Archive for the ‘Valve Corporation’ Category

If these new Steam machines do what Valve is saying they’re going to do, they’ll not only be a direct threat to Xbox One, they’re going to be a direct threat to Windows.  The new Steam machines will be running Steam’s new OS, which is supposed to be specially made for gaming.

I’d like to talk about SteamOS and the Steam Box, which undoubtedly impacts your business as it specifically targets the living room – the same space Xbox One targets. What’s your take on what Valve is doing there? Is Steam Box a threat to Xbox?

Phil Harrison: The announcement was only made last night so I’m still studying all the facts Valve has released. But Valve is a very impressive company, and obviously we’re going to be watching what they do with great interest.

But it actually goes back to an earlier question. I think the death of the video game console was prematurely announced. Clearly there is a lot of excitement around gaming in the living room on the biggest screen in the house, often times connected to a great sound system and creating that real intensely high quality game experience with a very powerful CPU and a very powerful GPU.

Our point of view, clearly, is that Xbox One is the best incarnation of that, but competition is good!

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I haven’t had a reaction to an unveiled controller like this since Nintendo first unveiled the Wii-mote.  With Nintendo, having pretty much single-handedly innovated every feature we enjoy on today’s modern-day game controllers, I was optimistic the Wii-mote would actually work and do what Nintendo claimed it would do.  While I love Valve, this is their first controller.  And it’s weird.  I honestly do not know what to think about this right now.

Rounding out its set of living room-centric announcements this week, Steam Controller has been revealed by Valve, a 16-button, haptic-driven gamepad that Valve says is hackable, includes a touch screen, will feature sharable configurations, and has the ambitious goal of “supporting all games in the Steam catalog.” No price was announced for the controller, and it doesn’t appear to feature motion control.

In place of analog sticks, Steam Controller features two circular, clickable trackpads. Valve claims that PC gamers “will appreciate that the Steam Controller’s resolution approaches that of a desktop mouse,” and goes as far to promise that the controller makes games that aren’t traditionally suited to playing from the couch–RTSes, 4X games, simulations, and others–controller-friendly.

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So, I’m wondering if Half-Life 3, not to mention all the rest of Valve’s future games, will be made exclusive to these new Steam Machines and the Steam OS?  Having Half-Life 3 exclusive could be a system-seller for Valve.

We’ve known for ages that Valve has been tinkering with the idea of releasing its own hardware and now, after years of speculation, Valve has announced the Steam Box. Or should I say Steam boxes?

You see, there will actually be many variants of the “Steam gaming machines” with different manufacturers. According to the announcement, Valve is working with “multiple partners” to make “a variety of Steam gaming machines.” All will be running SteamOS and are expected to start hitting retail in 2014.

In order to decide how to best optimise this in-development series of hardware, Valve will be shipping “a high-performance prototype” to 300 lucky users to beta test later this year.

In order to sign up for this privilege, users must join the Steam Universe community group, agree to the Steam Hardware Beta Test terms and conditions, make at least 10 friends on Steam (if you haven’t already), create a public Steam Community profile, and play in Big Picture mode with a gamepad. Then, and only then, will your name be tossed into the ring of potential testers. The deadline to register is 25th October.

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And it’s free and especially designed for gaming.  I’m very interested.

Steam is getting its very own operating system, Valve announced today. It’ll be a combination of Steam’s current platform and Linux.

SteamOS is a free operating system designed for living rooms that Valve says “combines the rock-solid architecture of Linux with a gaming experience built for the big screen.”

Valve says they’ve already got “hundreds of games” that will come to the new operating system next year, and that you’ll be able to access the entire Steam catalog via “in-home streaming,” a process they haven’t quite explained yet.

“In SteamOS, we have achieved significant performance increases in graphics processing, and we’re now targeting audio performance and reductions in input latency at the operating system level,” Valve writes. “Game developers are already taking advantage of these gains as they target SteamOS for their new releases.”

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I have to hand it to Valve, they’re definitely not about churning out sequels to make a quick buck.  Half-Life 2 came out in 2004, almost 10 years ago.  As much as I would love to see Half-Life 3 come out ASAP, it’s really refreshing to see a developer not release not only their biggest and most popular franchise, but one of the most popular in the industry, until they’re ready.

The most anticipated game on the planet may not even be in production, if you believe the words of a longtime Valve actor who has made appearances in games like Half-Life 2 and Dota 2.

Actor John Patrick Lowrie has been in multiple Valve games, and he’s married to Ellen McLain, best known as the voice of GLaD0S from Portal 2. He works with Valve people. He talks to them.

He says they’re not even working on Half-Life 3, the elusive game that has frustrated fans for years now.

Writing in the comments of his blog (via NeoGAF), Lowrie answered some fan questions with the bad news. Some excerpts:

Here is the biggest challenge with bringing out HL3: the big thing now with FPSs is motion capture, or mo-cap. One of the great things about HL2 is that all of the characters that you meet actually look at you when they talk to you no matter where you go or stand. With mo-cap you can’t do that, at least not yet. Once you film the actor doing something and capture that motion, that’s what the character is going to do. This works great in movies, but when you make something interactive it gets way less interactive with mo-cap. So that’s one of the things they’re working on.

And:

Right. As far as I know they are not developing HL3 now for several reasons, among them the mo-cap issue. Sorry for any confusion. What they might decide in the future depends on lots of different factors. I hope they do, personally, but it has to make sense for them.

And:

No problem! Glad to give any info I have. I just don’t want to get fans hopes up when I really don’t know anything about their decision process. I’ll find out about it when they call me in to record lines!

In response to one person saying “HL3 confirmed,” Lowrie responded: “Sorry, I’m afraid that the opposite is true. HL3 is not being worked on at this time as far as I know.”

Although the blog post is from 2011, the comments are dated August 14, 2013. The most recent episode of Half-Life 2 came out in 2007.

We’ve reached out to both Lowrie and Valve for more details, and will keep you guys updated as we hear more.

http://kotaku.com/half-life-2-voice-actor-says-half-life-3-isnt-being-wo-1148042789?utm_campaign=Socialflow_Kotaku_Facebook&utm_source=Kotaku_Facebook&utm_medium=Socialflow