Steam Play Beta is Live with support for Linux. Releasing at roughly 5pm EST August 21, supporting a few Windows games.
Since the release of Steam Play in 2010, Valve has been looking for new ways to support the platform. Working to make more games accessible to Linux users. And it seems they have done it.
According to the Steam post, Valve has been improving the quality and performance of Windows compatibility. A project that started two years ago. Working with Wine to extend it’s compatibility. While integrating tools into the Steam client to provide a plug-and-play system, just like regular Linux games. Which is also a major topic that hits Forbes news.
So the whole goal of the Steam Play project is access a larger back catalogue. Allowing future developers to more easily take their work from other platforms and target Linux. Along with adding support for Vulkan. Something I am pleased to see come together, within reason. As there are some concerns around the compatibility tools.
Therefore the Beta for this new version of Steam Play is now Live to all Linux users. Which includes that modified version of Wine, titled Proton. Which gives us a delicious compatibility with Windows and VR games. Actually the VR games kind of threw me a bit, seeing Beat Saber and DOOM VFR in the list. What!?
Join the Live Steam Play Beta:
To join the Steam Play Beta, you have to enable Beta participation under Account. Opt into the Steam Beta, then restart the Client. Below are the settings to enable for Steam Play:
These settings will allow you to use Proton to test out other Windows games on Steam. Basically allowing access to your full game library. So check out the ‘the Steam post’ up top and test away.
Here are the improvements Proton brings to Linux:
- Windows games with no Linux version currently available can now be installed. While running directly from the Linux Steam client, complete with native Steamworks and OpenVR support.
- DirectX 11 and 12 implementations are now based on Vulkan. With an improvement in game compatibility and reduced performance impact.
- Fullscreen support sees improvements: fullscreen games will be seamlessly stretch to the display. Without interfering with the native monitor resolution or requiring the use of a virtual desktop.
- Improved game controller support: games will automatically recognise all controllers supported by Steam. Expect more out-of-the-box controller compatibility than even the original version of the game.
- Performance for multi-threaded games has been greatly improved compared to vanilla Wine.
How to help Valve add more games to Steam Play Beta:
So Valve will enable more games in the near future, based on testing and development efforts. In the meantime, enthusiast users can vote for their favorite games for consider for Steam Play using platform wishlisting. Which will also open more new Windows releases in the future.
Now that you know all of the details, what games are you playing? What have you tested with Proton?