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Gaming on Linux

Article from Issue 195/2017
Author(s):

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Transport Fever, Total War: Warhammer.

There's plenty of Vulkan API news making the rounds, which is always good to see. The Radeon-Vulkan (radv) driver has been making plenty of progress, with lots of new features and bug fixes being pushed out, though still not really that stable as of yet. Along with that, Mesa 13 has seen upwards of 30 percent performance improvements on Vulkan over the last version on the Intel driver. At the same time, the porting house Feral Interactive has requested that Canonical provide a PPA for more updated Mesa drivers in order to be able to support more Intel and AMD hardware, which have unfortunately been neglected of late by many developers for such reasons. One interesting non-official project is VK9, which seeks to implement Direct X 9 over Vulkan, which may be useful to get more performance out of things like Wine. It would be nice though if this were done with d3d11, because it could hasten compatibility with a whole generation of games that are currently unplayable on Linux.

On the virtual reality side of things, the open source platform OSVR has been added to the supported platforms on Steam. This is a pretty big step for the project, because if it is to stand much of a chance commercially, then being on the biggest digital distribution platform is a must. It's also interesting to see that Valve isn't shutting out platforms that can potentially compete with Vive, and convergence with SteamVR has been hinted at in the past.

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