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Steam sale photo
Steam sale

Steam's autumn sale is different this year

Prepare to scroll
Nov 25
// Jordan Devore
Send help! It's that deal-filled time of year when I have far too many browser tabs open. As you might have noticed from the new storefront illustration, Steam began its autumn sale today (officially, it's the "Exploration Sa...
Steam sales photo
Steam sales

The next big Steam sales will have more stable discounts

So long, daily and flash deals
Nov 20
// Jordan Devore
Valve is tweaking the way it handles major sales on Steam -- at least the next pair. The upcoming autumn sale (November 25 - December 1) and winter sale (December 22 - January 4) will not feature the limited-time daily deals ...
Saxxy Awards photo
Saxxy Awards

Here are the winners of Valve's 2015 Saxxy awards

TF2 is still funny 8 years later
Nov 19
// Joe Parlock
Valve used to make really god damn cool videos for its games. Alongside the now legendary Team Fortress 2 Meet the… videos, it also produced some rad videos for Left 4 Dead and Portal 2. The last one I c...
Deals photo

Steam Machines are out, so there's a game sale

The Steam Link sounds intriguing
Nov 10
// Jordan Devore
Today is a big hardware day for Valve. The Steam Controller ($49.99), Steam Link ($49.99), and Steam Machines (starting at $449.99) have officially launched in North America and Europe. Impressions of those devices have been ...

Steam Sales photo
Steam Sales

Valve misled customers during the Steam Summer Sale, says UK's Advertising Authority

The discount on GTA V was misleading
Nov 06
// Joe Parlock
Back during the Steam Summer Sale, there was a fairly large uproar about the pricing of Grand Theft Auto V. Between the game’s launch and the Summer Sale, GTA V cost £39.99. Suddenly once the sale began, the origi...
Make items, make money photo
Make items, make money

First Steam developer Item Store opened, not quite paid mods

Modder and developer profit split
Nov 05
// Steven Hansen
Valve caught mad flak early this year trying to introduce paid mods (modders could charge for their work on the Steam Workshop) to an existing Skyrim communities whose modders often shared content freely. Suddenly someone els...
Steam player record photo
Steam player record

No Halloween plans? Steam hits new user record over weekend

Almost 12.6 players on Halloween
Nov 02
// Steven Hansen
Steam is continuing its trend of increasing concurrent players and breaking past service records every few months. Just in June it was exciting to see Steam hit 10 million users using the service at the same time. This Hallow...

