Gunbot Diplomacy: Play Portal 2 With PS3ers

By Quintin Smith on January 18th, 2011 at 2:45 pm.

Trust a game about the creation of impossible pathways to feature cross-platform play between PC and PS3. Yes! Valve has announced that Portal 2’s new co-operative mode will allow PC gamers to play the game with anyone playing the game on a PS3. There’ll be cross-platform chat, too, though those guys might be a little quiet compared to us as unlike the 360 the PS3 doesn’t come with a headset as standard. Anyway, that’s not the only PC-related bonus that PS3 owners will be getting.

Anybody who buys Portal 2 on the PS3 will be able to link their Playstation Network account with their Steam account to receive a copy of Portal 2 on PC at no extra cost via the SteamPlay initiative, which up until now has simply meant that Mac games purchased on Steam also give you the Windows equivalent, and vice versa.

Lovely news, although if I’m honest what I’d really love is the opportunity for us PC gamers to explore the broken and deeply unsettling world of Playstation Home. That’d be fun.

You want to know how messed up Playstation Home is? Ages back they created a promotional DJ Hero space in Home where one of the things you could do was win a Dizzee Rascal mask. What a lovely idea! Now, here’s a picture of that idea in execution.

Brrr.

, .

103 Comments »

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  1. Linfosoma says:

    Do PC owners get a free copy of the PS3 game?

    • Jaffo says:

      Only if you’ve run out of coasters.

    • skinlo says:

      No.

    • omicron1 says:

      Sony, like the rest of the Console Companies, are not nearly as forward-thinking as Valve. Not to mention the PC download is probably download-only; including a PS3 disc-based copy would be asking for sharing-with-your-neighbors trouble.

      So Valve is trying to do the right thing – something revolutionary – with software licenses: They finally realized that, believe it or not, you can separate the license to a game from the console it comes on!

      Not to mention that this is good business practice for them – think of the number of new Steam users they have a chance to gain from this!

    • Eagle0600 says:

      Why on earth would I want it on PS3 if I had it on PC?

      Also: “You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.”

      what

    • sneetch says:

      It could have included a PSN download code, easier this way though. I think I may get the PS3 version… (normally about €5 more expensive where I am). I’m not sure I’ll ever chose to use it over the PC version but I like the idea of buy-once-play-anywhere PS3/PC/Mac version.

    • Lord Byte says:

      Yeah I’ll probably by the PS3 version and play it on pc, but I like the option!

  2. DarioSamo says:

    Source?

  3. Meat Circus says:

    Still, since the PS3 version boxed will be a tenner more than the Steam version, your ‘free’ PC copy will effectively cost you several pints of beer.

    • CaLe says:

      Beer is a waste of money anyway. This is a pretty solid deal. Good on Valve!

    • Rich says:

      If I’m thirsty, I’ll choose a pint of beer over a pint of Portal 2 any day.

    • Eagle0600 says:

      You’re looking at this the wrong way. I can get it on PC for $X, or I can get it on both PS3 and PC for $X + $10. Therefore, the PS3 version costs 10 whole dollars! Why would I want to waste ten dollars on a PS3 version if I already have the PC version?

    • skinlo says:

      Eagle has it sussed.

    • CaLe says:

      To play it on a 62″ display from the comfort of a reclining chair. Also, $10 is nothing.

    • Rich says:

      To someone with a 62″ display and a reclining chair, $10 probably is nothing.

    • CaLe says:

      @Rich, I have neither of those things, I was just giving an answer to the question. I still think $10 isn’t much though, especially for a PS3 game.

    • Wulf says:

      @CaLe

      You can do that on any computer that isn’t from ’05 or before, as I recall. If you can’t do that with your computer, then your computer is ancient and you’d likely not be able to run Portal 2 on it anyway.

    • Shih Tzu says:

      Alas, our 62″-screen-owning reclining-chair-using hypothetical Mr. Moneybags is soon to discover that no amount of money can free him from the onerous chains of trying to play an action-oriented first-person game using a console controller.

    • CaLe says:

      Yes because most people connect their PC to their huge TV, it’s not in their room with a monitor. I give up, seriously.

