Two top PC games gain Linux support ahead of SteamOS

Valve's Linux-based SteamOS hasn't arrived just yet, nor have the company's living room-ready "Steam Machines," but a couple of notable game developers have already prepared Linux ports of their hit titles. This week, Metro: Last Light and Super Meat Boy both got the open-source OS treatment.

Metro: Last Light, which PCWorld praised as a flawed but unique first-person shooter, will be bundled with Valve's 300 prototype Steam Machines. Developer 4A Games has pledged support for SteamOS in the future.

“We are excited by the prospect of bringing the ultimate Metro experience, powered by next-gen PC hardware into the living room,” 4A Games CTO Oles Shishkovstov said in a statement. “Metro: Last Light will be a great showcase for Steam OS and the Steam Controller.”

Metro: Last Light

Team Meat, meanwhile, has timed the Linux launch of Super Meat Boy with the game's three-year anniversary on Steam. In celebration, the game is on sale for $3—an 80 percent discount—through November 8. Super Meat Boy is one of the best platform games in recent memory, with occasionally frustrating (but never unfair) action and a dark sense of humor.

Getting game publishers to support Linux is one of Valve's big challenges as it tries to join the console wars. According to the Steam website, only 227 games are available for Linux, compared to 2323 games for Windows. Many of those Linux games come from small, indie developers, rather than mainstream publishers.

Super Meat Boy is a stellar example of how successful a superb indie game can be.

But Valve says more publisher support is coming, and promises to announce details at the CES trade show in January. The company will also announce the first Steam Machines from hardware partners, due to launch in the middle of next year. A downloadable version of SteamOS is coming “soon,” according to Valve's Website.

In the meantime, more pieces of Valve's living room gaming puzzle should fall into place gradually. For instance, AMD and Nvidia are both ramping up Linux driver support in preparation for SteamOS.

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