We don't advocate real-world violence, but if you catch someone claiming PC gaming is dead, feel free to give them a wedgie, especially if he's quoting numbers that don't include online game sales. Take Steam for example. The ultra popular online PC (and Mac) gaming platform increased its year-over-year sales by 100 percent in 2011, and lest anyone chalk that up as an anomaly based on a rash of hit titles, this is the seventh straight year Steam has doubled its sales figures.
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.
Are you one of those geeks who have just about everything? Your life is difficult I know, but while I’m busy playing away on the world’s smallest violin in your honor, I’m just going to mildly suggest you probably could never have enough Portal paraphernalia. Now, thanks to the kind folks over at ThinkGeek, you can finally fill that Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device sized hold in your life with dozens of game inspired goodies.
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.
Move over, Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, Homefront, and all the rest. The grandpappy of terrorist-blasting floating disembodied gun simulators is finally back to show the incredibly conformist youngsters how its done. Well, OK, it's not quite back yet, but you can finally mark down the hour of its triumphant return on your calendar. CSGO's closed beta kicks off on November 30. Initially, it'll be limited to folks who managed to nab keys at shows like PAX and the Eurogamer Expo, but it promises to steadily open the floodgates as time goes on.
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.
Steam has a lot of games. Like, all the games. Well, minus a couple from EA and – now that we think about it – indie ultra-sensation Minecraft. Pretty weird, right? We wish we could just chalk the whole thing up to coincidence and get back to constructing a scale replica of the second Death Star, but – as is typically the case with Death Stars – it's not quite so easy.
Modern Warfare and Battlefield 3 may be near-constantly forced into the colossal, cyclopean public eye these days, but make no mistake: Counter-Strike is still huge. Competitive gamers, especially, perform the eternal dance between terrorists and counter-terrorists with the lithe grace of swans. Swans with guns. And bombs. With CS:S recently reaching the ripe old age of seven, though, it's even getting a bit creaky in Valve Time. Enter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. It's new and different – but, er, not. In a good way!