Cedega 4.0: Linux Takes on Windows Gaming
As an operating system, Linux has many things to recommend it over Windows. Gaming, alas, is not one of them. Compared to Windows, Linux just doesn't have anywhere near the same level of good games. Yes, there are a few here and there, but overall, Windows continues to dominate as the PC gaming platform of choice, with the widest array of content and the most up-to-date graphics and audio drivers.
Conventional wisdom dictates that it's always better to run games and applications natively. In the past, several game publishers would try to port their titles to Linux, but the return on investment was just too small. At one point, Loki tried to make a business out of porting titles from Windows to Linux, in much the way that MacPlay ported Windows games to the Apple platform. But Loki imploded in 2002, and no one else has tried such an ambitious approach.
The WineX project was started to enable Windows gaming on the Linux platform. Taking the WineX code and adding support and subscription options, TransGaming is trying to create a somewhat different business model. Instead of porting Windows titles to Linux, Windows games simply run under Linux.
TransGaming recently gave WineX a new name, Cedega, and announced support for a number of DirectX 9 titles. Thanks to the Cedega application, users have at least a chance at running some of their favorite Windows games on Linux -- the key word being chance. It all depends on a number of factors, one of which is, how much futzing are you prepared to do to make a Windows game run on Linux? If you're a seasoned Linux user, an afternoon spent twiddling .conf file can be fine entertainment. If you just want a "click-and-go" gaming experience, however, Cedega may not be for you.
We tried Cedega out on three different distributions (and with a bunch of games). The results were decidedly mixed.
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