Linux gamers have more choices starting today due to a beta compatibility layer introduced by Valve, the company behind Steam.
Linux users must install the Steam client beta in order to access the feature, which for the first time brings games like NieR: Automata, DOOM, Final Fantasy VI, and Doki Doki Literature Club to Linux.
About 3,000 games on Steam support Linux natively, but many more do not. Steam Play could change that by allowing developers to test their game with the compatibility layer and then quickly come up with a Linux compatible version.
Today we are releasing the beta of a new and improved version of Steam Play for all Linux users! It includes a modified distribution of Wine, called Proton, to ensure compatibility with Windows game titles.
Steam Play uses Vulkan to implement DirectX 11 and 12, and is expected to support full screen mode and game controllers.
It’s a double-edged sword for Linux gamers. It will certainly provide more choice, but there is always a risk with technology like this that game developers will rely on the compatibility layer and stop making native Linux games altogether. This is an esoteric concern for most users, however, who will just be happy to have access to more games.