Review: Steam Controller

Oct 23 // Chris Carter
As I've stated in the past, the build is a bit flimsy, and over time you really start to feel how awkward the design is. When I opened up the battery cover for the first time and tried to close it, I felt like I was breaking the controller. The paddles have been conspicuously built into the cover itself, which has a lot to do with it, but it doesn't necessarily feel like a $50 device, all told. On the flipside, there's an aura of familiarity to the Steam Controller. It has your classic face button setup, with the same exact colors and letters as the Xbox pad -- a PC staple that you're probably already used to. The main difference lies in the left and right paddles on the back, in addition to the two triggers and two bumpers, as well as the two pads that sit above the lone analog stick. Even after a week of testing, I still find the choice to include two pads a bit odd. Again, the left side is absolute garbage if used as a traditional d-pad. Playing platformers is a chore, and I had to constantly rely on the analog stick for movement -- and in some cases when the game didn't support it, map WASD or the d-pad to it. It's just not built for precision if you're not using it like a mouse. For those games that do utilize both pads however, like shooters, it's actually quite intuitive. It takes some getting used to, but if you fine-tune your sensitivity settings both in-game and on Steam, it manages to transcend a traditional controller, and come closer to something like a mouse and keyboard setup. It's at this point of clarity that I felt like I was at a crossroads. I mean, it works well with a lot of games -- I found it to be more than adequate for Valkyria Chronicles for instance -- but it's just so limited that I often found myself swapping out an Xbox One controller due to frustration. In that sense, it doesn't really succeed in being a one-stop shop for PC, which isn't ideal. There are a few genres where you'll find a degree of success with it (racing as well as shooters), but it never really measures up to its competition. The best part of the device however is the heavy amount of customization power it holds. If you actually dig down into Steam's settings, you can switch up nearly every aspect of the unit. Every button is swappable, down to the paddles on the back, and even the two pads can be swapped to emulate a mouse or analog sticks. Everything right now has to be done manually though. While there are plenty of options for developer-based "recommended" settings and community suggestions, there are very few people out there who actually have a Steam Controller in their hands. As such, I had to look up some configurations and manually input them, which took upwards of 15 minutes for each individual game. Heck, I didn't even discover the gyrometer function until a few days in. [embed]316931:60831:0[/embed] And really, that's the target audience for the Steam Controller -- hardcore PC fans who like to tinker almost more than they actually play (hell, you need to do a lot of legwork if you want to use your device with non-Steam games, like for example, The Witcher III if you bought it at GOG). Over the years I've kind of taken the middle road, as I like the accessibility of consoles, and the open nature of the PC platform, and the Steam Controller kind of straddles both philosophies in that way. It's a gateway for console fans to enjoy PC games more, but it's still not as reliable as an Xbox controller. It's also very easy to set up. If you pop in the included Bluetooth dongle, you're basically good to go after pushing the giant Valve button in the middle of the controller. If you're going the wired route, your PC should instantly recognize it. While there are optional drivers you can install on the unit itself (similar to Xbox One), it's a plug-and-play affair with zero stress, and two AA batteries. Maybe somewhere down the line, the Steam Controller will have hundreds of instant configurations loaded into the OS, and the next iteration of the device itself may be fine-tuned based on the feedback from the first generation. But for now, I'd only pick it up if your curiosity has been piqued, and you game on your PC nonstop. [This impressions piece is based on a retail build of the unit purchased by the writer.]
Steam Controller photo
Wait for the next version
PC gaming has come a long way since I first witnessed it in the '80s. There were hundreds of peripherals, from first- to third-party controllers, joysticks, proprietary flight sim devices, to full-on vibrating vests for games...

Fallout series for cheap photo
Fallout series for cheap

All the Fallout games on sale on Steam again this weekend

Well, not Fallout 4...or Shelter
Oct 22
// Steven Hansen
After Fallout 4 was announced, Steam discounted the preceding entries in the Fallout series. Steam has now done this again, ahead of Fallout 4's November 10 release date, just in case you did not buy any of them last time. Th...
Steam Controllers photo
Steam Controllers

Steam Controllers straight-up do not work on Macs right now

Free games as an apology
Oct 19
// Chris Carter
Valve seems to play things loosely quite often, much like its "open air, no boss" work environment. As such, it turns out that Macs are not supported right now in regards to Valve's recently released (for pre-orders) Steam Co...
Steam Link photo
Steam Link

Steam Link commercial: What do Team Fortress 2 characters play on their day off?

Valve $50's steam stream box
Oct 16
// Steven Hansen
Steam's Link is out today and while the svelte black box lacks defining features like pointy ears and an emerald green tunic, people are digging it. Our own Chris Carter seems pretty fond of the $50 box, which is meant to se...

