GNU/Linux Gains Steam

OS Share Change
Windows 94.11% -0.45%
GNU/LInux 2.02% 1.07%
MacOS 3.07% -0.37%
Other 0.82% 0.06%
total* 100.02% 0.31%

Valve has published some data on usage of various operating systems with Steam (their gaming platform). Now that Steam is available for GNU/Linux the results are a lot more interesting…

* The sum of the changes is indeed +0.31%. I double-checked. It’s an accumulation of truncation errors in the rounding to two decimal places over 19 entries …

see February 2013 Steam Hardware & Software Survey.

Once again, we see where GNU/Linux is offered it catches on very quickly. At this rate GNU/Linux will overtake MacOS on Steam within a month or two. Not bad for MacOS having a long head-start. The dent in M$’s share is even larger. It’s all good.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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18 Responses to GNU/Linux Gains Steam

  1. Ted says:

    http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/nonfree-games.html
    http://www.gamepolitics.com/2012/07/31/richard-stallman-calls-steam-linux-unethical

    Whether Steam is FLOSS is not really the central issue, it’s what Steam DOES that’s the point. It runs counter to an awful loot of GNU and FOSS ideals. It would still be a DRM platform even if it was open source, and it’s reason for existing is selling you yet more closed source. Not only is it held as “unethical” in itself according to GNU and FOSS philosphy, it’s also a gateway to yet more “unethical” software.

    So for you to accept and applaud Steam is hypocritical in the extreme. However, as it helps your Microsoft-hating agenda, I suppose it’s just fine with you until Valve do something you personally don’t like.

  2. Ted wrote, “Valve should be the bad guys to you. “

    Of course, I would prefer Steam were FLOSS, but it isn’t. It is however a crack in the facade of M$-necessity surrounding gaming.

  3. Ted says:

    “There is some third party support already all you have to go threw is the games listed for Linux currently they are not all valve games.”

    There are 96 games in TOTAL for Linux. Search for “Linux” in the store.

    Most of them are not worth a second glance, and there is a grand total of zero Linux exclusives.

    Where’s the compelling reason to switch to Linux, considering that most existing AAA games are unlikely to ever be ported, all the games available for Linux are already available on Windows, and Ubisoft’s UPlay and EA’s Origin are also on Windows?

    And why are you all so happy about, and prepared to argue the toss about, a DRM platform with an online shop being a success on your “Free as in Freedom” OS? Valve should be the bad guys to you. “Digital Restrictions Management” and all that.

  4. oiaohm says:

    Ted if you look at http://store.steampowered.com/browse/linux/

    There is some third party support already all you have to go threw is the games listed for Linux currently they are not all valve games.

    Also you presume Linux users have not already been playing those games.

    http://appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.php?sClass=version&iId=24749

    In fact the evidence that they have been is simple to find.

    So Linux Steam Skyrim users currently survey as Windows 7.

    Ted this is the problem winehq.org appdb contains the evidence that people are gaming on Linux. Does not tell us how many. Also does not tell us the exact reason either.

    So your no compelling reason is most likely not true. Just we don’t know what the compelling reason is.

    Ted Steam releasing game causing more Linux users to appear is most likely not new users. But existing users who have been hidden.

    Ted so can you tell me exactly how big the Wine project gamers are in the market. Answer is no we don’t have any numbers.

    This is Linux biggest problem its been there but invisible.

  5. Ted says:

    “Only a small part of Valve’s games are presently available on Linux. That will very likely be increasing markedly soon,”

    Valve’s *entire catalog* is less than thirty games – a lot of them being add-ons and sequels – and most of them are over five years old. I have nearly that in just my “favourites” in Steam. I for one certainly wouldn’t install an OS just to play Portal 2, no matter how good it is, especially as I already have it on Windows.

    ” them we’ll see their Linux usage really take off.”

    If there is no third party support for Steam on Linux, and soon, it will die on the vine. Where’s Skyrim? Call of Duty? Far Cry? Crysis? Battlefield? Without these and those like them, there’s no compelling reason to bother with Linux for gaming, as the games are already elsewhere.

  6. ram says:

    Only a small part of Valve’s games are presently available on Linux. That will very likely be increasing markedly soon, them we’ll see their Linux usage really take off.

  7. oiaohm says:

    Dr Loser there are different surveys. Once survey says 1 number another says another.

    –Hamster: all the Balrog did was to demolish your claim that “a majority of households have kids in them.” Adding random guesses about grandparents (I’d add aunts, uncles, and second cousins if I were you. Why stop at grandparents) is a pathetic attempt to regain lost ground.–
    There are consumer market surveys that take grandparents and other things other than just living location into account for market effects. I was reading one set of numbers he read another. Fair call. I should have been using senses numbers here it the lower one.

    –The Balrog has given you the figures. In terms of sales over the last ten years, console games outsell PC games by a factor of ten to one.–
    This is bundling. Wii PS3 and Xbox360 might be consoles. Problem is 1 party can be buying games for all of them.

    Dr Loser the wikipedia numbers clearly show that Der Balrog numbers don’t include direct download sales for the PC.

    Dr Loser claiming 10 to 1 is a little bit impossible when you know more than half the sales are missing. Doubling the PC numbers is being nice.

    Most new games for the PC in the last few years since 2007 are been direct download games.

    Counter-Strike series there was a release in 2010 valve reported this selling more than prior release of Counter-Strike.

    There was also a release in 2012.
    http://www.macrumors.com/2012/08/21/counter-strike-global-offensive-arrives-for-mac-on-steam/

    How many Counter-Strike: Source have been sold. 27 million units+. How many is Der Balrog site reporting 0.06 Million max and that is presuming the global is not a total. I will be really nice and round 0.06 up to 0.1 going on from here.

    Dr Loser so by what you can see I could claim there is a possibility of Der Balrog numbers being out by a factor of 270 to 1. So for every PC sale Der Balrog numbers is showing there could possibility be 270 online sales not showing. Of course Der Balrog figures are that far out I cannot use them because its wrong.

    2.1 million is counterstrike source correct sales value by retail. So the retail error value on Der Balrog site 2.1/0.06 35/1 error factor at that point. Each compare point to real Der Balrog site is way out.

    So online by correct factor based off counterstrike source numbers is most likely 12 to 1. 12 online sales to 1 retail. The few points where you have retail and online sales numbers around 10 to 1 are not strange.

    So you say his numbers shows that consoles are 10 times bigger. I say since his numbers don’t include online sales that is perfectly clear comparing to numbers that I know are online sales. That 10 times bigger is wrong once on-line direct downloads are added in. Online outsells the retail channel on PC.

    Steam is as large at min to the current retail channel if not many times bigger than current retail. Steam is not the only on-line direct sales channel.

    The Sims 2 biggest seller in the retail channel peaks at 20 million.

    counterstrike: source is larger by 7 million so far. Then you have to add in the Half-life games and other games valve sell.

    counterstrike: source is PC OS’x or Linux not console.

    The sims on Der Balrog list is out by about 8 million since to be correct that should read 20 million yet it says 11.23 million. Der Balrog chosen site is fairly much garbage. Full of incorrect data I could keep on going. Its truly like swiss cheese the site Der Balrog choose.

    The errors in Der Balrog chosen site numbers make my error on using consumer target sales number instead of national survey numbers look minor.

    Reality it does not change the fact consoles + PC is most likely still smaller than Mobile devices.

    There is going to be a battle at some point between Mobile device OS’s and everything else for game developers.

    PC market might be large enough to face off against mobile phones by the percentage that could be hidden.

    12 to 1 makes PC as large as everything sold in the console market. Double I was using was being nice. Only double was me being is extremely conservative.

    Dr Loser online provided games to Linux truly could be a killer app. Wine project we get more requests how to make steam provided games work than anything else. So I am very sure by the cross section we see that steam is dominate in the PC world. Anything not counting how many sold on steam is missing so much its not funny. So much that steam numbers missing fairly much renders how many game sold figures completely garbage without it. Since the error factor is that high.

    So 2 times to anything out to a few 100 times size error out by not including the on-line direct download sales on PC and using just the retail reported. Error factor this high renders the numbers trash.

  8. Dr Loser says:

    Hamster: all the Balrog did was to demolish your claim that “a majority of households have kids in them.” Adding random guesses about grandparents (I’d add aunts, uncles, and second cousins if I were you. Why stop at grandparents) is a pathetic attempt to regain lost ground.

    All your other fantasies about consoles are completely irrelevant. The Balrog has given you the figures. In terms of sales over the last ten years, console games outsell PC games by a factor of ten to one.

    That’s quite a big factor.

    Add in the fact, also demonstrated in the Balrog’s figures, that the latest games (post 2007) are almost exclusively on consoles (gee, I wonder if piracy on PCs might have anything to do with that?) and your entire argument falls apart.

    In short, PC games are just one more mythical “killer app” that will drive the take-up of Linux on the desktop (to add to all the other ones).

    Still, don’t let me stop you fantasising. It seems to be something of a forte of yours.

  9. oiaohm says:

    http://edition.cnn.com/2012/11/09/tech/gaming-gadgets/console-gaming-dead
    Consoles are showing growth problems.

