Why Gaming Sucks on Linux

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Bill Loguidice
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Interesting little article, particularly regarding commercial Linux gaming: http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,2047507,00.asp

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Bill Loguidice
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Great points, Mark, thanks.

Great points, Mark, thanks. Perhaps that dual boot move was a concession that big-time gaming never was going to catch on with either MacOS or Linux, so why not just give in? If all Windows becomes good for is games, then perhaps the other OS' ultimately win anyway...

Perhaps we can also agree to ban the use "M$" though? ;-) That's a big pet peeve of mine and something not done to any other company, even if good satire...

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Mark Vergeer
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Linux a good platform for games?

Bill with this latest Microsoft supporting Linux - news probably never. As things go M$ pretty much dominates the market when it comes to a PC gaming platform and Linux is too much of a niche for the average user.

Why is that? Although people have managed to introduce very consistent GUI's they still don't fully integrate into the system and there are tons of different GUI's on Linux that all do things in a similar yet totally different way.
Installing and uninstalling programs is a bit of a hassle as binaries are often tailored to work on specific Linux releases heavily depending on specific versions of libraries to be present. There are a couple of install/uninstall utilities and various binary distribution methods that sort of solve this problem but on Windows this is not so much a problem nor is it on Mac OSX.

Now Mac OSX has the best consistent GUI I've come across. Installing and uninstalling programs is a breeze and doing geeky Linux / Unix stuff with specific libraries etc is also possible. But MacOSX apps do have their advantages, these applications can be represented by a single icon whilst underneath are directories, files etc. Acces to these 'hidden' folders and files is possible but rarely necessary. MacOSX makes things as simple and easy to use as possible. Even my 62 year old mom was able to use and configure a mac and it's WIRELESS connection instantly. M$ did their best with Windows XP - which is in my opinion the best Windows yet - but it's still too complicated and non-monkey proof. And I must say my mom is living proof of Mac superiority as she continues to use the iMac 600Mhz more than het 900Mhz Windows XP machine.

So dispite the superior GUI and ease of use, with MacOSX moving to x86 and Leopard offering dualboot with Bootcamp I see no real future for Linux or MacOSX gaming. People with x86 powered machines will probably dual boot with WindowsXP or Vista if they want to play games so no native Linux/OSX game development from the big fish in the game industry will be the end result.

-= Mark Vergeer - Armchair Arcade editor =-

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Bill Loguidice
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Microsoft now offering Linux?

Pretty much: http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/15914050.htm

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
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Bill Loguidice
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We're also having a good

We're also having a good discussion about this over at GAMERadio. Host C4 is a big Linux fan: http://www.hwhq.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=2247#2247

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
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Matt Barton
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GNU/Linux for the Home

I think that more people will probably switch to GNU/Linux in the near future. In fact, I'm convinced that more people would already be using it if they just knew about distros like Ubuntu. It's easier to setup than Windows and has much of the same plug-and-play capability.

I'm also encouraged by what Google has been doing online. They're basically supplying a free word processor (Google Docs), calendar, spreadsheet, notebook, email client...Heck, pretty much anything the average person needs to do online. As Mark pointed out, there are plenty of free games, abandonware, and retrogaming options to keep anyone more than entertained.

As far as the "hardcore gamer" goes, though, Windows is still the best choice. Most commercial hardware and software developers target the platform exclusively. Meanwhile, companies like Nvidia, for whatever reason, offer only grudging support to the free platform--which has an impact on performance. ATI supposedly offers better support...

Eventually, people will learn that the software industry is really a service industry and not a product industry. That's already happening with services like GameTap and companies like RedHat. Microsoft realizes this too, of course, but they still insist on selling you a "license" for $150 rather than a service for a monthly fee. It makes more sense in the long run to sell you on the updates, upgrades, expansions, and technical support.

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Bill Loguidice
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Linux - Not for the Home?

I'm not surprised, Mark, that emulation is so robust on Linux, considering that type of software is majoratively non-commercial and a type of "hacking", a Linux specialty. In your opinion, do you ever think Linux will ever be a viable target platform for COMMERCIAL games? I have ALWAYS been in the camp that Linux will NEVER be a significant force on the home desktop, simply because, while Windows and Mac have become increasingly more user friendly and simpler, Linux has and still hearkens back to the days of high maintenance and hit-or-miss compatibility. The few attempts at making a super simple Linux for the home user, like Lindows, have not taken off. Other than being an alternative and "not Microsoft", there has to be something SPECIFIC - a killer app, a killer feature set, etc. - to get people to even THINK about switching. Alternately, MacOS has been a viable, sleek, mostly mainstream - albeit pricey for the majority of its lifecycle - alternative, and even that failed to gain any traction until the iPod explosion and dual boot compatibility. Even with that said, can we ever see even MacOS gain traction on more than 10% of the world's desktops under non-Windows settings? I just never see Linux on anything but enthusiast's desks...

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
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[ http://www.MythCore.com ]

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Mark Vergeer
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yeah it's horrible when you want to play the latest releases....

Indeed it's downright horrible. But when it comes to retrogaming Linux is just as good as Windows, MacOSX or BeOS for that matter. DosBox offers a good alternative for old dos games on Linux. It's even possible to run Windows 3.11 in 32 bit mode with win32s extension enabling games like Freecell to run. Of course compatibility still has a long way to go but eventually perhaps even Windows9x might be made to run on top of DOSBox. Actually quite a lot of stuff that applies to my Retrogaming on Mac Article from Issue 7 is more or less valid on Linux as most of the emulators originate on the Linux system.
On Mac and Windows it's easier to set up your controllers for use with the emulator. On Linux most often you are stuck with the mouse and keyboard. I could try a similar article on Linux retrogaming.

-= Mark Vergeer - Armchair Arcade editor =-

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