It’s finally here.
The long awaited Linux Steam is officially out of beta today, and Linux users everywhere are rejoicing (myself included). With its release, Valve is offering every Linux game at a discounted price. This is includes standouts like Faster Than Light for $4.99, Serious Sam 3 for $7.99, Trine 2 for $3.75, and Counter Strike Source for $4.99. Those who play the free to play Team Fortress 2 on Linux will be rewarded with a free in game item. Big picture mode is also included in the release.
If you’re unfamiliar with Linux, it’s an open source operating system that comes in a variety of flavors (distributions) like the user friendly and popular Ubuntu (which Valve prefers), and the more technical Mint Linux. There’s even distributions geared toward IT professionals like CentOS and RedHat. Linux is a fan favorite among those pressed for cash and don’t want to purchase a pricey Windows license. The great thing about Linux is that it’s secure (viruses rare), and is great for customization. That said, Linux isn’t as noob-friendly as Windows. It’s a geek’s operating system.
This marks the completion of Valve’s second step in moving toward its own hardware — the first being big picture mode and controller support. This is a significant day for Valve and its forthcoming Steam Box. With this move Valve has shown that it has the capability to port games over to a Linux-powered PC/console. Right now there are 57 games on sale for Linux.
Yes, many are indie titles, but if Steam’s initial release is any indication you can be sure that we’ll probably see a larger variety of games ported over to Linux. Not like Valve has much choice — a large library is needed for the Steam Box to succeed.