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First ever Valve’s Steam Machine gets unboxed

14 Dec

steam machine

We already discussed briefly with you about the upcoming Valve’s Steam Machine, and finally the wait is over. In fact, yesterday was the d-day for the shipping of the very first 300 Steam Machines to the lucky people accepted into the beta program.

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This is what a Valve’s Steam Machine looks like

5 Nov

valve steam machine

Well, actually it’s just a prototype of one of the many many Steam Machines that will be released next year, but at least we can have a rought idea of what we’ve talked about till now.

That prototype was given to the Seattle Times, that luckily had the opportunity to try out the new high end piece of hardware, you can read their article here.

By the way it looks a bit like a VHS player…well, at least Xbox One isn’t the only one.

Here’s the Steam Controller

27 Sep

steam controller

Yes, after the recent announcements about Steam OS and Steam Machines, Valve is back with the Steam Controller. Citing from the official site this is a new kind of controller:

“We set out with a singular goal: bring the Steam experience, in its entirety, into the living-room. We knew how to build the user interface, we knew how to build a machine, and even an operating system. But that still left input — our biggest missing link. We realized early on that our goals required a new kind of input technology — one that could bridge the gap from the desk to the living room without compromises. So we spent a year experimenting with new approaches to input and we now believe we’ve arrived at something worth sharing and testing with you.”

The Steam Controller is designed to work with all the games on Steam: past, present, and future. Even the older titles in the catalog and the ones which were not built with controller support.

steam controller

The controller was designed from the ground up to be hackable. Just as the Steam Community and Workshop contributors currently deliver tremendous value via additions to software products on Steam, they believe that they will meaningfully contribute to the design of the Steam Controller. Valve is planning to make tools available that will enable users to participate in all aspects of the experience, from industrial design to electrical engineering.

We’re not really sure about the total lack of analog sticks, but you’ll never know. We’ll see, stay tuned! In the meanwhile, here’s the suggested example configuration for Portal 2.

steam controller

Player offended by the forced baptism of Bioshock Infinite gets refund

19 Apr

bioshock infinite baptism

Seems like not everyone is enjoying Bioshock Infinite. This is the case of Breen Malmberg, gamer and devoted Christian.

The problem is the forced baptism that occurs in the very first section of the Irrational Games’ masterpiece, when the players are almost drowned to accept Columbia’s religion. Malmberg said that basically the game was forcing him to choose between committing an extreme blasphemy (taking another religion’s baptism) and quitting the game, as there’s no way to skip the section. So he decided to quit and to send a detailed mail to Valve (from where he bought the game through Steam) stating his reasons and asking for a full refund. Here’s the letter:

“I wish to return/exchange this game (Bioshock Infinite) for steam credit or refund on the grounds that I cannot play it.

I cannot play it because at the very beginning of the game there is a section of the game that is so offensive to my religious beliefs that I cannot proceed with it any further. I did not know this section of the game was there and had no way of knowing it was there before-hand as it was not shown in any trailers, previews, screenshots or other marketing material.

The player is forced to make a choice which amounts to extreme blasphemy in my religion (Christianity) in order to proceed any further – and am therefor forced (in good conscience) to quit playing and not able to experience approx. 99% of the content in the game.

There is no option to turn this particular content off or to bypass or skip it in any way. In Modern Warfare 2, they at least allowed you to skip a particularly offensive level. This is the same sort of thing for me, but there is no way to skip it in this case.

Please issue a full refund or store credit in the amount of the price of the game (Bioshock Infinite) as I had no idea that I would not be able to play this game before I bought it.

If you need further convincing, I will use the analogy that if you were a muslem, it would be like forcing the player into an in-game action of “press x to spit on the face of allah” in order to proceed any further with the game and with no choice or way around doing so.

I apologize for the potentially misleading choice of category for this request, but you do not have a category I can choose that accurately fits my needs.

Thank you”

According to the player himself, he has been fully refunded by Valve.

We can (kinda) understand his point of view, but we also think that video games are fictional media, and this is a bit exaggerated.

Here’s your über zombie apocalypse! Served by Capcom and Valve

15 Mar

resident evil 6 x left 4 dead 2

Zombie fan? Good, because Capcom and Valve teamed up for a free Resident Evil 6 x Left 4 Dead 2 Crossover.

But what is about? Here’s the press release:

Capcom and Valve are pleased to announce the Resident Evil® 6 x Left 4 Dead 2 project. This crossover project between two of the interactive entertainment industry’s most respected publishers will see characters from Left 4 Dead™ 2 featured exclusively in the forthcoming PC version of Resident Evil® 6, while enemies from Resident Evil 6 will invade the PC version of Left 4 Dead 2. All content will be made available completely free for fans of either game to access and play.

