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Penguindows Alternative: Steam For Linux Beta Kicks Off

By way of careful study and hundreds of hours of naturalistic observation, I’ve ascertained that some PC gamers actually don’t like Windows 8 all that much. Which – in retrospect – seems like a pretty tremendous waste of my time, because it was punch-me-in-the-eyeball obvious all along. But while everyone else becomes vocally enraged, outraged, and other directions of rage, Valve’s actually trying to do something about it. The king of swing (and also PC gaming) is pushing to build Linux into a viable gaming platform with Steam for Linux, and now, it’s taken the oh-so-crucial step of, you know, letting said masses use it.

Well, OK, I wouldn’t exactly describe them as “masses” at this point. Currently, the beta’s limited to a handful of those who preregistered, but Valve plans to pick and choose more survey respondents before ultimately opening the test to all Steam users. Also, while this first version is Ubuntu-based,Valve says additional popular distros will get support in the future.

The initial game selection, meanwhile, is short but rather sweet. Team Fortress 2 is leading the charge, with two dozen other, less spectacularly hatted alternatives backing it up – including World of Goo, Sword and Sworcery, Amnesia, SpaceChem, Dungeons of Dredmor, and Serious Sam 3. Lastly, Steam Big Picture Mode’s rounding out the package.

Right then, it’s Steam! Just, you know, for Linux. I’m not really sure what else it could be, but I needed a transition. So anyway, is anyone in the beta? If so, how’s it working out for you? Have you already hurled a brick through some windows (not your own, of course; that’d be crazy) in a symbolic act of victory? Or is Valve’s small step for PC gamer kind not quite the giant leap Newell and co envisioned?

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Nathan Grayson

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