Linux gamers have more choice as of today because of a beta compatibility layer introduce by Valve, the company behind Steam.

Linux users need to install the Steam Client Beta in order to access the feature, which brings games like NieR: Automata, DOOM, Final Fantasy VI, and Doki Doki Literature Club to Linux for the first time.

Around 3,000 games on Steam support Linux natively, but plenty more do not. Steam Play could change that by allowing developers to test their game with the compatibility layer and then quickly offer a Linux-compatible version.

Here’s an official statement from the company:

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.

Steam Play uses Vulkan to implement DirectX 11 and 12, and should support full-screen mode and game controllers.

This is a double-edged sword for Linux gamers. This will certainly provide more choice, but there’s always a risk with tech like this that game developers will rely on the compatibility layer and stop building native Linux games entirely. That’s an esoteric worry for most users, however, who will just be happy to have access to more games.

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Justin Pot has been writing about technology for over a decade, with work appearing in Digital Trends, The Next Web, Lifehacker, MakeUseOf, and the Zapier Blog. He also runs the Hillsboro Signal, a volunteer-driven local news outlet he founded.
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