Owners of Resident Evil 6 PC will be able to select one of four survivors from Left 4 Dead 2’s iconic cast – Coach, Nick, Ellis and Rochelle – when playing PC exclusive mode, The Mercenaries No Mercy. Each character will have a special customized weapon load-out created just for use in Resident Evil 6. In addition to the four survivors, two of the infamous Special Infected zombies from the Left 4 Dead franchise – the Witch and Mini Tank – will also make a cameo appearance in this mode, relentlessly attacking players regardless of whether a character from Left 4 Dead 2 or Resident Evil 6 is chosen. This new and exclusive content will automatically be downloaded in the background to all owners of the PC version of Resident Evil 6 from April 5.

Making the leap to the PC version of Left 4 Dead 2 will be some of Resident Evil 6’s most fearsome enemies – Lepotitsa, Napad and Ogroman. All three characters were brought to life in Left 4 Dead 2 by Valve’s renowned developers using its Steam Workshop tools. Owners of the PC version of Left 4 Dead 2 will be able to face a new deadly challenge when Resident Evil 6 characters infect Valve’s classic zombie title this spring.

Commenting on the crossover project, Chet Faliszek from Valve stated: “We’re huge Resident Evil fans, so when the opportunity arose to work directly with Capcom to combine L4D2 and RE6, we jumped at it.”

Resident Evil 6 Producer Yoshiaki Hirabayashi added: “The Resident Evil 6 team really enjoyed working on this crossover, and we’re confident that our fans will have a great time with it too! We hope you enjoy this unique content.”

And here’s the dev diary from Resident Evil 6 producer Yoshiaki Hirabayashi.

We were hoping for something way more exciting, but still, this is kinda cool anyway. But what about all the console players? Both games are either on PC and consoles!

Valve’s Steam Box is on its way

6 Mar

valve steam box gabe newell console

In an interview with the BBC, Gabe Newell, founder of Valve, said that the new Steam Box console is on its way and that the first prototypes could hit the users for test in 3/4 months. Read below directly from Newell’s words.

“We’re working with partners trying to nail down exactly how fast we can make it. We’ll be giving out some prototypes to customers to get their reactions, I guess, in the next three to four months. Your average gamer has a good idea of what it’d be like. It sort of has the openness and flexibility of PC, yet done in a way that makes it make sense in the living room. There are noise issues and heat issues and being able to deal with that while still offering a powerful enough gaming experience is the challenge in building it.

The main thing that’s holding us up is that we have a couple of different controller prototypes that we’re using, and that’s one of the things we’ll be giving to customers. We’ll just give them a couple different ones and then look to see what the difference is in their play patterns when they have those different controllers. If you think of a game like Left 4 Dead ,which is trying to put you into a sort of horror movie, you and your friends in a horror movie, if you don’t change the experience of what the player is actually feeling then it stops being a horror game and starts being something else. So you need to actually be able to directly measure how aroused the player is — what their heart rate is, things like that — in order to continue to offer them a new experience each time they play.”

Enjoy J.J. Abrams and Gabe Newell talking together at DICE 2013

13 Feb

We’ve already told you about J.J. Abrams and Gabe Newell to collaborate on new games and/or movies here. But you probably want to watch the entire video from that little (20 minutes) talk between the two at D.I.C.E. 2013. So here it is

When universes collide: J.J. Abrams and Gabe Newell to collaborate

8 Feb

jj abrams gabe newell

Yup, it’s not an hoax. Two of the worst psychopaths (read it in a good way) out there are teaming up. Indeed Bad Robots, J.J. Abrams‘ production company, and Valve, Gabe Newell‘s software house, are planning to collaborate on a new game and probably also on Half Life and/or Portal movies.

This news comes from the stage of D.I.C.E. 2013, where the two had a public conversation in front of hundreds of developers and press people.

Abrams also said that the game he’s in talks with Valve about making will be completely new, with no links to existing Valve or Bad Robot properties. Sorry, we won’t have any Half Life 3 any soon (Newell can’t count to three, you know the joke).

The reason? This is what Abrams said:

“The conversation about what story is in movies, what story is in gaming, the mechanics of story, what makes the experience of a game sometimes more satisfying than a film and vice versa, these are just sort of discussions we’ve had for years. We’ve had so many meetings and finally got to a point where we said, ‘We need to start making stuff.’

And so the ideas that we’ve had for games, the ideas they’ve had for turning Portal and Half-Life into a film, we just decided we actually have to start doing this stuff.”

We are quite excited about this collaboration, they’re both talented (and weird). We are really looking forward to see what’s next.