For the past few months, Valve has been testing its Steam client on Ubuntu, the most popular Linux distribution. During that beta period, many of the games were locked away in beta testing leaving those not invited high and dry. Now that beta period is over, however, and Steam is ready to celebrate.
Valve announced today that Steam for Linux is officially out of beta. It's available as a free download from the Ubuntu Software Center. Steam coming to Linux, as well as the efforts of many indie developers, may finally make Linux a viable gaming platform. That's what the folks at Canonical think at least:
“The introduction of Steam to Ubuntu demonstrates growing demand for open systems from gamers and game developers,” said David Pitkin, Director of Consumer Applications at Canonical. “We expect a growing number of game developers to include Ubuntu among their target platforms. We’re looking forward to seeing AAA games developed with Ubuntu in mind as part of a multi-platform day and date release on Steam.”
All games purchased through Steam for Linux will also be playable on Windows and Mac through Steam Play. That's great for those who already own hundreds of games on Steam for Windows, but perhaps want to start experimenting in Linux.
For long time Linux users new to Steam, Valve has a treat for you guys as well. Team Fortress 2, Valve's hugely popular team-based shooter, is available day one in all its free-to-play glory. For a limited time, Team Fortress 2 players on Linux will also receive a free exclusive in-game Tux item. Other Valve titles available today include Half-Life, Counter-Strike 1.6 and Counter-Strike: Source.
To celebrate the launch of Steam for Linux, all the currently available Linux titles on Steam are on sale until February 21. There's over 50 titles to choose from, and a lot of them are pretty fantastic. You can check out the full list of games on sale here.
Before you ask, PC and Mac gamers can get in on the sale too.