  4. Ginger Yellow says:

    As I just said over at PCG, if this means Valve have cracked generalised cross platform multiplayer, they’ve just made themselves kings of the digital era on consoles as well as PC. If it’s a Portal only deal, though, it’s cool but not so amazing. And shame on Microsoft. You made the operating systems for PC and Xbox, you control the network infrastructure for Xbox Live with an iron fist, and you still can’t/won’t do cross-platform games beyond the lamentable Shadowrun? Pathetic.

  5. Wilson says:

    Makes me think of this Penny Arcade: http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2008/12/12/

  6. OptionalJoystick says:

    Physical copy, expanded co-op player pool and a buy-once-play-everywhere ethos? I’m in.
    Although I suppose it puts preloading out of the question…

  7. Rich says:

    Also, isn’t the PS3’s games download network a subscription service?

    • JFS says:

      No. Apart from a simple registration, it’s free and uncomplicated.

    • Premium User Badge

      HermitUK says:

      There is a subscription service which will net you bonuses – Free games, access to betas and early demos, and special store offers and the like. But unlike the 360 it’s entirely optional and won’t stop you buying stuff or playing online.

      The real advantage is it means Valve will be keeping the PS3 version up to date with the PC version, which bodes well for future Valve games – TF2’s demise on the consoles was partly due to Valve being unable to keep the game updated.

    • Rich says:

      The 360 equivalent is sort of optional. You can download stuff like demos and bought games, but you need to subscribe to play online. Since that’s not something I care about anyway, I’m not bothered.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      Playstation Plus sucks. I have no intentions of ever subscribing because I see nothing that it makes it worthwhile. The free games you get are inaccessible if you ever decide to cancel your sub, so they aren’t really “free”. More like rentals with the price included in your sub fee. The free online play is just fine though.

      Also, that “Slow down you’re posting too fast” message is annoying as hell. This is the first message I’m posting this morning.

  8. TomA says:

    Nice little idea, will finally be able to play a decent game with some of the console cretinous chums of mine.

  9. Premium User Badge

    El_MUERkO says:

    i’ll be buying the PS3 version so :)

  10. Bob5602 says:

    Worth it to me. Plus, paves the way for full Steam and PSN integration. And if all SteamPlay games eventually move to PS3, I will be a happy camper!

  11. ChaK_ says:

    So hard mode will require to play with a PS3 player?

  12. Lewie Procter says:

    1. Buy PS3 version.
    2. Get the PC version for “free”.
    3. Trade in PS3 version the next day for not much less than the full cost of the PS3 version.

    • Plankton says:

      I would think that your disc will be tied to your PSN and/or Steam account. I don’t think they will leave that loophole open … or maybe they will?!

    • Optimaximal says:

      4. Have your Steam account banned for breaking the terms of the EULA.

    • sneetch says:

      How would they know, Optimaximal? I mean, realistically speaking they’ll have to give a Steam key with the PS3 version. I mean, my PC doesn’t have a blu-ray drive so I couldn’t even put it in the drive to verify that I still owned it.

      The only way they could know would be to force you to have your PS3 on with the disc in the drive while you play the Steam version… I dunno about the practicality of that.

    • Eclipse says:

      @sneetch. You’ll be able to have the PC version only if you link your PSN account to your Steam account. You can’t resell that copy of the game because who buy it will not be able to play online without your PSN\Steam account

    • Highstorm says:

      This is why we can’t have nice things.

    • skinlo says:

      @sneetch

      Not that inconvenient, it happened for PC for ages, it only recently didn’t become so necessary with the rise of digital distribution.

    • Noterist says:

      I love Valve and this sounds like a fantastic thing, but anyone getting their hopes up for an easy trade-in will end up getting their hopes dashed by a sly Project-$10-esque multiplayer pass (the Steam key). I have a feeling that this is a good way for Valve to tie PS3 copies down to one Sony account.

      I doubt co-op (one of the biggest selling points of the game) will be available for that disk/valve serial once you have linked it to your Sony account to get online, and Steam account to get your free copy. The trade in price would be pathetic.

  13. Quxxy says:

    Interesting.

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could ditch the idea of platform-dependence? Buy a game and you can play it on any platform it’s available on.

    Who knows… maybe Valve will start something with this.

