A Linux Based Modular Gaming Console To Run Windows Games

Project Novatio Linux based gaming console to run Windows games

What’s the Achilles’ heel for Linux users?

Let me point that out for you. It’s gaming on Linux.

Don’t get me wrong. Gaming on Linux has improved significantly in recent years, thanks to the effort of companies like Steam, Feral Interactive and GOG.com. We even have Linux distributions specifically for gaming.

In addition to that. Steam has launched its own gaming console range in the form of Steam Machines. These gaming consoles are basically PC hidden inside the casket of a gaming console.

But even with all these, gaming on Linux nowhere close to gaming on Windows. Can this scenario be changed?

Meet Project Novatio : A hybrid gaming console and PC

Things don’t improve by itself, one has to make the effort. This motto resulted in the birth of Project Novatio. A brainchild of hardcore gamers and Linux lovers who want to bring them together.

So what exactly is Project Novatio?

It’s an upcoming project, based in Italy, that is working on a modular gaming console. This console will run a custom Linux distribution called NovOS and it will be ‘able to play all Steam games, including the Windows ones’, claims Project engineer Samuele Bagalà.

Project Novatio Linux gaming console

The concept is very similar to Steam machine. So you have got a PC inside the body of a console. You might be aware that most hardcore gamers prefer PC over consoles because PCs have better hardware and can be upgraded easily. That’s not possible with consoles.

Keeping this in mind, Project Novatio will provide a modular console. This means that you can easily customize your console by swapping its parts and upgrading it as per your desire and need.

This gives Novatio an edge over the other consoles because Novatio has the configuration of a high-end gaming PC which can be easily upgraded in future.

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How can it play Windows games on a Linux OS?

That’s the biggest claim made by Project Novatio. And I know you would be curious to know exactly how can they run Windows games on Linux?

When I enquired about it, Samuele told me that the Windows games execution is made possible “thanks to a chip which is settled on the motherboard that converts the Windows software and fit them to Linux” [sic]. They are trying to get a patent for it.

Novatio features

To summarize the features promised in Novatio:

  • Modular console
  • High end PC configuration
  • Custom Linux NovOS
  • Can run all Steam games including Windows ones
  • No support for console games (no PS4 or Xbox games support)
  • Can also be used with Android smartphone as controller

When and where to get Novatio console?

Not so soon, unfortunately. The project is in starting phase and it needs funding. Samuele told me that their plan is to start a crowdfunding campaign soon.

Once they get enough money, they might ship some early prototypes to selected users by mid-2017. By end of the year 2017, it will be available for general public.

A modular console with high-end PC config that runs Windows games on Linux based OS. If this device actually makes it to the market, it does have the potential to be a game-changer.

What do you think?

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"A Linux Based Modular Gaming Console To Run Windows Games"

It's true that Linux's big draw back into the OS market is gaming, get kids into Linux gaming and they will use it other reasons that will help the community.

The case looks good and you can turn it sideways/upside down. I want one because an emulator can't do that.

FIBER0PTIC/FBR,Teh HUMBLE Guys, Napalm & Worship,

So, you show an article on a PC-gaming-focused side to support and "prove" that PC gaming is superior to Console gaming? Aren't they, y'know, biased right off the bat? What about those guys? And what about the downside of PC gaming? Are they exposed?

How does that new Linux-based project eliminates the main problems PC has on console-focused games? Don't get me wrong, the new generations of consoles takes a lot of the bad things from PC gaming, like DRM and hours of installation. But they're still plug-and-play and this has still a focus on local multiplayer.

I'm gonna follow the project, but that article made me suspicious about it, while I'm a FOSS enthousiast and still wanna watch the fusion between FOSS and console/arcade platforms.

I'm interested, but I can't give any money until I see this in action with a detailed explanation on how it works that makes sence, or even better I want either me or the general public to get a hands on demo where we can see for ourselves and run our own simple tests before I throw a cent that way. If it works and is what they advertise hell yeah I'll help fund it, but I need proof first.

maybe they plan on putting some type of emulator on the chip that works like virtualbox or wine. Thats really the only legal way they can do it.

I dunno, I've never understood this incessant desire to play Windows games on anything other than a Windows machine. Its like.....if you want an XBox you buy one right?...and you play the games on it that you want....the same applies to the PS4....you buy the console and you play the games you want. Why then can't someone just have a windows desktop/laptop dedicated to just playing the games that they like on it? I have nothing but Linux running in my house. I don't use Windows for ANYTHING, period. I don't need it. I've got all I need running Linux, and I don't have any particular need to play games "Designed For Windows". I think there should be more development for Linux/Unix/BSD and less effort trying to "fuse" Windows onto Linux like a third arm. I have no doubt there are games that will never come out for Linux that a ton of people would like to play,....well here's the easy solution:


You buy it...you play the games you want on it. And you stop trying to perfect the Frankenstein Monster. I don't care what graphics cards you think you need, or what kind of motherboard you have a desire for, all that matters is that you're able to do what you want (or NEED ) to do on your machine. Now...I know a lot might ostracise me for making these claims and statements, but understand that this "lack" of having in regards to Windows is what caused Linux to come about initially! Why meddle with what can be considered "old" technology (games for Windows have been designed and built since the EIGHTIES!.....when you can just focus on getting the games you want/need to work on an open platform? Tp me THAT would be a more worthwhile use of one's time. Instead of trying to find a way to get Windows games to work on Linux systems, why not try to get Linux games to play on Linux?...LoL!

Just my observations and two cents

Melih İlker Güngör

Apart from selling the idea of setting up a GNU/Linux, aiming to run a bunch of games designed for Microsoft Windows specifically as new that sounds very suspicious, putting a built-in microchip dedicated for converting games looks "menu of the day" at the table.

The community behind the GNU/Linux already has Wine and Codeweavers' Crossover projects, that provide a layer between the operating system and Windows x86 applications. In my point of view, raising donations for sorts of "projects" are damaging the reputation of kickstarter projects, originally keep on the right side of pride, law and ethics.

A chip that converts Windows software into Linux software? Is that even possible?

Of course! The chip is codenamed: "Binary Unified Linux Localizer for Software and Hardware Integrated Transformation"

Vinny Baggadonuts

Awesome! Hahaha, this one made me laugh out loud. I'm extremely skeptical of their claims. This console sounds like it will fit in well at Hogwarts Academy, meanwhile in the real world...

What about non steam windows games? This is the Achilles heal, steam has ported a lot of the games even the high end titles. I know there is wine, but its far far from perfect

I am not a developer but that sounds like a strange story to me. How can a chip convert windows games into linux software? Does someone have any kind of idea how this could work?

A chip for running MS WOS games? I already play MS WOS Steam games with PalyonLinux's wine in my Manjaro