Posts Tagged ‘Steam’

Alienware: Steam Machine Will Be Our ‘Least Profitable’ Ever

By Nathan Grayson on May 20th, 2014.

I find it interesting how Valve both is and isn’t investing a lot of time and precious, precious GabeNcoins into its Steam Machine initiative. On one hand, this is the PC juggernaut’s plan to bull-rush through the living room’s console-lined walls and play jump rope with the entrails of enemies within, but on the other Valve is hedging its bets as cautiously as possible. It’s letting countless hardware manufacturers take the risk on building and distributing these things, and it’s hoping audiences will give them some clue as to what they should do after that. It’s not a terrible strategy by any means. It’s just a very Valve-centric one. Hardware manufacturers like Alienware, then, are worried, even as they place utmost faith in Valve’s time-proven ability to prime penniless pumps until money cascades out like a Biblical flood.

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More Games Added To Steam In 2014 Than All Of 2013

By Nathan Grayson on May 16th, 2014.

You have probably noticed lately that the Steam store’s “new releases” tab is crowded and confusing and like being in an overstuffed subway station where you’re looking for your friend but you have no idea where to begin and maybe they’re dead and an incredibly ragged-looking man just asked you for cigarettes or maybe a needle and your shoe has been glued to germ-infested tile by gum or maybe oh gosh that’s not gum is it but it does rhyme with gum. There are suddenly a whole, whole lot of games on Steam, is what I’m saying, and they won’t stop crawling out of the woodwork. You’re not alone in this realization. Not by a longshot. We’re not even halfway through 2014, and Steam has already added more new games than it did in the entirety of 2013.

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Valve Slowly But Surely Making Steam User Reviews Useful

By Nathan Grayson on May 15th, 2014.

Art imitates life

With Steam becoming more of an “open” platform by the day, Valve needs to oil the joints of its creaking machine in every conceivable way, lest it scream and screech to a halt under the weight of progress. Its latest baby step? Improving Steam user reviews, which can be surprisingly non-horrible occasionally (the “most helpful” tab definitely, er, helps), but they’re still a very imperfect science.

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Scorched Earth – Earth: Year 2066 Booted From Steam

By Nathan Grayson on May 7th, 2014.

Apparently Earth: Year 2066 is not very good. The open-world survival game recently made a splash on Steam Early Access, but less like, say, an Olympic diver and more like a ball of thoroughly be-snotted tissues. By most accounts it was barely functional, with just a small location and some robots and little else. That, however, isn’t enough to get a game yanked from Early Access. It is for early games, after all. No, Valve finally saw fit to enact a scorched earth policy on Earth: Year 2066 when it caught a whiff of some seriously fishy false advertising.

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Brazen Aviation: Air Control

By Adam Smith on May 6th, 2014.

Jazzpunk may have hit a few bum notes but that was probably inevitable given just how freely and energetically it riffed and jammed. Walking down a beach, you might find yourself unexpectedly lobbing pizza at unsuspecting turtles, and if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, a host of other pop culture references and geeky puns are scattered around the surf and the sand. Like the Zucker, Abrahams, Zucker films that it brought to mind, Jazzpunk threw everything at the wall, and smirked at the things that failed to stick as well as those that did. Air Control’s new Steam trailer (it’s already available on Desura) suggests that it might be the Airplane! of gaming meta comedy. It’s a flight simulator with zombies, knights and a jaunty soundtrack.

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Mobile Gaming: Steam In-Home Streaming Enters Open Beta

By Alice O'Connor on May 1st, 2014.

It'd be criminal not to re-use this image after all the work that was put into it.

A desk bristling with more flight sticks, throttles, wheels, panels, pedals, and gamepads than a space shuttle command deck may be a wondrous sight and shrine to gaming, but there’s a lot to be said for slumping on a sofa in front of a TV or curling up in bed. “But Alice,” I hear you ask, “I don’t want to schlep my PC around and only have a netbook so what ever am I to do?” Dear reader, through the science of computers, you can now easily stream games from your gaming PC to anything in your home that’ll run Steam.

After a while of invitation-only testing, Valve has opened up the Steam In-Home Streaming beta to everyone who opts in.

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Steam Spirit: Microsoft ‘Appreciates’ Valve’s Work

By Adam Smith on March 24th, 2014.

