Saturday, January 26, 2013

Games: Windows vs Linux? NOOoooo...

Looks like the backends for Steam and Wine have gone controversial, this year, unless you buy their console or guest OS. With over hundreds of games for free, It is pretty much that right now... "FREE"... (except for subscription games). The obvious exception to the controversy is if you buy the XBox, PlayStation, or other well geared game console. Microsoft Windows moved onto UEFI, so all previous game makers that do not comply are "Left For [Wine]."

+Valve, with Steam for Linux, took the offbeat path and already got ahead.

Their controversial maneuver is through the latest hardware. If they tell you exact;y what hardware to buy then, they have to support it over the entire lifetime of the hardware. It is not like some law that does that. Famous companies, industry leaders, and game-maker "heads" do neither want to lose their popularity nor followers. Older games wanted more control over the hardware for in-play reconfiguration options. It broke user experience when the system must be restarted for any configuration change. Now, there exists newer hardware does not allow such "hardware hacking."

In older hardware, where the CPU is separate from the GPU, games easily detected where all the special hardware addresses were for all the dazzle. The problem with that is when it also allows spyware to capture your screen image as your type in passwords.

There is not much left to justify continuance of such game hacks. There is still time to choose wisely in newer hardware.

One option I like is either ARM processor front-end (with UEFI) and x86-64 processor backend, as present some newer tablets. There are versions without ARM and without UEFI for backward compatibility. There is also the APU, which combines the GPU and CPU into one processor with extra security away from such hacks. The controversy starts there, and is noticeable between, if you enable that extra security or find game makers that comply.

We have solutions, yet which solution is best for you is the choice you have to make. I like the option for hypervisors with different guest OS architectures. That way, if I ever get addicted to games again, I can load Windows 64 on one partition, Steam on another, and Wine 32 on another, and they won't be able to touch my main developer work environment with complex configurations dynamics that nobody understood. If that still sounds too complex then, maybe you want to re-look into those game console systems. I read rumors that XBox now has an option that lets you dual-boot Steam on Linux.