updated 05:54 pm EST, Thu February 14, 2013
Linux client, games major step towards Steam Box
Valve has launched its Steam game distribution platform on Linux, after a lengthy period of beta testing. Initially announced in July 2012, the internal project has now opened up the store on Ubuntu, with interested users being able to download the client through Canonical's Ubuntu Software Center at no charge.
The store is populated with 100 Linux-compatile games available to purchase and download, with every title being temporarily discounted by between 50 and 75-percent until February 21st. Many of the titles are also SteamPlay titles, and usable on the Mac OS X. Users who play the free-to-play Team Fortress 2 on Linux will receive a free Tux penguin in-game item, while it is also reported by Canonical's blog that Steam Big Picture is also available to use.
The move to make a Steam client for Linux as well as porting Source-based games to the platform is a crucial step in Valve's plans to build a Steam Box. Gabe Newell, CEO at Valve, said that the console would run on Linux, though it would be possible to install other operating systems on the device. The development of the Steam Box may take longer than previously thought, as Valve has recently laid off 25 staff members, nearly 10 percent of the company, a number of which happen to be in hardware-related positions.