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valveThe Linux Foundation announced today that Valve has joined its ranks as a member, as the Bellevue-based game company continues preparations for the release of its Linux-powered Steam Box console next year.

The move is yet another step away from Windows 8, which Valve head Gabe Newell has called a “catastrophe.” Valve’s plan is to try and get top games onto Linux, in the hopes that will help consumers make the jump to the open platform, which he considers a “get-out-of-jail free pass” for the gaming industry.

“Joining the Linux Foundation is one of many ways Valve is investing in the advancement of Linux gaming. Through these efforts, we hope to contribute tools for developers building new experiences on Linux, compel hardware manufacturers to prioritize support for Linux, and ultimately deliver an elegant and open platform for Linux users,” Mike Sartain, one of Valve’s top Linux developers, said in a press release.

Valve’s position on the foundation will hopefully assist it in getting game developers to work on Linux in concert with offerings for Windows. But that’s an uphill battle. PC gaming has been heavily concentrated on Windows because that’s where developers have first released major games. Getting core gamers to jump ship to the Steam Box will take a lot of work, but it seems like Valve’s in it for the long haul.

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