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Steam Winter Sale photo
Steam Winter Sale

The Steam Winter Sale just started, thousands of games discounted


But do you really need any?
Dec 22
// Brett Makedonski
You, statistically speaking, are probably a person with a backlog of PC games so overwhelming that you'll never be caught up. Steam, fiscally speaking, is a service with a vested interest in selling you more PC games that, ag...
Valve photo
Valve

French consumer group takes on the Steam user agreement


FIGHT!
Dec 21
// Vikki Blake
Valve is being sued by a French consumer group that deems the terms and conditions of the Steam user agreement as "detrimental to consumer interests." According to redditor Silencement, consumer rights group UF...
HTC Vive photo
HTC Vive

The HTC Vive has been improved, details at CES


They've apparently made a 'breakthrough'
Dec 20
// Mike Cosimano
Recently, Engadget published a report from an HTC Vive-centric developer forum in China that claims HTC has made a "very big technological breakthrough" on its Steam VR-powered virtual reality headset. Originally, the headset...
TF2 update photo
TF2 update

Sick of playing Team Fortress 2? Tough break


The ride never ends
Dec 18
// Nic Rowen
When was the last time you played Team Fortress 2? During the Gun Mettle event way back in the summer? Maybe when they introduced that weird sports mode a few months back? During Halloween? This very morning in your little Py...
CS:GO photo
CS:GO

Valve is undoing weapon tweaks that broke Counter-Strike: Global Offensive


Never mess with Counter-Strike balance
Dec 17
// Joe Parlock
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a finely tuned, tightly balanced game. While on the whole that’s a good thing, it does make the game a house of cards: when things go even slightly wrong it can throw the entire game ...
Steam Trading Cards photo
Steam Trading Cards

Steam is dropping Mysterious trading cards again


For the 2015 Holiday Sale
Dec 16
// Darren Nakamura
Earlier this year I got a jump on the Steam Summer Sale event by happening to craft a badge at the right time. As luck would have it, it happened again. No, I don't just always craft badges. Okay maybe I do. I noticed this ev...
Valve photo
Valve

Let's watch robots build Steam Controllers


They're our new overlords
Dec 10
// Jordan Devore
Ever wonder how controllers are made? Valve has put out a fascinating behind-the-scenes video showing the hard-working Aperture robots (yes, really!) that assemble Steam Controllers. It lacks the minutia of something like Ho...
Steam photo
Steam

Valve says around 77,000 Steam accounts are hacked each month


Now there's a new security process
Dec 10
// Brett Makedonski
There's a real problem concerning Steam account security. For years, hackers have targeted Steam users to gain unauthorized access to their accounts and clear out their inventory of items. It's a familiar story, but it's an e...
Holy Team Fortress Batman photo
Holy Team Fortress Batman

Team Fortress 2 is getting a bunch of Batman inspired items


Arkham 2fort
Dec 05
// Nic Rowen
Who said Halloween was over? Team Fortress 2 will soon have a new line of community made items inspired by Batman: Arkham Knight that will let your favorite blood thirsty mercenaries dress up as various heroes and villains fr...
Rocket League x Portal photo
Rocket League x Portal

Portal crossover coming to Rocket League


The cake is a li-- er, topper
Nov 29
// Kyle MacGregor
Portal-themed content is coming to Rocket League next month, Psyonix has announced. Starting December 1, the following items will be awarded to players at random after matches: Cake (Topper)  Conversion Gel (Rocket Trai...
Deals photo
Deals

Green Man Gaming squeezes into sale madness with Thursday deals


Aka Black Friday / Cyber Monday sale
Nov 26
// Dealzon
PC gamers aren't left out in the cold this Black Friday, what with the Steam Autumn sale and a myriad of other ongoing sales. Green Man Gaming is squeezing into the "me too" pie with a fresh batch of deals during its wee...
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
Deals

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
Valve

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...


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