Time to do a little happy dance, Linux-heads: Valve’s Steam client for Linux is finally with us, and I don’t mean the beta. Valve’s digital gaming client for the Unix-like open-source operating system is officially official, and Valve’s celebrating by discounting the entire catalog — over 50 Linux titles — anywhere from 50% to 75%. Not too shabby, guys.
Some of the more notable titles in that list include Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Counter-Strike: Source, Half-Life, Team Fortress 2 and World of Goo. The sale runs until Feb. 21 at 10 a.m. PT.
Valve notes that in addition to cracking open the Linux game chest, it’s including its “Big Picture” mode — the company’s way of streamlining the living room experience, if you want to drag your box over to your TV, by adding game controller support. It’s in keeping with the company’s recently announced Steam Box strategy, which involves putting a Steam-branded console in the living room. That box, when we finally see it at some undisclosed future point, is expected to be Linux-driven.
I haven’t run a Linux machine in ages, mostly because as a game machine, it’s been like showing up to the party after everyone’s gone home (settle down Linux wonks, I don’t mean the operating system itself, which I’ve always been partial to — the MacBook Pro I’m typing this on, running OS X, is just Unix with a pretty overlay, after all).
But with an official Steam client serving as a central games distribution point and the fact that this is Valve we’re talking about — arguably the single most important force driving PC gaming today — Linux game development could finally make the kind of splash open-source advocates have long hoped it might.