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.
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.
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.
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?