Rumours that Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft all sat around a campfire during GDC, toasting marshmallows and singing Kumbayah are entirely false. From a distance, the merry folk troubadours might have looked like the creators and purveyors of generational gaming devices, but closer inspection revealed an entirely different picture. Microsoft were there, yes, represented by Microsoft supremo Phil Spencer (not Kirstie Allsopp’s chum). But the other figures were animatronic effigies, constructs of cloth and straw vaguely resembling PC gaming’s past and future. One of them distinctly resembled Gabe Newell and Spencer applauded his every move.

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Endearing Wargeneering: Running With Rifles

By Craig Pearson on March 17th, 2014.

Like totes.

Hit ESC on the main menu of Running With Rifles and the words will melt away, leaving your character free to run around the screen. I like that. There is whimsy in this war. Running With Rifles is a top-down soldiererer thing inspired by Cannon Fodder, set in large maps with dynamically throbbing battles. You are a tiny man in a big war, and it’s oh-so cute. There’s a cartoonish edge to the look that pops up speech bubbles as the NPCs shout ‘OMG Grenade!’, and despite the hundreds of bloody deaths that smears the screen, it never fails to raise a smile. I am smiling now because it’s on Steam Early Access, it’s relatively cheap, and there’s a trailer below.
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D-manding A D-Pad: Steam Controller Unveiled (Again)

By Adam Smith on March 17th, 2014.

The eyes still have it. Or it still has the eyes, at any rate. The latest iteration of Valve’s Steam Controller has wings its way to GDC, so hopefully one of the RPS attendees will be able to lay hands on it over the next few days. In the meantime, I can bring you a picture, released by Valve, that is in no way exclusive to this site and doesn’t even contain hilariously photoshopped owl ears. Instead, it shows a controller that has lost a couple of its odder features as expected, including the fondlescreen and awkwardly positioned buttons. There are now eight buttons, positioned in patterns and placements that will be familiar to anyone who has ever seen a joypad.

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OBJECTION(able) – Steam To Let You Report Games

By Nathan Grayson on March 14th, 2014.

If I didn’t know any better (and honestly, I don’t), I’d say Valve is really gearing up to finally open the floodgates to Steam, resulting in less direct regulation of every single solitary game that makes it onto the 800 lb gorilla of PC storefronts. That’s just speculation on my part, but it would certainly seem to justify an entire system that allows users to report offensive or otherwise objectionable games. Details below.

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OnLive Lives Again: New Feature Syncs With Steam Games

By Graham Smith on March 5th, 2014.

CloudLift. Very light.

Remember OnLive? The service aimed to provide streaming videogames to the world, but fell foul of confusing pricing, slow internet connections and the apparent mismanagement. The company never really shut down, avoiding bankruptcy by being bought and re-created under a new company with new management and the same name. That means it’s continued to quietly work away, providing the same service to its remaining subscribers while working on something new.

I went and saw that something new last Friday, and I’ve been messing around with its beta this week. I’ll have proper impressions later in the week, but the news: OnLive is still a subscription based streaming service for games, but it’s now pitching itself in part as a partner service to Steam. You can link your OnLive and Steam accounts, and if you own a game on Steam and that game is available through OnLive, you’ll have instant access to it within OnLive. That means you can play your Steam games while travelling without an install process or a powerful computer in your travel bag.
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Gabe Newell Dishes On Source 2, HL3 VR, More In AMA

By Nathan Grayson on March 5th, 2014.

Oh man Gabe, don't drink those bottled Starbucks lattes. They're super gross. You're better than that, man.

It’s finally happened. Gabe Newell broke his nigh-mythical cone of silence to take part in a long-promised Reddit AMA, and the results were… illuminating. Ish. Newell is not the most talkative man, but he is a fairly straight shooter. The whole thing’s a fascinating read, though truly “newsworthy” (whatever that even means any more) bits were scarce. But hey, if you’d like to know laughably bad company names that Valve nearly went with (like Rhino Scar, as we revealed in 2007) and also the main purpose of Source Engine 2, you’ve come to the right place. Newell even fielded a question about Half-Life 3, shockingly enough. Well, sorta.

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All In The: Steam Family Sharing Available To Everyone

By Nathan Grayson on March 3rd, 2014.

Sharing is caring / it can be videogames

When I first heard about Steam Family Sharing, I – like any rational, functional adult human – assumed it involved temporarily swapping families with another Steam user. Imagine my surprise (and, let’s face it, horror) when it turned out that I’d be able to share my game library with other human beings. Disgusting! Unnatural! An abomination! Steam libraries are sacred property, and also I really don’t want people trying to comprehend why I own Petz Dogz 2, Secret of the Magic Crystal, and the entire Postal series. Down that path lies only madness. But here we are. Steam Family Sharing is a thing, and it’s now available to all Steam users.

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