Just last week, we reported regarding Valve’s plans to bring a new Steam feature that would let Linux gamers play titles created for other operating systems like Windows. This rumor was fuelled by some Steam GUI files that had some unused text, referencing to such kind of compatibility.
Now Valve has gone ahead and made this feature official. As expected, the new feature is a result of integrating tools like Wine with Steam in a better manner. The new Steam Play feature comes with a modified version of Wine, which is called Proton, to bring better compatibility with Windows games.
Valve says that they started working to improve the performance of Windows games. By supporting Wine and other emulators in a better manner, the gaming company aimed at offering a straightforward plug-and-play experience to Linux users.
Coming back to Proton, it comes with Vulkan-based DirectX 11 and 12 implementations. So, expect a real-world performance improvement and lower impact on the host operating system.
Work has also been done to improve the fullscreen gaming experience, game controller support, and multithreaded gaming performance.
Proton is open source and you can access its code on GitHub. Currently, it is available in Beta. You can refer to the official blog post for the initial set of supported games; Steam expects to expand this support to more games in future. You can also go ahead and vote to have your favorite games to be considered for the new Steam Play support.