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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Virtualbox + Games = Solution to last major hurdle?

Just a quick post. This is probably old news to many of you, but I continue to have high hopes for VirtualBox solving the Gaming issue with Non-Windows system (i.e. Linux). My hope is that using VirtualBox, people will eventually be able to simply play their Windows videogames in Linux.

There are people already dabbling with this idea and things continue to improve.

Here are a couple of articles talking about success stories with gaming through VBox:

These articles are somewhat old and VirtualBox has already released newer versions with even more 3D acceleration support. According to some of the information I have seen about porting videogames to Linux, one of the biggest hurdles is the 3rd party applications used. This is frequently things like login software, sound systems, or anti-cheating. These are often proprietary, totally closed source, random applications that can be really a problem for porting.

Using VirtualBox, it lets Windows handle everything but the direct video rendering, which is passed up to the host OS, where it is offloaded to the resident GPU. Assuming this pass-through can be done with minimal performance loss, this option for gaming is basically awesome, since it lets Windows handle all the nasty software pitfalls.

I remember when I learned about Virtualization software years ago, and naively thought I would be able to play my videogames through it. Now several years later, this is slowly becoming a reality. Using VirtualBox, the Linux community might be able to overcome much of the last major hurdle for Linux adoptation into the Desktop Market. Namely, gaming.

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