Hands-on with Valve's fantastic Steam Link streaming box

Oct 16 // Chris Carter
The unit itself is small and light, which means that it won't be an eyesore in any location you decide to place it in. There's two USB slots on the back, one on the side (just like the Xbox One), an Ethernet slot, and an HDMI out. It comes with a power cable, three power converters for worldwide regions, and an HDMI cable. The Steam Link was incredibly easy to set up, and took me about five minutes from opening the box to access my account. Basically all you do is power it up, hook up an HDMI cable, and either use a keyboard and mouse or Steam Controller to access the UI. From there you'll either run off of your wired connection or enter your Wi-Fi password, download a few updates, and that's it. Of course this isn't a proper Steam Machine, so you'll need to be running Steam off of your core PC to stream it to the box (you can also add multiple PCs if you wish). The system uses a modified version of the Big Picture UI, which works quite well. Recent, installed, and favorite games are located on the side, along with your total game catalog, videos, music, and current downloads. You can also easily search your library or activate a product directly from the Link. Users can also readily view which games are installed (indicated by a green checkmark), so you don't have to individually check everything. Just like Big Picture proper, if you want to install something, you can do so from the Link. Also, the web and chat functionality is greatly improved thanks to the Steam Controller's added input methods if you don't have a keyboard handy. The only issue I've had so far is that the Link will sometimes have problems with the resolution, bumping it up to a ridiculously high level after my host PC pushes an update. To fix it, I just have to move the mouse a bit on my host. For now it's not that big of a deal since I have it in the living room right next to the Link, but I'm eventually planning on moving it into the basement, so I'll have to tinker a bit to see what's causing this (I would suspect my multi-monitor setup might have something to do with it). Other than that, it's been painless, and the stream quality is superb. Through a 50 Mbps connection I'm not getting any input lag. As a note, you'll want to opt into the Steam client beta (system settings panel, big picture UI) to gain access to all of the updates prior to the official November launch. Also, there is already a firmware update for the Steam Controller itself as of today -- you'll have to connect it directly to the host PC to get it, as the Steam Link cannot actually push firmware. You can, however, remotely turn off Steam Link, which reverts your host PC back to the standard Steam UI, and automatically shuts down your Link and Steam Controller. I'll be touching on the Steam Controller once I'd had more time with it, but I like how it interfaces directly with your OS. In other words, start is mapped to enter, and the right pad functions as a mouse. As for the pad itself, I'm really not digging the d-pad, especially for platformers, but I like that it's a multi-purpose unit that doesn't just cater to one genre. Valve also offers configuration options through Steam for titles that don't normally support controllers, though they obviously can't alter the hard-coded keyboard-specific tutorials. If you'd rather go the old-school route, Xbox controllers work as well (wired is best, but the current 360 wireless dongle works too). So far my Steam in-home experience has been rather smooth, which is good news since it's still technically in beta. I still need to put the Steam Controller through the paces, but I can recommend the $50 Link at this point. [This impressions piece is based on a retail build of the unit purchased by the writer.]
Steam Link photo
I'm surprised how painless it is
Although the Steam Controller and Steam Link aren't going to be available in wide release form until November 10, anyone who pre-ordered directly through Valve (myself included) is set to get them today. I immediately unpacked my shipment this morning and put them through the paces, and I'm pleasantly surprised with how the Link turned out.

Valve photo

Wait, most people have PCs in their bedrooms?

Haha what
Oct 15
// Chris Carter
According to an informal survey published by Valve (consisting of over 2,000 participants) to research VR viewing habits, most people have their PCs in their bedroom. The next most popular option is the living room, and after...
Half-Life 3 confirmed? photo
Half-Life 3 confirmed?

Did Valve just leak a file for Half-Life 3 in a Dota update?

Eight years after episode two
Oct 09
// Jed Whitaker
Valve has apparently pushed a file to Dota 2 Reborn called "hl3.txt" that includes a bunch of code that can be viewed here. Most interesting are the references to virtual reality, procedural generation, and what looks li...
Brad Muir photo
Brad Muir

Massive Chalice lead Brad Muir has gone and joined Valve

He's also performing some research
Oct 08
// Joe Parlock
At the end of September, Massive Chalice project lead Brad Muir left Double Fine. We knew he was headed to Seattle (thanks to this tweet from Tim Schafer), but we didn’t know where he’d go once he got there. Well...
Team Fortress 2 photo
Team Fortress 2

Team Fortess 2 goes to space with the community-made Invasion Halloween event

By the community, Valve's is coming soon
Oct 07
// Joe Parlock
[Update: Turns out Valve in fact is doing a Halloween event. This is simply the Community-made Halloween event. We've updated the post below to reflect this.] The Halloween update is one of the biggest times of the year...
Your favorite stores? photo
Your favorite stores?

