I think it possible.
Do you honestly believe that Valve cares enough to even consider a linux port of steam?
I think it possible.
Thank you for the welcome. :-)
I just want you to know I've never "witnessed" any slights to Ryan, here or anywhere. I clearly have more faith in his dedication to linux gaming than some, though. :-)
I also remind the despairing that we will play our games on the platform of our choosing, one way or another.
I know there are purists here who will not run their games in Wine. I'd like them to know that I did buy Postal 2: Share The Pain, Tribal Trouble, and Dark Horizons:Lore as linux games. :-) I also taught more than a few rookies how to install their UT 2003 native on linux, from (and crediting) Ryan's instructions as far back as November, 2003.
My fingers are crossed that the steam installer theory turns out to be correct and that we will get the chance to buy UT3 for linux soon,
P.S. This will be the first UT I've waited for the linux version of, as it's been my favorite FPS since the previous century (and the linux installers were on the 2003/2004 CD's). I'll need to build a new PC for this one.
About Steam... It is not so much about the "delivery platform" than the actual content that would hold back its release, even if it already had a native client, the client wouldn't be of any use without actual content and games available for the platform, and those can take a while to port.
Steam could offer wine or cedega like it does offer dosbox for playing the older dos games.
One of the issues commercial linux gaming has is that people are hesitant to purchase games online from a small distributer after the Lokigames fiasco. With steam there would be a sense of reassurance that steam will still be around and not mysteriously closing the door at some time.
I hope valve is listening to you, but somehow I doubt they will consider porting steam to linux.
What I'm saying is if steam makes a linux client, there will be more linux games or games ported. I think the potential for success is HUGE since linux is increasingly popular and demand for linux titles is also growing. If steam can get most of the linux gamers to use it then it may become a "deFacto" in the linux world and eventually become "the traditionnal" way of gaming on linux. Whereas on a windows system, the defacto is getting off your arse and go to the future shop bargain bin or bootleg rack.
Also the fact that one of the top reasons why one would not wish to use linux is the lack of games. Therefore, if steam releases a client, linux gaming would gain huge traction. And if linux gaming gains traction, linux desktop does as well. And if linux desktop does better, steam linux would also do better.
This is my speculation, to me it makes a lot of sense. If I had the capital, competence, experience and knowledge, I would make my own digital distribution service for linux. The ROI would be crap for a while, but if the whole proves to be quite adequate, it could really do well in a couple of years or so.
UT3 would be really cool to have on Linux. Compared to other current games like Crysis the engine is much more basic but a lot faster. Maybe the developers could add at least an OpenGL renderer for the Win game to let wine run much faster - the D3D implementation only works with tricks and is really slow for this game.