Valve has today published its monthly update for Steam Hardware Survey, with an update for July. Besides the regular fluctuations in the market share of CPU and GPU vendors, there is another interesting change slowly happening. According to the newest data from the survey, gaming on Linux has climbed to 1.0% for the first time in years.
Back in 2018, Valve introduced Proton, a technology that translates Windows-specific API calls to Linux equivalents, enabling thousands of Linux gamers to play the games that they wanted to, but were unable because they weren't using Windows OS.
At the same time, many Linux gamers were trying out the Proton software and the market share of Linux gamers managed to climb to around 2% of a much smaller Steam customer base. However, after this testing period ended, only 0.8-0.9% of gamers were still using Linux distros, and the percentages stayed within that range for some time.
In the latest Steam Hardware Survey published for July, Valve has noted that Linux gaming market share managed to climb to 1.0% of all gaming systems questioned in the survey. And this is quite a bit of achievement, given that Valve has access to millions of PCs and gamers across the world.
What are the possible reasons for such growth you might wonder? For starters, Valve has recently announced its Steam Deck portable gaming console, which runs a Linux-based Arch OS. As many people heard that the new console runs Linux OS, it is possible that many decided to try the experience and prepare for what is to come, once the new console launches.
It is important to note that once Valve begins shipping Steam Deck consoles to the many eager early adopters, the Linux gaming market share will continue to grow. All of the people using the console will contribute to the growth of Linux gaming, helping it to a much higher level adoption. The growth of the Linux gaming ecosystem and community is still going to take baby steps to increase, however, given that a major software and hardware developer like Valve is supporting it, there are chances that it could reach a double-digit percentage sometime in the future.