Steam Controllers and Machines only available at select retailers this year

GameStop, EB Games, and Game UK
Oct 06
// Jed Whitaker
In a strange twist, it has been announced that Valve has partnered with GameStop in the USA, Game UK, and EB Games in Canada to be the exclusive non-digital retailers for Steam Controllers and Steam Machines through the holid...
No more motion sick photo
No more motion sick

Valve: If VR makes you sick, it's the developer's fault

Blame the carpenter, not the tools
Sep 28
// Steven Hansen
Fear of motion sickness and living room ruining vomit is one of the sticking points surrounding the definitely-happening-and-not-at-all-actually-unlikely VR revolution. And while I kind of dislike the relative sensory depriva...

Virtual reality never worked for me until I got to try the HTC Vive

Sep 28 // Joe Parlock
It’s worth noting at this point that this was the second day of a very loud, badly-lit event, and I was absolutely knackered. My eye was about as bad as it could be without being totally blind, and so I was in the prime condition to try and prove Valve wrong with its absolutist claims. I even took my glasses off, I was so ready to catch them out. I was getting ready to feign interest in the game as the goggles were lowered over my head. I’d had practice with the Rift after all: politely try and finish the demo and contain my disappointment at yet another bad VR experience. But as my eyes adjusted to looking out into space, I realised that holy shit... It worked. Me and my janky eye (powered purely by the godawful energy drink they were handing out to EGX visitors) were able to actually enjoy VR for the very first time. It was strangely emotional, looking around with nigh-on perfect head tracking and seeing a whole world which wasn’t the one I was sat in. I’ve heard plenty of reactions to using the Vive: people crying, people shaking, but it felt different to me. A part of me was impressed with the technology, but a bigger part of me was relieved that my condition maybe hasn’t precluded me from the VR future after all. I couldn’t quite breathe, and every time I managed to talk it was peppered with swearing and “oh my god”s. Those reactions were not earned by the game itself, as fun as Elite may be I had no god damn idea what I was doing, but by how VR had just been opened up to me at last after spending the last year convinced I would have to let it pass me by. I found myself completely immersed in my little spaceship, and I totally forgot about the huge convention going on just outside that room. I wasn’t in that small, cramped booth any more, I was in space. I would try and find the enemy by leaning over the back of my chair (and almost falling off), the HUDs of the spaceship flickering on as I turned to look at them… it wasn’t the small cinema experience I’d had with the Rift, and it wasn’t blurry even without my glasses. It was the VR experience I had built up in my head during the last year of people bragging about it to me, and holy fuck it worked. After Laura and I had played Elite on the Vive, all I could really do was stare at her in disbelief. I had felt slightly left out when she reacted in the exact same way ten minutes before, when coming out of the previous demo. There was a weird mix of “holy fuck that tech is amazing” and “holy fuck that tech works for me.” I was still thinking about it well into playing other games throughout the day. So while I can’t really confirm or deny Valve’s claim the Vive works for everyone, I can confirm it worked for me, the guy who even blue-red 3D glasses don’t work for. The Vive’s technology is amazing for everyone who’s at all interested in virtual reality I’m sure, and for VR connoisseurs it’s probably the best headset currently in development, but that doesn’t really matter to me. I’m just relieved something finally works for me. Thanks, Valve. You’ve done well with this. Remember, you can read Laura’s impressions on the HTC Vive too. She’s got way more experience with VR than I do, and she still thinks the Vive is a game changer.
HTC Vive photo
Me and my broken eye were in space
A long time ago, Valve and HTC boasted that their upcoming VR headset -- the HTC Vive if you’ve somehow managed to miss it -- would cause nausea for "zero percent of players." That sort of absolute statement got me inte...

