PC gaming is awesome. Steam is awesome. Getting free stuff is always awesome. Mix all three and what do you get? This year’s Steam Holiday Sale, which kicked off today. In addition to the usual savings, this year’s sale includes multiple daily “Great Gift Pile” challenges, which give you a chance to win additional discounts (and maybe even free games) every day. If you don’t win, you’ll get a lump of coal, instead, which sucks compared to a free game at first glance – but those lumps of coal are the key to the cool things being doled out in the Epic Holiday Giveaway.
Skyrim is a technical and artistic masterpiece, but you don’t need us to tell you that. The title is expected to pick up just about every game of the year award up for grabs in the next few months, but more importantly for Bethesda, the game also appears to have been a huge financial success as well. According to Valve’s Jason Holtman, Skyrim is the “fastest selling title in Steam’s history”. And just to be clear, Steam has quite a bit of history having launched officially all the way back in 2003.
In today's gaming landscape where so many of the must-have new releases launch at 60 dollars, it's great that the PC is loaded with a ton of affordable alternatives. There are a lot of great games out there that cost less than twenty bucks apiece. Who cares about Battlefield 3 when we can get three, four, five, or even more games for the same price? True diamonds, but with a cubic zirconia price tag, these games span a variety of genres, from turn-based strategy to first person shooters to tower defense. They’re all great games, and all cost less than twenty Washingtons.
We love getting free things, especially when those free things are videogames. And because we think you probably like getting free things too, we thought we'd share some details about Steam's Daily Wishlist Giveaway that begins today. In short, Steam is awarding 10 randomly selected gamers 10 top games on their wishlist, and will pick a new winner every day.
Piracy's a scourge. It's had PC gaming pressed up against the ropes for years, remorselessly wailing away in what's easily one of tech history's most casualty ridden “victimless” crimes. It's sent countless developers fleeing for consoles' comparitively cash-green pastures -- whether their assumptions were erroneous or not. So, how in the hell do we beat it? Well, in addition to previously discovered methods -- which include “Dunno," “Give up,” and "Have a good sob" -- there's now “Be Valve.”
'Tis the season to watch in horror as your bank account whimpers out a pitiful final breath – tralalalala. That's how the song goes, right? Fortunately, as is its wont, Steam's attempting to make things a bit easier (or infinitely more difficult, depending on your inability to resist and pouncing on a perfect deal and savaging it like a rabid wolverine). Starting now and running until November 27, Valve's ubiquitous download platform will be rotating out deals so delicious that we've taken to calling this time of year “Excitedly-F5-Steam-Every-Morningsgiving.” The name could use some work, but you get the idea. Right now, standouts include Orcs Must Die for $3.74, Mass Effect 2 for $4.99, and Portal 2 for $10.19 – among many, many others.
We may call the glorious series of tubes the World Wide Web, but that doesn’t mean you can view every website’s content all around the globe. Many of the big name content providers – like Steam, Netflix, Pandora and BBC – employ region locks to limit their services to specific countries. But this is the Internet we’re talking about, so naturally, there are ways around the roadblocks.
If you'll recall, we lost 20 minutes of the last No BS Podcast to the Macbook Pro in the podcast recording studio. For this week's episode, it ate a mere 10 minutes of the rant. So thank you, Macbook, for screwing us somewhat less than you did last time. But don't fret--even without those 10 minutes, you're getting a solid hour of news and discussion about ultrabooks, Battlefield 3, the most high-tech thermostat ever, and more.
Computer trouble? Star Trek argument? Need advice? Just need to get something off your chest? A secret to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our 24-hour No BS Podcast hotline at 877.404.1337 x1337--operators are not standing by.
Generally speaking, we love Steam so much that we occasionally drift off and daydream about long walks on the beach with it, but nothing's perfect. No two ways about it: Steam's been breached, and – though it's faring a lot better than a certain console-based gaming network so far – it's not exactly the prettiest sight. The long and short of it? Your credit card info may be out in the wild, but it's wrapped in a nice, warm blanket of encryption. That said, monitor it closely, and change your password right now. So that's our bit. Now then, play us off, Valve's Gabe Newell.
We love free things, and we like them even more when they're awesome. Those two don't go hand-in-hand nearly enough, but for a short while, they both apply to Portal, a single-player first person puzzle platformer that was born out of Valve's Orange Box bundle and quickly gained notoriety as a hella-fun standalone title.