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New Steam Play Expands Linux Support

Valve announces the launch of a new beta version of Steam Play for Linux users, following last week's indications that something like this was coming (thanks Bill). Steam Play is Valve's name for the program that gives customers to the Windows, macOS, and Linux editions of their games as part of a single purchase. Up until now this relied on whatever platforms developers chose to support, but now they announce Steam Play will allow Linux gamers to play Windows games using Proton, a modified version of Wine, the not emulator. Proton is free, open-source software, and it is available on GitHub. They are supporting a limited number of games with this first beta, and plan on enabling more titles in the near future. Here's word:

As a result of this work, today we are releasing the Beta of a new and improved version of Steam Play to all Linux users! It includes a modified distribution of Wine, called Proton, to provide compatibility with Windows game titles. Here are some of the improvements it brings to the table:

  • Windows games with no Linux version currently available can now be installed and run directly from the Linux Steam client, complete with native Steamworks and OpenVR support.
  • DirectX 11 and 12 implementations are now based on Vulkan, resulting in improved game compatibility and reduced performance impact.
  • Fullscreen support has been improved: fullscreen games will be seamlessly stretched to the desired display without interfering with the native monitor resolution or requiring the use of a virtual desktop.
  • Improved game controller support: games will automatically recognize 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.

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