The HTC Vive is an absolute VR game changer

Sep 28 // Laura Kate Dale
[embed]312714:60520:0[/embed] Over the past few months I've heard people evangelizing the leap in technology that the Vive represents. Stories of developers crying, journalists shaking, and the general public speechless. I went into my hands on demo with the Vive dubious. I came out a shaken, crying, speechless VR evangelist. So, where to start. I was brought by a couple of staff members into a large, square, empty room. A small computer sat tucked away in one corner. Otherwise, the roughly 12-square-foot room I was in was completely empty. Before trying out the headset, I was handed a pair of controllers and shown how they worked. The controllers featured a pair of clickable track pads on top, triggers underneath, and a weird angular antenna on top to facilitate 1:1 motion controls. Oddly, considering how closely I had been following the Vive, this was the first time I had actually seen the Vive's dedicated motion controllers. Once I had a handle on the controller layout, I was told to put on the headset. Much like the competition, it's a single set of elasticated and solid straps that's fitted by sliding it simply over the top of your head. The Vive was by far the most comfortable of the VR headsets I have worn to date, although it lacked the retail Oculus' built-in headphones. As a result I also had to find the pair of external headphones once the set was covering my eyes, ensuring they were on the correct ears so that sounds would emanate from the correct locations. This is a very real drawback to headsets without built-in headphones. Straight away, as soon as the demo selection screen was booted up, I could see that the Vive was going to be a step above the competition. The 1:1 motion tracking of the pair of controllers was superb, with no disconnect whatsoever between where my brain new my hands were, and where it could see them in game. Head tracking was unbelievably fast and responsive, and I had no issues at all with needing the headset centered. Everything was working flawlessly right off the bat. The first demo shown off had me stood on the deck of a sunken ship underwater. I could walk around the deck by walking around the room, with a checkered grid of blue lights appearing if I got too close to the physical edges of the room. I wandered around the ship touching fish, interacting with the ship using my hands, and eventually stood face to face with a whale, who followed me with his eyes as I walked around the deck.  I looked down off the edge of the ship into the dark chasm below, and I felt a pang of terror flood my system, quickly stepping back from the sense of height. This first Vive demo was the first time I have found myself truly immersed in a VR world, an experience best equated to a Star Trek Holodeck. I was walking around a world, interacting in a way that felt tangible. I felt a physical connection between my body's movements and the world I was exploring. I truly felt like I was exploring another world. This connection to the game world was in part due to the impressive tracking of my body in 3D space, but also in part just down to the technical specs of the device. The resolution was crisp, the field of view was wide with minimal visible edges, the audio was coming from the right locations relative to my position in the world, and everything was responsive enough to avoid pulling me from the world. This was everything VR immersion could hope to be. Over the course of the following thirty minutes, I explored a number of virtual worlds. I built machines out of physical parts, stretching them to fit my needs and slotting them into each other. I finely chopped vegetables and put them in a pan to make soup. I drew physical waves of glowing art into the air and explored them from differing angles. I was drawn into a virtual space that felt unbelievably real to me. I even explored an Aperture Science lab and caused untold havoc. Then, I had to remove the headset. It dawned on me I was in an empty room. It dawned on me I had spent the past half an hour wandering in circles around an empty room. It dawned on me those experiences, which had felt so real, were gone from the room that had been my escape from the busy, loud, stressful convention that once again surrounded me. I found myself shaken in a way VR had not previously left me. This was a game changer. With all this said, the experience I had with the Vive left me dubious if that same magic could be captured in a consumer setting. As stunning and immersive as the experience was, I could see the places where a home VR experience is likely not to stack up. The demos shown were all set in set-piece environments that were single square boxes, which limits the experiences available to the player. Most consumers don't have an empty room in their homes that's as large as this room was available to use as a dedicated VR room, which it currently feels like the Vive would need. The encouragement to walk around the room also meant I had to constantly be aware of the cable attached to the back of my own head and trailing behind me on the floor. These are all serious barriers to replicating the experience I had in a home setting. Still, I walked away from my time in the Vive headset sold that a Holodeck-esque VR future is attainable. The experience I had was the first time a video game has ever truly made me forget the physical world around me, immersing me entirely in a new set of worlds I felt unbelievably connected to. Compared to my demo experiences with the Oculus and PlayStation VR, my demo of the HTC Vive felt like something in an entirely different league. If only that were an experience I could bring home and replicate.
Valve VR photo
The demo left me shaking like mad
A few months back at E3, I was lucky enough to be able to get my hands on both the retail version of the Oculus Rift, as well as the PlayStation VR, back then known as the Morpheus. As a big fan of VR in theory, if dubious ab...

