It’s not contestable that Window’s computer operating systems has been the most preferred for PC gaming. Window’s closest challenger has been Linux. Does Linux have a chance to dominate the PC gaming world?
Despite the efforts and gains made by Linux in taking on Windows, a TechRadar writer is skeptical of any chance of Linux beating Windows anytime soon.
It’s clear that Windows will remain the king. As of March 2016, Windows had 96 percent of the steam market share. It’s this dominance that made Epic Games to approach Windows on how they could monopolize the PC gaming industry, with their Universal Windows Platforms apps and software.
It’s clear that Windows isn’t meeting fully what the PC gamers want, and Windows doesn’t seem to identify what exactly. However, despite losing this sight, Phil Spenser, the current Xbox head, is keen on grounding the company roots once again. He intends to do this by integrating Xbox One games and features into Windows 10.
On the other hand, Linux is not leaving anything to chance. Valve is focused on making Linux the preferred brand in consumer’s living rooms, but more importantly, make it the best place where you can play your steam’s library. However, these two ambitions aren’t a walk in the park. Despite the company’s efforts in SteamOS, several companies haven’t released their steams machines, which were supposed to release by November 2015.
When it comes to gaming on Windows platform, you’re faced with many choices when considering controls, which is a critical need of PC gamers. You have the freedom to choose between the Xbox One controller or the PS4. That’s not all; you can have your mouse wired or wireless. Additionally, you can acquire a mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX Brown or Cherry MX Red switches. This is what Gamers want; the freedom to choose their control.
The problem with Linux is that most of these control options aren’t natively supported. For instance, you can still use the Xbox One controller, but having it work is complicated. This is especially when you want to use it on an Ubuntu supported computer.
The other option is to fork out almost a hundred dollars and get a Window 10. The best thing with Window 10 is that to use it, just plug it into a USB port and you will be good to game.
Last year, Valve released their Steam controller, which was aimed at giving mouse and keyboard users a middle ground when gaming. However, this was still not enough to have gamers compromised.
In considerations of all aspects that matter to a gamer, the winner is not disputable; Window 10 is the King. If Linux wants to be close to earning the title of the “challenger” it must rectify the evident disparities in performance and the lack of controls options, which are supported natively by Windows. Additionally, the impoverished game library is still lagging behind. So, this is one of the tips for non-gamers; when you finally decide to try gaming, you know what to pick.
Linux has made many attempts in taking on the gaming king. However, there is nothing much to show. Towards the end of 2015, the whole range of Linux distribution could only support 1,500 steam games. In contrast, Windows thrived on a much higher title count, being at 6,464. Phoronix released these statistics, which indicated that Windows was four times ahead of their closest challenger, Linux. Phoronix also indicated that the window’s statistics didn’t include the games in the Window’s universal platform.
But there is something that makes it clear that Windows dominance is not coming to an end soon. Currently, the Steam’s most played games including, Rocket League, Dark Souls III, and Grand Theft Auto V aren’t found on Linux. This means Windows continue to enjoy dominance, despite the efforts from its closest challenger. What makes it worse, is that there is a big possibility that some of these games may never be available on Linux.
On February 2016, PC released their results, which were discouraging to Linux. According to these results, Linux users on Steam were only 0.91 percent, which is less than the 1 percent mark. What was more discouraging is that Linux users on Steam dropped by 0.04 percent in comparison with the month prior.
In 2012, Newell, a Linux co-founder made a grand announcement that they were planning to avail 2,500 games on Steam targeting the Linux users. However, four years later, despite the company launching the Linux Kernel, which was aimed at taking Linux gaming to the next level, they haven’t achieved the 2,500 mark, which the company declared.
But from critical analysis, one thing is clear- SteamOS is what is holding Linux gaming back. It’s also evident that there are perks associated with using Linux as your gaming platform. Unlike the Apple’s Mac OS X and Microsoft’s Windows, its operating system, which is open source, is found on a number of distributions, where each has its singular benefits.
One of the distributions is SteamOS, which is a platform that Valve believes will take PC gaming to the next level. However, it hasn’t achieved a lot, as it looks like a naked Ubuntu port. Additionally, SteamOS had glaring performance issues from the start. It was also limited in its functionalities. That’s why many companies did shy off from releasing steam machines.