    Edit: something that just occurred to me. This could be very, *very* dangerous for Sony and Microsoft. I know that, if no one else, Microsoft wants to own the (and I shudder as I type this phrase) social platform. They run the risk of Valve getting into an unassailable position on this front just like they have in digital distribution. Not that I’d mind, to be honest. If there’s going to be an evil overlord, I’d much prefer Valve than Microsoft or Sony.

  14. Premium User Badge

    The Sombrero Kid says:

    This is Pure Marketing Genius.

  15. Plankton says:

    I am excited about this. I’d finally be able to play with some of the console kids from my gaming community.
    The benefit for Valve is obvious, but I wonder what Sony is getting out of this. I can’t stop thinking that this must be a first step in some sort of strategy they are pursuing. (or Valve put a lot of money on the table).

    • Rich says:

      I’d be surprised if there wasn’t some kind of agreement there. For one thing, you only get your free PC (and Mac?) download if you buy the PS3 copy, which will have already given Sony money through licensing. Perhaps the reason this hasn’t been announced for the 360 is that they haven’t hammered out a deal with MS yet.

    • Plankton says:

      MS won’t let Steam anywhere near their console. They want to control all the distribution and networking(for which they charge a subscription fee) on their systems.

    • Rich says:

      Yeah, there is that.

    • sneetch says:

      I think the reason they haven’t announced it with the 360 is because Microsoft still think that they can somehow “win” PC gaming with Games for Windows and this would undermine that effort. I can see them (possibly) try this kind of cross platform stuff from 360 to Games for Windows (but only for download copies) but not with Valve. A pity as they’re only slipping further behind.

      As for what Sony get, well, Sony get a whole load more sales… a lot of people have both PS3s and 360s and this would be enough to convince a lot of people who would have got the 360 version to buy the PS3 one instead and if it starts a trend then even better.

      Edit: was a slooooow post, just read Planktons post. Yeah as long as they charge to play online for the 360 but not PC (as no PC gamer in their right mind would pay to play online, it’s been free forever, why would we start now?) MS won’t really be able to do this as it completely undermines the perceived worth of their Xbox LIVE subscriptions.

  16. Donkeyfumbler says:

    If only this was an option for more games.

    I own all three consoles and, of course, a PC. There are some games I would love to be able to play on multiple devices – GTA, Fifa, Burnout Paradise to name just three – as different friends are on different platforms, and sometimes it’s easier to play certain games on the PC even though they are better (heresy) on the consoles (FIFA mainly) but because the wife is watching the TV, I can’t. The thought, though, of buying the same game twice or even three times just makes this totally unpalatable (at least until the games are so old that Steam are doing decent deals on the PC versions).

    If I could buy one version and then get the same game on a different platform for a smaller additional fee, which is effectively what Valve are doing here, then that would be fantastic.

    Unfortunately, it seems to be most media companies main goal in life to make you buy the same thing in as many formats as possible at ever increasing prices – all the more reason to cherish those that stand out, like Valve.

  17. Rich says:

    Gabe Newell has said before that as long as the pirates provide a better service than the publisher, the pirates will win. Unlike most publishers which then stamp their feet, refuse to release PC versions or implement draconian DRM, Valve seem hell bent on actually providing a better service.

    Clearly such a well thought out and reasonable policy has no place in the games industry.

  18. JedEvangelion says:

    Great news, but what’s with the childish PS3 bashing?

    “though those guys might be a little quiet compared to us as unlike the 360 the PS3 doesn’t come with a headset as standard”

    My PC didn’t come with a headset as standard, either … and what’s any of this got to do with 360? Odd thing to warrant a mention.

    “…if I’m honest what I’d really love is the opportunity for us PC gamers to explore the broken and deeply unsettling world of Playstation Home. That’d be fun.”

    Again – what’s that got to do with this news story, Quintin? Honestly, it’s like you’ve dipped into the Neogaf ‘big bag of platform boasts’ and pulled out 2 fairly irrelevant reference points and decided to have a childish dig at PS3. Is this really what you think your readers want? Very odd.

    Anyway, great news Valve, good on ya. :)

    • Rich says:

      OK, perhaps you’re being a little overprotective of your chosen format. I don’t think Quinns was having a real dig. At most it was a harmless ribbing.

