In this series, we have covered many of the major ways in which Linux and Windows systems vary. While Windows certainly has the majority of support for personal computer users, server space is far more based in Linux. Perhaps the reason for Microsoft owning so much of the “personal use” market is the presence of gaming options. In today’s entry, we will discuss how gaming differs between a Linux and Windows system.
Windows: The Gaming Addict
Windows has no shortage of games to play. Out of the box, Windows will support the majority of games that can be found on the market with just a update driver. There are some compatibility issues when it comes to games older than a few years, especially ones designed for Windows 98 and earlier. Even these compatibility issues can often be resolved. Windows Compatibility Mode, a variety of patches, and a devoted PC gamer community have all led to a resilient approach to gaming.
Almost all games are designed with Windows in mind. This means that there is no lengthy process to get your game on. Additionally, Windows has advanced graphics drivers which are required for many games. Without these, advanced hardware acceleration may not be possible.
Linux: It’s Getting There
Linux does a decent job of playing Windows games. Wine and Cedega are two of the most popular additions to help your Linux system use software designed for a Windows platform. These aren’t emulators, so they can reach high speeds, sometimes even surpassing Windows velocity.
Copy protection, undocumented features, and requirements for advanced graphics acceleration all make this battle uphill for Linux. While many of these hurdles can be leapt over, doing so is far from easy for standard users. The community actively seeks to fix these issues, but sound and interface drivers remain problematic.
Linux has fewer compatibility issues for games it can play. Almost any game that plays on one distro can be played on all of them. Ironically, some older games designed for Windows and DOS play more easily on a Linux system than they do on current Windows versions.