Valve just made good on its promise of unveiling a SteamVR hardware system at the ongoing Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Meet Vive, a virtual reality headset powered by Valve’s SteamVR platform and manufactured by Taiwanese company HTC.
The Game Developers Conference is taking place just around the corner between March 2-6 and we’ll be in San Francisco covering it. There will, of course, be a bunch of game discussions and demos as usual, but we wanted to approach it from a hardware/PC perspective. Having said that, this year is going to be an interesting show for hardware with Valve finally pushing the Steam Machines again along with its VR system. On that notion, expect Valve and VR to be the talks of the show. Seriously, guys, this is going to be the year of VR.
Unlike most developers and publishers that tend to inundate consumers with trailers, screenshots, developer diaries, and press releases to keep their games in the public’s eye, Valve tends to stay quiet. So while we know that the company has been working on its Steam Machines and perfecting its Steam Controller, it appears that these devices weren’t the only things the company has been working on. In fact, Valve will be unveiling a selection of new living room devices and a SteamVR hardware system at GDC while demonstrating its Steam Machines and finalized Steam Controller.
Much like what Alienware did with its Alpha console, CyberPower PC is transforming its Steam Machine into a Windows box (you can thank Valve’s delay of its hardware initiative for that). CyberPower PC is branding its new line of PCs under its Syber Vapor line, which is an obvious nod to Valve’s “Steam” nomenclature. Unlike the Alienware Alpha, however, there is no proprietary 10-foot UI here. Rather, the Vapor boots directly into Steam’s Big Picture Mode. CyberPower PC is billing the Vapor as “the ultimate PC gaming console,” and with some minor quibbles aside, we think the company makes a pretty compelling argument.
In case you need any added incentive to hop on Steam and play games, there's a Steam client update available that adds a few new features and a bunch of bug fixes. One of the big additions is that of Steam Broadcasting, support for which was first introduced to beta client users last month -- now it's available to the general public, allowing you to broadcast your gameplay for others to watch.
As always, be suspicious of links in your Steam chat sessions
Hopefully you're getting to spend a bit of time in Steam over the holiday season, catching up on a treasure trove of games that you picked up on discount through various sales. While you're navigating Steam, however, be advised that there's a piece of malware spreading through Steam chat sessions. Messages on Steam chat saying "WTF?????" seem to link to a JPEG file, but it's really a malicious executable.
More discounts than you can shake a Paypal card at
By my conservative calculations, I'll be approximately 419 years old by the time I play through and finish every untouched game sitting in my Steam library. Maybe you're in the same boat, and perhaps like me, you'll head over to Steam today anyway to take advantage of yet more discounts as part of 2014 Steam Holiday Sale that runs from now until January 2, 2015 (10 AM PST).
Steam gives gamers a taste of CoD:AW and knocks 25 percent off the price
It seems Steam is always cooking up a sale, and come next week, rumor has it the Winter Sale will kick off. In the meantime, you can still find discounts all over the place, though if you'd rather not spend any money at all, be advised that Steam is making Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare multiplayer free to play for the next couple of days as part of its weekend deal. If you end up getting hooked, you can purchase the title for 25 percent off ($44.99, or $79.99 for the Digital Pro Edition).
As Steam users wait for the inevitable Winter Sale that will drain their wallets dry, which is allegedly starting December 18, Valve has come up with a way to empty out their Steam inventories too. Valve has launched a new event called the Steam Holiday Auction where users can recycle unused items in their inventory for gems which are then used to bid on games up for auction.
If you're planning to play Dying Light when it releases to the public next month, hopefully you were able to take advantage of the various Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals and upgrade your PC. Publisher Warner Bros. Entertainment posted the minimum and recommended specs of Dying Light on Steam -- they're fairly heavy, especially the recommended portion, which calls for an Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 or AMD Radeon R9 290 graphics card.