      “though those guys might be a little quiet compared to us as unlike the 360 the PS3 doesn’t come with a headset as standard”

      My PC didn’t come with a headset as standard, either … and what’s any of this got to do with 360? Odd thing to warrant a mention.

      If you don’t have a headset, it’s a little difficult to use voice chat, no? The 360 comes with one, and there are lots of cheap ones for the PC, hence the comparison.

      “…if I’m honest what I’d really love is the opportunity for us PC gamers to explore the broken and deeply unsettling world of Playstation Home. That’d be fun.”

      Again – what’s that got to do with this news story, Quintin? Honestly, it’s like you’ve dipped into the Neogaf ‘big bag of platform boasts’ and pulled out 2 fairly irrelevant reference points and decided to have a childish dig at PS3. Is this really what you think your readers want? Very odd.

      …because it’s funny. More than that, a lot of us don’t have PS3s and don’t know of this slightly strange world Sony has created to go with their console. Quinns provided a very good example of exactly how strange it can be. I don’t know about you, but I find that picture very disturbing. I’d imagine it’s only mentioned here, because articles on RPS that mention the PS3 at all are rare.

    • JedEvangelion says:

      Hi there,

      No, not particularly a PS3 fan, more of a 360 player than anything else. Just wondering why – they came across as pretty immature comments to me.

      Headset – the same ‘cheap ones’ that work on the PC work on the PS3. It just takes standard USB headsets.
      Home – fair enough if you’ve never heard of it before, but it’s not really an integral part of PS3, any more than (say) Second Life is an integral part of the PC scene.

      I’m sure you’re right, it was intended as harmless ribbing, came across to me as a bit random though.

      The fact that Valve are putting their support behind this is great news.

    • Rich says:

      “Home – fair enough if you’ve never heard of it before, but it’s not really an integral part of PS3, any more than (say) Second Life is an integral part of the PC scene. ”

      Is it? Does the PS3 have a link to PSN Home on its equivalent to the dashboard? I know you where only using at as an analogy, but I don’t know anyone who even has the Second Life client installed on their PC.

    • ANeM says:

      “Is it? Does the PS3 have a link to PSN Home on its equivalent to the dashboard? I know you where only using at as an analogy, but I don’t know anyone who even has the Second Life client installed on their PC.”

      Home is not automatically installed. It is just a shortcut on the dashboard. This is no different than buying a laptop and starting it up to find the manufacturer has covered the desktop with shortcuts to useless, ineffective crap you’ll never want/need/purchase. Unless of course you want to argue that a free trial of eMusic and Real Player is somehow integral to my laptop usage.

    • Jahandar says:

      Saying that a console owner is less likely to have a headset is bashing?

    • Delusibeta says:

      @Jahandar: Nay, a specific console compared to another specific console, even.

      That said, it is a PC gaming site, and it is a British site. I’d imagine a British PS3 blog would have made digs at PC gaming when reporting this news.

    • Premium User Badge

      Hidden_7 says:

      PCs come with a keyboard standard, so you can at least chat with that fairly quickly. 360’s (with multiplayer) come with a headset standard, so you can chat with that, even quicker than a keyboard.

      PS3’s come with neither standard, so communication is an arduous process of “select a letter using the thumb stick.”

      Thus, of the three systems “stock” set up, the PS3 users are likely to be the “quietest” (least communicative).

      Not really that savage a dig, hardly seems unwarranted when talking about cross-platform co-op.

      And Home is just bonkers, seems fine enough to mention it in a post talking about the PS3 (rare as they are on a PC gaming blog).

  19. David Miller says:

    Hey, I’m new here, but I would just like to know, what is the official source for this and where can I view it? There doesn’t seem to be anything on Valves website, nor on the Steam website. Just curious!

    • Rich says:

      Mentioned above: Valve press release. Presumably you only get to see such things if you’re in the press.

    • Tatourmi says:

      Press release apparently ;)

    • David Miller says:

      Yea I got my hands on a copy of the press release! :)

  20. Premium User Badge

    heretic says:

    any FPS on a gamepad = SHIT.

    • skinlo says:

      Then buy it on PC and play with keyboard?

    • Dracko says:

      For his next trick, Ricky Gervais will make jokes about substance abuse relating to celebrities.

