the Playtron company is developing an alternative to Windows and SteamOS

the Playtron company is developing an alternative to Windows and SteamOS

When it comes to Linux-based gaming software, Valve’s Steam Deck immediately comes to mind. At one time, the release of a new portable game console and also based on completely new software became a sensation. The impression was enhanced by the fact that the software was based on Linux, developers from Valve created an excellent operating system for their console.

This product puts the Steam Desk in a separate category of gaming devices. Moreover, in comparison with it, devices on Windows, for example, Asus ROG Ally, Lenovo Legion Go and MSI Claw, do not seem so perfect. But soon, as you can understand, another alternative may appear.

What is it about?

The fact is that a small company called Playtron is currently working on a Linux-based operating system. And this OS is “sharpened” exclusively for games, and not only on desktops, but also on laptops or other types of gaming devices.

Like SteamOS, it has everything you need to play, including the ability to run Windows titles under Linux. The dignity of the OS also lies in the fact that it allows you to download games not only from Steam, but also from other game stores – there is no rigid attachment to any directory.

The new operating system was named PlaytronOS. It is quite different from everything we have seen so far. The project team stated that this operating system will allow portable devices to be fully lootable, with nothing to distract the player in the same way that it is organized on the Nintendo Switch.

This is a platform for maximally cross-platform gaming, on which you can conditionally run anything, if it is possible in principle.

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Well, all the people are known

The head of the company developing the new OS was the founder of Cyanogen — probably many people on Habra have heard about it. Of course, there are not very good episodes in the history of that company, but in terms of software development, the team has experience, and considerable.

PlaytronOS does not compete with Windows or Linux. Rather, it is a new line of work that is exclusively related to games. After all, if the system turns out to be successful, many companies that make game consoles, including perhaps the Chinese, will want to test it in their products. Of course, the offer should be interesting, so here everything depends on the startup.

Playtron raised $10 million in seed funding and hired a team of developers who worked on projects such as Box86 (which allows some Windows games built for x86 processors to run on devices with ARM-based chips), ChimeraOS (a GNU/Linux distribution that offers a user interface similar to SteamOS), and Heroic Games Launcher (offers an alternative to the SteamOS game launcher, making it easy to play non-Steam games on Steam Deck or other PCs – it supports Linux, Windows and macOS).

As you can see, there are already software options that offer exactly what the company is going to implement with its project. But the problem is that all this is the fate of geeks. Playtron is developing a solution that will work without any fine tuning of config etc. – a pure user solution for a wide range of devices.

What about business?

An OS license will cost around $10, which automatically makes it much more attractive than Windows. The user interface on the device is simpler than Windows. Management is implemented using the buttons of the game controller. Plus, Playtron will offer support, develop the community and do everything that should be done in such services.

Playtron is currently in talks with a number of device manufacturers and hopes to see a few portable devices shipping with PlaytronOS next year. At least one company may release a device with this software this year.

It seems that the company has already managed to reach an agreement with some organizations. So, in January, AYANEO announced plans to release a low-cost laptop that will ship with HoloISO, a fork of SteamOS. But the company later abandoned those plans and instead ships the system with Windows (although you can download a HoloISO build if you want to install it yourself). Now, Playtron has announced that AYANEO plans to release a PlaytronOS-powered laptop by the end of 2024.

Journalists from The Verge tested the system (it was installed on Steam Deck) on a number of games, including Death Stranding, Dave the Diver, and Baltaro.

It is likely that over time the company will have competitors. For example, the same Microsoft will work on making Windows more convenient for portable devices.

An open alpha version will be released within the next two months.

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