pulled the Linux version of the game out of beta, meaning anyone with Steam installed can now purchase and download Portal for $9.99 US. Those who bought the game for Windows can download the Linux version – there’s no added charge. The high-profile 2011 sequel, Portal 2, is expected to follow later this year.

Valve – which developed Portal and runs Steam, the popular online game store – has been pushing OS support since late last year. Around 100 Linux games are now sold through Steam; Portal is just the latest – and it’s a big deal. The influential game plays like a first person shooter, but your gun has no bullets – just the ability to create portals.

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Valve is vocal about their distaste for Windows 8. CEO Gabe Newell described Microsoft’s latest OS as a giant sadness for the PC industry, and stated Linux gaming is part of their long-term strategy to avoid Microsoft’s changes – notably, an app store that competes with Steam.

“I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space,” said Newell in late 2012. “I think we’ll lose some of the top-tier PC/OEMs, who will exit the market. I think margins will be destroyed for a bunch of people. If that’s true, then it will be good to have alternatives to hedge against that eventuality.”

Since then, Valve released their Steam software for Linux, and started porting their own games to the platform. Of course, most of the 2500+ games available on Steam are from third party companies, so it’s unclear how many native users will ultimately get to play.

For now, though, a native version of Portal for Linux is a triumph. Make a note: HUGE SUCCESS.

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