You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘valve’ tag.

Steam, Valve digital online platform, is incredibly popular. No, really, at almost any given time, there are over a million gamers playing some sort of game, and it’s usually much higher. There are so many things to love about Steam, whether it be the convenience of having your games available to you whenever you need them, having your saved games follow you around, or simply making it easier to keep in contact with your gamer friends!

This, however, is NOT the best thing about Steam. No sir, people flock to Steam like the i on Apple products because of the deals that you can get on games.

Steam is known for dropping prices on games to insanely low prices. Every weekend, there is a weekend deal that usually knocks off 50% to 75% off of a range of games. In the middle of the week, they have a feature called “Midweek Madness”, which does another 50% to 75% of a single game. Just recently, they’ve introduced daily deals, which, as you can imagine, cuts the price of a game daily. And this isn’t even counting holidays, where Steam sales just get ludicrous, with hundreds of games on sale for dirt cheap.

Digital downloads are becoming more and more popular as the internet speeds increase and as more and more devices can hold tons of games. I, myself, own over a hundred games on Steam (which is probably a bad thing), so whether we like it or not, and regardless of if it’s going to erase physical distribution, digital distribution is here to stay.

There is one problem though: Steam is the only one who is doing it correctly.

No, no, there are plenty of good places to download games. Xbox Live has a very nice collection of downloadable content and games on demand, as does the Playstation Network, Amazon, Direct2Drive and a large number of other online distributors. However, none of them have the insane deals that Steam does, and this is the main problem. Content on other platforms is almost always more expensive than it would be to just buy the physical game used or otherwise. Xbox Live is the worst with this; their games on demand are SO much more expensive than walking into Gamestop and picking a used copy up, but Microsoft will never drop the price because they don’t want the user to feel like they’re getting a steal. And this is pretty common for most downloadable services; physical copies are less costly than digital ones, and that completely defeats the purpose of a digital copy, which is convenience.

And yes, before you say anything, a lot of companies are following Steam by making deals as well, however, it’s just not enough. Digital content (specifically of older games) should not cost 100% more than their physical counterparts, yet that’s still where we are at. Until every digital distribution company hits the same stride that Steam has, I don’t see them succeeding well enough to eliminate physical content whatsoever.

Advertisements

So Portal 2…

It seems like I’m always ranting about how much I love the Half-Life games. I could talk all day about the certain aspects of the game that I love, and I could turn any non-believer into a fan.

But, more recently, it seems I’m always ranting about how Valve is leaving us out in the snow when it comes to Half-Life 2: Episode 3. In the snow, naked. Yes, naked. We’re all in the snow, naked, Valve. You hear me? NAKED.

Every single day that I don’t hear anything about Episode 3 is another day where I lose faith in my all time favorite game company. It’s been nearly three years since Episode 2 was released and we’ve seen nothing from the final “episode” in the Half-Life 2 series besides a single concept art. That’s outrageous! I can give them the development time; hell, I don’t mind that they are taking this long. In my eyes, three or four years is a perfectly acceptable amount of time for a AAA game to be released (nevermind the fact that Episode 3 is, you know, an episode, not a full game). It’s the LACK OF INFORMATION that is really making me angry. Because Valve is so incredibly secretive about their games, Episode 3 is turning into vapor-ware.

Yes, I said it. In my mind, Episode 3 is vapor-ware. Like, pre-PAX Duke Nukem vapor-ware.  Three years and not so much as a screen shot? Do they have it half completed? Is the story-board written? Have they even started the damn thing!? What kind of developer ends a game on such a cliff hanger as Episode 2 ended and then just drops the game off the freaking radar? You don’t see TV producers ending season 1 on a cliff hanger and then waiting 4 years to revel what happens in season 2 (well, unless it gets canceled).

I have no doubt that Episode 3 will eventually come out, but making us wait with no information is just punishment. What did we do to Valve that they are punishing us like this?

Newel, I love you and your company. You guys do great things and I always look forward to your games. But enough is enough. Give us something, anything, about Episode 3. Please. You’re losing faithful customers every second you continue to neglect Episode 3. Put down Left4Dead and put down Portal and finish what you started.

