Zotac Steam Machine ZBOX NEN SN970 Review
Published: 20th November 2015 | Source: Zotac | Price: £799.99 @ OCUK |
SteamOS - What the future holds
Like most things that are new SteamOS and Valve's Steam Machines suffer from a few problems, most of which are simply due to the fact that SteamOS is new, different and not like PC gaming as we know it.
This is very similar to a new games console, and a lot of the issues with Linux/SteamOS gaming can be easily described as the plagues of being an Early adopter. Right now many people will argue that SteamOS does not have many games, to which I will say that neither did the Wii U, PS4 and Xbox One when it was initially launched.
Right now SteamOS has over 1000 compatible games on the Steam Service, which is a lot of games to say the least. While plenty of new games are not released on Linux right not, more are certainly coming, and more and more developers are becoming increasingly interested in PC gaming outside of Windows.
GPU Drivers and the Vulkan API
On Linux the situation for GPUs is not as good as it is in Windows right now, but it is rapidly improving. AMD has already promised better GPU drivers on both Windows and Linux and Nvidia have already greatly improved their Linux performance over the past year.
One thing that also needs to be noted is that the Khronos Groups Vulkan API is coming and being a multi-platform, multi-vendor next generation API it has already received the backing from Valve, AMD, Nvidia, Blizzard and many other companies.
Vulkan is essentially an AMD Mantle based next generation API which is more or less the equivalent of DirectX 12, but unlike DirectX 12 it is capable of running on a Non-Microsoft OS' like Linux, SteamOS, Android and Apple OS X as well as any recent Windows based OS'.
What Vulkan will do is cause a gaming revolution for non-windows based PC platforms, as current cross-platform API's like OpenGL is considered by most developers to be inferior to DirectX 11, so a new API to power future Linux and Mac OS compatible games will do a lot to improve gaming on these platforms. One thing to also note is that Vulkan powered games will also work on Windows, so making games which work on multiple platforms will be much simpler, allowing more games to be released on SteamOS.
With AMD and Nvidia working hard to improve their drivers and with the Vulkan API on the way the performance situation for games on Linux is set to improve tremendously within the next year.