Counter-Strike photo

These are the new Counter-Strike: GO hitboxes

Animations also revamped
Sep 16
// Jordan Devore
The next time you play Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, it's going to look and feel a little different. In a patch released this week, Valve added new animations for character movement, weapons, ladder climbing, and bomb defusing (shown on the left) as well as more accurate hitboxes (shown on the right). Bonus: players and guns should no longer poke through walls. They finally did it!
Gmod photo

Garry's Mod is getting a virtual reality-focused sequel

Not called Garry's Mod 2
Sep 10
// Joe Parlock
Garry’s Mod is getting a sequel after almost ten years. In an interview with PCGamesN, Facepunch founder Garry Newman said a follow-up was in the works, with the intention of it making use of VR technology: …I m...
Kindred Spirits photo
Kindred Spirits

Sexy lesbian ghost game comes to Steam uncensored

Sep 02
// Steven Hansen
Valve has a long, rich history of banning sexy lesbian ghost games from its Steam platform, but Kindred Spirits on the Roof has scored (sex term) a win for the erotic in getting off on Steam without any censorship. Head tran...
Steam photo

Steam now sells over 6000 different games

I've got a lovely bunch of videogames
Aug 31
// Joe Parlock
Ever since Valve opened Steam’s floodgates with Greenlight, the amount of games on the platform has exploded. NeoGAF noticed the other day that that number has skyrocketed to over six thousand games, either fully releas...
Vive photo

Expect a 'limited quantity' of Valve's VR headset Vive

Most of us will have to wait until Q1 2016
Aug 28
// Vikki Blake
Valve's virtual reality headset, Vive, will only be available in a "limited quantity" when it launches later this year. "Larger quantities" will be available from Q1 2016.  "Vive developer kits have been available f...
Rick and Morty Dota 2 photo
Rick and Morty Dota 2

Now Rick and Morty can nar-*belch*-rate your Dota 2 matches

Radiant just wiped out the Roshan guy!
Aug 21
// Patrick Hancock
The announcer packs for Dota 2 are easily some of the best purchases available within the free-to-play game. Personally, I go back and forth between the Stanley Parable and Bastion announcers. Not only are the...
Left 4 Dead photo
Left 4 Dead

Left 4 Dead survivors return for Zombie Army Trilogy

Typical Valve
Aug 20
// Jordan Devore
The survivors of the Left 4 Dead series are back for a cameo in Zombie Army Trilogy on PC. Folks who own Rebellion's Nazi zombie-shooting game can download a free update through Steam that adds Bill, Francis, L...
Team Fortress 2 update photo
Team Fortress 2 update

Team Fortress 2 gets the ball rolling with a new sports-themed game mode

Created by Bad Robot, of all companies
Aug 19
// Ben Davis
Ready for another off-the-wall Team Fortress 2 update? After the addition of bumper cars from last Halloween, it seems anything is possible with this game. Now the multiplayer shooter is getting another shot in the arm with a...
Half-off bread photo
Half-off bread

Team Fortress 2 also Am Bread, too

Free update and half-off sale
Aug 13
// Steven Hansen
By some cruel crust of fate, I still have not played I Am Bread, though all I would like to do is to go to bread. The game's rye sense of humor is on display here with a Team Fortress 2 level developed in conjunction with Valve and offered as a free update on Steam. The game's also half off in celebration ($6.50), if you have the dough.
Counter-Strike photo

Valve isn't planning an International-style event for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Despite it being its second biggest game
Aug 11
// Joe Parlock
Here’s something I never even thought of until today: Dota 2 is a huge eSport. The International is one of the biggest annual events in gaming, and this year had a prize pool of over $18 million. It’s by far the m...

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