PC Gamers to Have More Choices... Microsoft & DirectX or a Linux-based OS and OpenGL?
If there's one thing that really holds back PC gaming, it's that Microsoft has a complete monopoly on it. Sure, there's Apple's OS X, but that is in no way a strong enough competitor to Microsoft, and Apple would need to sell its soul (even more so) to make that happen.
This is where Valve steps in by offering up SteamOS, which is a Linux-based OS. Valve has slowly, but surely making this happen, by making Big Picture Mode, offering software through Steam, holding back on its '3' titles such as Left 4 Dead 3, Team Fortress 3 and of course Half-Life 3.
Valve moving toward Linux can be a move of huge proportions for the company, and it can have many reasons behind the shift. Let's think about this:
- Gabe Newell used to work for Microsoft, leaving to form Valve.
- Newell despises Windows 8, which is a big hint.
- Valve has made sure Steam works, and looks great on the TV with Big Picture Mode.
- Steam is the biggest digital distribution software on PC.
- Steam's Holiday Sales are second to none; no one can compete with it right now.
- Valve is making strides in pushing development in OpenGL and Linux.
- Other companies are waking up to the digital distribution game such as EA with its Origin service - once others follow in its footsteps, this means less sales for Valve unless something changes - such as providing an entire platform for any developers' games to be played on - such as the Steam Box or Steam OS.
- Valve's Steam controller should eliminate most, but not all of the motion latency experienced with traditional console controllers thanks to its improved input.
- And lastly, Valve has held back a game that is sure to break all sorts of records, and is likely to be received as one of the best games ever - Half-Life 3.
The last bit is enough to sell tens of millions of consoles on its own, and would pull gamers from consoles - even the new Xbox One and PS4 - over to the Steam Box. We've seen DICE, the makers of Battlefield - come out and say that Linux just needs one "killer app" and as I said nearly two years ago now - Half-Life 3 would be that killer app.
I'm sure now that you'd read this; you're nodding your head in agreement, thinking that Valve can do this. If it's going to be any company that could change the foundation of gaming, it's Valve. Valve has done it before, and I think in 2014, we'll see them do it again on a more grandiose scale.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: a scientist can save PC gaming - but PC gaming will never be the same after these tectonic shifts in the landscape of PC gaming happen, and I for one, cannot wait. Lord GabeN, I'm ready for your guidance - unleash everything you have!