Good morning! Let’s to it:
- If you had told me 15, nay, 10 years ago that in 2013 the stars of CES would be a viable Linux game console and a VR headset… well, that’s the position we’re in. The Verge has posted their best of show awards, and Valve walked away with “Biggest Story” honors for their “Steam Box” efforts:
With nary an announcement (and more of a fortuitous run-in with Gabe Newell), Valve laid out its vision to us for gaming hardware — its own Linux-powered box, a range of branded partner devices, and some rumination on multiple new methods of interaction (e.g. biometrics). It’s a new way of thinking about gaming platforms, and it’s one that Valve really has the leverage to pull off.
But the strongest praise was reserved for the Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headset, which won their “Best Gaming” and “Best in Show” honors:
My childhood (at least the formative years) was spent reading novels like Neuromancer and Snow Crash, and poring over stories about a future promised by Mondo 2000 and Wired. Virtual reality has long been the ultimate promise of technology — the magic mandala, a doorway to the infinite. But the thing is: it never happened. We got touchscreens, motion sensors, the tablet revolution, body-hacking… but we never got our cyberdecks. Until now. The Oculus Rift actually delivers on the promise, and then some. It’s really, really amazing. Truly and honestly a revelation, a trip, a rabbit hole. And I’m going in. Forever. Goodbye universe. Hello universe.
One note: while the initial Kickstarter effort mentioned Linux support (complete with Tux logo), it appears at least the initial SDK will be Windows-only. In any case, I’m sure it won’t be long before we can go FULL GARGOYLE:
- It still feels weird writing this, but Team Fortress 2 received an update last week to add promo items and bugfixes.
- A new version of FTL was made available prior to the start of the new year with a colorblind mode, new hotkeys, and various fixes. The patch is available from the Humble Store (via http://www.ftlgame.com/) or Steam. The game’s complete soundtrack is also available for listening online or purchase now.
- Phoronix pointed out that there’s a few Linux gaming sessions planned for the Free and Open source Software Developers’ European Meeting, or FOSDEM, which takes place February 2nd and 3rd in Brussels, Belgium.
- Marlon Drescher mentioned that his indie MMORPG, Forgotten Elements, can now be played, which he created as a single developer (!).
- Special Unit, a Stargate-themed total conversion (I haven’t typed those words in a while) for Unreal Tournament 2004 (those either) was released.
- Ensign-1 is a space combat sim (is it just me or are those kinda rare these days?) being updated iteratively on Desura (the price rises as they grow closer to completing the game ).