    • subedii says:

      Or alternatively plug a keyboard and mouse into the PS3 as it supports them.

    • iainl says:

      Portal isn’t much of an FPS, though. Having completed it on 360 and PC, I didn’t find the former any more difficult.

    • Unaco says:

      Never played GoldenEye on the N64 then, with 3 friends crowded round a single screen? Such a shame.

  21. fearghaill says:

    Does anyone know whether this would allow co-op between someone playing the PS3 version and another person playing the “free” PC copy that came with it, or would they both be tied to the same Steam account? Wondering if it’d be possible to play co-op with a friend in the same room for the cost of a single copy.

    • Ravenger says:

      I imagine the PS3 version will ship with a Steam activation code that acts like the EA online pass, activating the multiplayer portion, and also activating a PC copy if you have your Steam account linked to your PSN account.

      Logging onto Steam on the PS3 would probably act like logging onto any PC – if you’re logged in elswhere, it’ll log you out on the other machine. So you won’t be able to play multiplayer on the PC and PS3 using the same Steam account.

      You would be able to play single player though, but that’s really no different from Steam’s Offline mode.

  22. Dracko says:

    but will Portal PC have lean keys???

  23. ScubaMonster says:

    So will there be an option to filter out PC or PS3 players? If PSN causes connection problems with PC players, I want an option of PC only.

    • Delusibeta says:

      I’d imagine that the only way to get cross-platform play working was to ignore PSN wholesale. But whatever. I’d be surprised if there isn’t a filter of some kind (by hook or by crook).

    • ScubaMonster says:

      Yeah you are probably right. In fact I seem to recall a while back I read that Valve was porting Steam to PS3, in which case it should run through Steamworks by itself and not PSN.

  24. Nick says:

    I didn’t realise DIzzee Rascal was a Nazi Supervillan..

  25. ezekiel2517 says:

    How about some of you stop being annoyed/trolling about what is a great thing that just might get better in the future (before spaceships).

    My best friend has a PS3 and his laptop (that just fried a few days ago) could not run new games, so this gives us the chance to play. Seems like quite a good deal to me.

    • Quintin Smith says:

      I’m not sure I see anybody getting annoyed by this. It’s plain ‘ol good news.

    • ezekiel2517 says:

      I didn’t want to quote anyone to avoid a flame war. Some posts do seem annoyed to me and I definitely spot a troll comment.

      Maybe I am just too excited and expected some kind of love fest.

  26. ScubaMonster says:

    For what it’s worth, PS3 supports a mouse and keyboard, though I imagine the vast majority of PS3 players won’t be using them. But since it’s portal I don’t think using a controller would be too big of a deal. It wouldn’t be like being put on a team of PS3 players in Bad Company and getting trashed by a PC only team.

    • ezekiel2517 says:

      Does it really? I remember some special controls that try to be like it, but I was not aware that you could plug some standard ones and play with them.

    • Jad says:

      Yes it does. However, it’s up to the developer to actually include the support into the games, which is rare. The only one I’ve heard of is Epic with UT3. But mouse and keyboard is not (semi-)banned on PS3 the way it is on Xbox.

  27. crainey92 says:

    This is a good thing for the industry because its progress although I can’t imagine other companies will be following Valve. As for the deal, well there is no deal for me since I never play PS3 and Portal on PS3 dosn’t sound so good to me. Seems kinda silly that you get a free copy when buying PS3 version but not the other way round, surely they should offer a download key to PC copy’s for the PS3 version? I just hope this isn’t an excuse to charge even more for the PC version which I would be buying regardless of this incentive or not.

    Clearly this sounds good from a Sony perspective more so than Valve since it’ll make more Xbox player’s buy the PS3 version, I mean why would you buy the xbox version (if you have a PS3 ofcourse) if you can get a PC and PS3 version for the same price.

  28. darjeeling says:

    Just a little follow up on sneetch‘s comment. I agree with the idea that Microsoft doesn’t want to play ball on this cross-platform idea because they think they can “win” PC gaming. A lot of the talk about Windows 8 from Microsoft themselves concerns what could be an integrated GFWL marketplace, which naturally, Steam would be in direct competition with. If they choose to integrate GFWL right in the OS, say, with a big oh-so-clickable link that says, “click heer 4 kewl gamez!,”, that would pose direct competition to Valve. Let’s take it a step further: imagine if that results in a new antitrust case the likes of when the EU sued Microsoft for bundling IE with every copy of Windows sold?