Am I the only one who feels this way? Will anyone else send a message to Valve that we want something, ANYTHING, about the vapor-ware-Esq Episode 3?

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a Half-Life fanboy. I played the original Half-Life and it fast because my favorite game of all time. When Half-Life 2 came out, it blew me away in the story, the graphics and especially the character models. I still, to this day, have not played a game more or as often as Half-Life 2 and it stands as my favorite game of all time.

Then Valve started to release the Episodes in the coming years, and I enjoyed them just as much as the original Half-Life 2 game. But then it seemed that Valve got a little distracted; they created the fun, but certainly NOT Episode 3, Left4Dead. And the following year, out came Left4Dead 2.

Meanwhile, Valve worked and worked on their Steam platform, making it one of the largest online distributer of games on the planet.

So let’s get this strait: Valve created one of the most immersible games of all time with Half-Life 2. They ended it on a cliff hanger. The next game Valve made was the follow up to the cliff hanger ending, Episode 1. A bit more than a year later, Episode 2 landed, ending in a larger cliff hanger than the original game. And now what is Valve doing?

Everything but creating Episode 3.

Yes, Valve is doing good things with Left4Dead. No-one can argue about the quality of Valves games; they’ve never made one bad game in their entire existence. But while they were making Left4Dead and making Steam such a popular problem, they forgot one thing: Half-Life.

Now, of course, we have no idea what’s going on inside Valve’s front doors. Gabe Newel could very well be working his arse off to get Episode 3 out the door, trying to create the perfect game. But to us on the outside, with no information save for one simple concept art, which may or may not be Episode 3, we are starting to feel betrayed. To me, it seems he’s focusing all his time on their new franchise and putting Episode 3 on the back burner, which is not somewhere Episode 3 needs to be.

Maybe Valve has a master plan. Maybe they wanted this sort of argument argued. Maybe they wanted us to squirm a little in waiting for Episode 3. Maybe they are planning on showing Episode 3 at E3.

But Valve, please, we just need something, anything, about the bloody game with only one concept art.

E3 couldn’t come faster.

As most of you know, Steam, created by Valve with a goal to be the biggest online retailer of PC video games, has made the transition to the Macintosh. Along with the program, many Steam games have made the jump onto the Mac as well. Portal was one of the first, and was being offered for free. Other games such as Plants vs Zombies and Half-Life 2 have followed suite. While it has been proven

that games on Steam don’t run quite as good on the Mac as they do on the PC (1), it’s only a matter of time before Valve managed to work out all the kinks and starts to rebuild the library of games that Windows users have onto the Mac. When that time comes, could this be a revolution for Apple and its computers?

Microsoft and its Windows operating system hold the market in amount of people who use their software. As of December of last year,  92.21% of people were using a Windows operating system, while only 5.11% were using Mac OS X (2). Most of us are already aware of this and have made our decision between a Windows OS or a Mac OS.

One of the biggest complaints from Windows users about the Mac is the lack of video game support on the system. I’ve heard people say countless times, “I’d use a Mac but they just don’t play the games I want. Instead, I bought a Windows computer”. I, myself, have said the same thing and have purchased my Dell running Windows 7 based on that train of thought. Obviously, that statement is a very common occurrence, but it’s one that I think it going to end with the coming of Steam.

When Valve finally gets Steam running 100% on Apple’s computer, we will be looking at hundreds of quality games finally being able to run on the Mac. Steam is the biggest online retail store and having full access to the store on a Mac is something that will draw the attention of gamers. People who at once thought about buying a Mac but decided against it will come back to take another look. And why stop at Steam? Other companies such as Direct2Drive might see the prospect of turning the Macintosh into a gaming device and decide they want in on the action, thus making the Mac play more games and bring in more users.

Steam being on the Macintosh could very well increase the market share to give Windows a run for it’s money.

Now, I’m not saying it’s going to happen over night. Steam has a lot of catching up to do on the Mac and it will take a while for the word to get out that the Mac is now a capable game playing machine. But, in time, I think the pie chart measuring the market share could soon favor Apple more so than Microsoft.

1. Steam for Mac Benchmarks: Windows is Much Faster.

2. World Wide Market OS Market Share December 2009

Join 39 other followers

Calender

October 2018
M T W T F S S
« May    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  
Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: