The software and hardware are what make the PC gaming ecosystem so diverse. While most things operate in fundamentally the same manner, the devil is in the details. One of those little devils is the user’s operating system which directly affects which games are available. Valve has been working on Linux OS for a while now, and it could see a massive boost with their new partnership with NVIDIA.
NVIDIA recently announced that it would be bringing DLSS to Linux operating systems, which would allow RTX users on the OS to get the performance boost of DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling). The support will come in the guise of Steam Proton, a software that allows Windows games to work on Linux. If this is successful, Linux gamers can expect a significant boost in the way their games run. Unity is already stated to support DLSS by the end of the year.
DLSS runs a game at a lower resolution, like 1080p, and then upscales the image to make it look sharper without significantly impacting the overall PC performance. It brings a big change to any games that support it, giving developers the freedom to make far more stable experiences in terms of performance. This will bring apparent advantages for the games using DLSS through Steam Proton.
Rumors also say that Valve is also working on a Steam handheld console. The console said to be powered by Linux would be similar to the Switch. The performance and battery life have been two main concerns for fans already, even though Valve has not confirmed anything regarding this console. DLSS could be very useful for a handheld console, too, allowing many games to run smoothly and also look great.
The connection to the handheld by Steam could be the most apparent reason for this partnership between NVIDIA and Valve. Gabe Newell, Co-Founder of Valve, teased a few weeks ago that we may start seeing Steam on more platforms. A handheld would be a perfect fit for Steam, and one that has DLSS could be a significant marketing position for the company.
However, it seems we don’t have a date regarding when we can expect to see DLSS come to Linux systems. There are also some indicators that the games which can support this would be limited to Proton titles instead of native Linux ports. This, too, hasn’t been confirmed and depends entirely on how NVIDIA and Valve decide to proceed. Linux does have a sizeable user base in the PC world, with more and more turning to the OS each day, so this would be a welcome addition for all the Linux gamers.
NVIDIA Corporation is an American multinational technology company incorporated in Delaware, based in Santa Clara, California. They design graphics processing units (GPUs) for the gaming and professional markets, as well as system on chip units (SoCs) for the mobile computing and automotive market.
Best known for the “GeForce” lines of GPUs, they are a direct competitor to AMD’s “Radeon” series. NVIDIA has also expanded its offerings with its handheld game consoles Shield Portable, Shield Tablet, and Shield Android TV and its cloud gaming service GeForce Now.
About Valve Software
Valve Corporation, also known as Valve Software, is an American video game developer, publisher, and digital distribution company based in Bellevue, Washington. Valve is best known for the software distribution platform Steam, along with gaming franchises such as Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Portal, Day of Defeat, Team Fortress, Left 4 Dead, and Dota.