We knew that Valve was working on something like this, offering the possibility that Steam Linux users could play video games that have not been officially ported to the platform, that is, the majority of games available for Windows.
But now not only has the existence of such a tool been confirmed, we can also test it now. The new Steam Play is basically a modified version of Wine created by Valve, called "Proton", an integrated directly in the Steam client.
Proton is an open source project and is available on GitHub. This includes a customized version of Wine and additional libraries developed together with Wine by Valve in collaboration with the people of CodeWeavers, the developers of Crossover.
Two years ago we started working on improving the quality and performance of solutions for Windows compatibility of Steam games. Much of our work has focused on the support of Wine and other existing compatibility projects. We've also been integrating those tools into the Steam client to provide the same simple connect and use experience that normal Linux games offer.
Our goal in this task is that Linux users on Steam have easy access to the existing extensive catalog. We believe that this will allow future developers to use their work on other platforms to adapt it to Linux.
The beta of Steam Play is now open
As of today, a new and improved version of Steam is available in Linux that includes Proton and that therefore offers compatibility with Windows games in your distro. However, the feature is still in beta, so you must install the Steam beta client for Linux.
Besides this, initially Steam Play is compatible only with some selected games, this is the list at the moment:
And of course as expected, the compatibility will soon be extended to more games, in fact, you can vote for your favorites to help Valve choose the next round.
This is undoubtedly the beginning of something that could be quite revolutionary for Linux gaming, in theory, we would no longer have to wait for ports or invest time configuring tools, or installing Wine or drivers, no more complications. In Valve, they say they have improved to the support for controls and performance.
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