    Der Balrog it depend on what kids figure you are looking at. Yes most time live at location is between 20-33 percent but when you allow grand parents…. Where the kids also stay just not full time the number of houses with kids go up. Of course those other locations also normally provide gaming.

    PS4 is coping what the Xbox the first one did.

    –The only truth is that Steam has been usurping what’s left of PC gaming.–
    No Steam one of the reason why the PC gaming market appeared to collapse. Note the word appears. Shop-front sales of PC games is basically dead there is the odd accepetion Diablo III. Digital provide games are far more common.

    vgchartz is general retail style. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_PC_video_games wikipedia makes it very clear digital provides have not been counted.

    http://www.vgchartz.com/methodology.php Yes this method suxs. The data on Wikipedia is more correct you can check where it from.

    PS4 will run into the problem all consoles do locked spec.

    Der Balrog of course there is no PS3 game older than 2007 the device was only released end of 2006.

    November 22, 2005 was Xbox360 so all the Xbox360 2006 games must sux.

    Lets take the first 10 PC release 2007 or latter.

    Diablo III 12 million
    The Sims 3 10 million
    Minecraft 9.531 million
    StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty 6 million
    World of Warcraft there are 3 release 4.7 million each. Those are not subscriptions but box sales.
    Crysis 3 million
    A new World of Warcraft Mists of Pandaria that is already up to 2.7 million.
    Final spore 2 million.

    58.7 Million is the figure for the best selling games on the PC that were release 2007 or latter sold in retail. This does not include anything sold on steam and other direct to user on-line stores. So really the PS 3 is not doing that great. Problem here to remember is most game makers are finding they sell equal numbers on steam as retail channel.

    So overall PC is somewhere between Xbox 360 and PS 3. When you join the channels to the PC what are retail and direct.

    Mind you that is not great. Wii at 200 million looks good. Until you look at mobile phones games.
    http://techcrunch.com/2012/05/07/rovios-big-year-angry-birds-helps-gaming-company-soar-to-106m-in-sales648m-downloads/

    This is kinda scary. Since sales since 2009 angry birds has passed all console game sales just in its on devices. 648 million. Current active user base is 200 million. Yes active user base matches Wii total sales.

    If you are going by game sales numbers consoles are screwed just as much as PC. Also Angry bird has not had to give 50% or so to the console maker. Wii is most likely the least screwed console by sales. PC is either screwed as much as the PS3 or the xbox360 reason we don’t know is the direct numbers are not published.

  10. Der Balrog says:

    There is a problem here. Majority of homes have kids. Majority of kids play games. Homes without kids majority of adults play games.

    Households in the US with at least one person under the age of 18: 33 percent. [Source]

    Households in Germany with at least one person under the age of 18: 20 percent. [Source]

    Getting basic facts wrong again?

    So its a fairly decent survey of the home user.

    No, it’s not. It’s a self-selective survey. But let’s see:

    In 2010 the number of American households with a desktop or laptop computer was 89,505,000. [Source]

    The ESA 2012 report states that 49% of households owns at least one dedicated gaming console.

    When it comes to cross-platform titles available for (at least) PS3, Xbox 360 and PC, we regularly see the same picture: consoles outselling PC by a large number.

    When we accumulate the sales of the 10 bestselling PC games, we get 54.6 million sold copies. Of those 10 games six were released more than 10 years ago. [Source]

    When we accumulate the sales of the 10 bestselling PS3 games, we get 87.63 million sold copies. Of those 10 games the oldest is from 2007. [Source]

    When we accumulate the sales of the 10 bestselling Xbox 360 games, we get 121.14 million sold copies. Of those 10 games the oldest is from 2007. [Source]

    The Wii takes the cake with its 10 bestselling games having accumulated 200.05 million sold copies (I have not included non-Japan numbers of Wii Sports, as it was bundled with the console). [Source]

    So we can, I think, safely conclude that PC gaming in this day and age — despite only 49% of American households owning a dedicated console, while 75% of American households own a desktop or laptop computer — is in no way representative of gaming as a whole.

    The only truth is that Steam has been usurping what’s left of PC gaming. Nothing more. It won’t come back. Not with the much-touted Steambox or whatever. The PS4 is shaping up nicely, it has a huge potential audience, it has standard PC components allowing for easier programming, it will be cheaper than the PS3 at launch, and Sony aggressively courts developers. And I’m sure Microsoft will not fall behind with their next gen system. That all only shows that even for Indy developers it makes perfect sense to look to consoles first.

  11. oiaohm says:

    DrLoser

    –Aaaand … you’re still left with the 95% or so of computer users who don’t give a rat’s arse about either games or HPCs. That 95% explains why Linux desktop usage continuously shows up on every meaningful measure you can devise as ~1%.–

    There is a problem here. Majority of homes have kids. Majority of kids play games. Homes without kids majority of adults play games.

    Majority of people don’t play games at work.

    So its a fairly decent survey of the home user.

    Just because you attempt to claim 95 percent of users don’t give a rats does not make it true.

    Also business users are the most Nat blocked from getting a proper count. Due to what carriers have been doing with nats I have been getting more and more suspect that web numbers cannot count at all.

    Steam is using the issued userid. So it is counting people. Just to be worse a person is a windows or linux user based on what they have been recorded using as the majority. The highest percentage of you valve connected time has to be that platform.

    So someone is connected to steam for 51 percent Windows 49 percent Linux they are counted as a Windows user. Same applies to OS X.

    So the Linux numbers at steam are also a usage measurement. DrLoser sorry I know my maths and I know my studies. Games can count how much active time a user-spends on each platform. This is a number web surveys never provide.

    So Valve number is 2 percent dominate Linux users. Not that a percentage of others don’t run Linux.

    Lot of game makers are already seeing the same income from Linux as OS X or more than OS X for the same game. This also kill the argument Linux people will not pay. Across the board of all the valve games release for Linux so far. Even that we know a Lot of Linux users are not connected yet due to how fun steam is to install on particular versions of Linux.

    Drloser we don’t have something cross platform to survey desktop application acquirement and usage time.

    DrLoser something to remember steam from valve is planing to ship productivity applications.

    Steam might be the best number we have for a while. I will give you DrLoser its not perfect. The reality the other numbers are worse for method and information.

  12. oiaohm says:

    http://aspensmonster.com/2013/01/19/updated-procedures-for-installing-steam-for-linux-beta-on-debian-gnulinux-testingwheezy/

    George Hostler the answer has been yes. But the package gets a few dependency things wrong due to minor differences between distrobutions. Like asking for Ubuntu libc instead of generic libc. Also the steamdeps check needs expanding so it not complaining about parts it does not need.

    steamdeps is designed around lets look up package manager and hope everything in the distributions is named the same. The best method is the test suite method(yes its slow) its the best to know that it will work.

    https://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Steam_under_Linux#Native_Steam_on_Linux

    Sometimes just using the Unpackaged option is simpler. So you don’t have to make a new package so package manager is happy.

  13. BrownieBoy says:

    Other distributions are definitely working too.

    Arch has a wiki dedicated to running Steam on Arch, for example:

    https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Steam

    It works on for me on Kubuntu 13.04 Alpha 2, which is a KDE version of Ubuntu (although no longer officially maintained by Canonical). There’s some issues – Team Fortress 2 doesn’t run, and I’m getting some lag and flickering issues in Serious Sam 3.

    It still needs more A-list titles, but as always, that’s a chicken vs egg scenario. The Mac version of Steam suffers in this regard too.

  14. George Hostler says:

    This is good considering that the Linux version was released not long ago. Since Ubuntu is Debian based, I’d be interested to hear if other Debian based distros have been able to use the Ubuntu version.

  15. DrLoser says:

    I realise that you are a clueless idiot, Hamster, and I will therefore explain this very simply to you.

    This does bring a good question. Does raise a problem with the people pointing to web serveys and saying Linux is under 1 percent.

    I’m going to pick a particular vertical market as an example here. Hooray, it’s HPCs (super computers)!

    I’m sure you can Google the figures, but let’s say for the sake of argument that 90% of HPCs run on Linux.

    Does that mean that 90% of computers run on Linux?

    No, it means that 90% of HPCs run on Linux.

    Now, let’s use the substitution principle (since you are too thick to understand basic mathematics):

    Substitute “games” for “HPCs.” Substitute “2% and growing” for “90%.”

    Aaaand … you’re still left with the 95% or so of computer users who don’t give a rat’s arse about either games or HPCs. That 95% explains why Linux desktop usage continuously shows up on every meaningful measure you can devise as ~1%.

    I don’t know who taught you maths, Hamster, but if I were you I would ask for my money back.

  16. lpbbear says:

    I think it will easily pass MacOS once Valve releases a version of Steam not based on Ubuntu. As I understand it Valve currently only has a version tailored for Ubuntu. There are a lot of Linux users out there not participating in Steam on other distros. Once that wave hits the numbers will easily climb past MacOS.

  17. oiaohm says:

    This does bring a good question. Does raise a problem with the people pointing to web serveys and saying Linux is under 1 percent.

    Game population its already showing as about two.

    Valve survey will be interesting to watch. It does also show that a majority of Linux users run 64 bit. Even in Windows the majority are 64 bit.

    Yet way so many new 32 bit programs?

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