    • Delusibeta says:

      If Microsoft does go ahead and implement GfWL into Windows 8, I’d imagine it’ll be Gamersgate who will complain to the EU. The large rivals never make these sorts of complaints (so Steam and D2D are out) and Impulse doesn’t give a crap about the World Outside USA.

      That said, Apple got away with it, but then again they get away with everything.

  29. sirdorius says:

    Cool. Now please implement a tickbox in the options menu where I can choose NOT to play with PS3 users.

  30. Premium User Badge

    Thirith says:

    Those masks… It’s like the ending of Brazil (the Asian baby masks) with a hip hop theme. Shudder…

  31. Wulf says:

    This makes me happy. Those PS3 kids aren’t so bad, they have their flOwers, Planets which are Big and Little at the same time, and other things that make them seemingly much less aggressive than those of the Cult of the Second X – who tend to invariably be loud potty mouths.

    i, for one, welcome this unexpected bondage between the PC and PS3 communities.

    This is why purposeful misuse of words is fun. Or I have fun with it, anyway, which is all that matters.

    • Dominic White says:

      I gotta agree with you here, even if you did shoehorn several double (or even triple) entendres into that post.

      Also, don’t forget – the PS3 has the Move controller, which is quickly becoming standard. It’s about on par with the Wii controller as a pointer device, which means that while it’s not QUITE as good as Mouse & Keyboard, it’s a helluva lot more precise and responsive than a gamepad, and arguably more fun/tactile to use than either.

      I’d be rather surprised if Portal 2 doesn’t have Move support.

      Edit: Here’s the Move being used to play the upcoming Killzone 3. The guy picking it apart actually likes the responsiveness so much that he recommends turning off all (optional) aim assistance.

    • Initialised says:

      Totally agree, most of it’s generic crap but some PS3 games (LBP, Flower, Eden) are pure gaming magic.

  32. Xercies says:

    Dizzy Rascal is going to destroy us all! RUN!

    • tossrStu says:

      Some people think he’s bonkers, but he just thinks he’s free.

  33. Hillbert says:

    Excellent. All I need to do now is drop the requisite hints to my significant other that we really should replace the stolen PS3 for my birthday and I’m all set.

    I played the original on the PS3 and dual sticks didn’t feel too bad. TF2 and Half Life 2 got a little … interesting at times.

  34. LimeWarrior says:

    Well, I’ll probably end up buying it for the ps3. Hopefully I can loan it to friends who don’t have a killer PC. Also, this is the sign of a bright future where console, mac and pc gamers can play together.

  35. Initialised says:

    Oh sweet so I can buy an extra copy so my kids can play it with me.

  36. EthZee says:

    Hurrah! This means that I can get it for the PS3 and when I eventually get a new computer that can actually play modern videogames, I can play it again!

  37. DOLBYdigital says:

    Good news since it will keep the online player base strong and thriving. Hilarious that M$ could’ve jumped on this but probably rejected it since they are very closed minded. I actually see this happening with more games between Sony and Valve. I just really really hope that they didn’t slow down the puzzles to cater to the slow and unresponsive thumb sticks. I was hoping for some crazy challenging levels like the ones found in the mod ‘Portal: Prelude’ which would be near impossible with thumb sticks.

  38. Premium User Badge

    Nero says:

    “unlike the 360 the PS3 doesn’t come with a headset as standard”

    I quite recently bought a PS3 (mainly to play PS3 exclusive games) and that line to me is actually a good thing.

    Anyway, this is a cool thing that they are doing and it will be nice to see how it all works out.

  39. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    Shame, I’ve got a lot more friends with xbox console toys, that I might be able to tempt into playing Portal. In fact, I was planning on buying a copy for a couple I know so that they have a game they can play together (he only plays Halo/CoD, she only plays casual puzzle games, and civ), it will be Lovely.

  40. TitusCrow says:

    Wow! at last a valid reason to by portal 2 for ps3 and get it for my steam account. This is the ps3’s gain I might add, I was just going to get it on PC.