Steam's much-anticipated summer sale is officially here! Beginning today, Valve will be offering massive discounts, some up to 75% off, to a plethora of PC games on its digital distribution service. The deals change daily and some of today's hot offerings include BioShock Infinite for $30 (normally $60), Defiance for $14 (normally $40), and Hotline Miami for $2.50 (normally $10).
Collect cards, craft game badges, earn rewards, and level up for more
Announced last month, Valve’s Steam Trading Cards feature is now out of beta. Steam Trading Cards, as per the official description, are virtual cards that gamers are supposed to collect inside games and by trading them with other Steam users, with the ultimate aim of earning a wide set of tradeable and non-tradeable rewards, including game badges, profile backgrounds, emoticons, DLC/game coupons, profile showcases and extra friends list slots.
The feature is currently limited to only six games
A mysterious database entry for something called the Steam Trading Card popped up in the Steam database late last week and all sorts of theories began doing the rounds on the Web. Some saw it as a harbinger of a trading game being developed by Valve, while others suspected it to be a new Steam service for facilitating the trade of in-game items.
Gaming social network Raptr, which has over the past few years published yearly lists of the most popular games based on its users’ gaming habits, last month began doing so on a monthly basis. Earlier this week, it published the second such monthly list of “most played games.”
At least you won't have to worry about installing Steam.
Razer is pretty stoked to let the world know that its Edge tablet for gamers will soon come pre-installed with Valve's Steam software, enabling users to more quickly tap into their existing games library. Of course, you could always download Steam yourself, but hey, we'd rather see Steam sitting there than a bunch of trialware and other bloat that OEMs sometimes like to load their systems with. Still, we have reservations about the Edge.
So you've played Team Fortress 2, but have you played it while wearing a virtual reality (VR) headset? It wouldn't have made much sense to do so up until now, as Valve just announced a VR mode to the free-to-play title that it plans to release in the coming days. In doing so, Team Fortress 2 becomes the first game to officially support Oculus Rift, a VR headset that raised more than $2.4 million in funding on Kickstarter last summer.
A rift may be forming between Piston Console maker Xi3 and Valve.
A partially transparent veil of secrecy hangs over Xi3's pint-sized Piston Console. When first unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) earlier this year, some surmised it was the official Steam Box, though Xi3 never came out and said it. And now that Xi3 is taking pre-orders, there's still no mention of it being a Steam Box, though it's clearly intended for living room gaming using Steam's Big Picture mode. Xi3 released a statement today that adds a little insight into its relationship with Valve, and also hints that things aren't as rosy between the two as previously thought.
It’s not cheap, but it's certainly living room friendly.
The Steam Box initiative at Valve is little more than a humble attempt to bring a less offensive looking PC into consumer’s living rooms, but in reality that’s actually much harder than it sounds. I’m guessing most of our readers would rather roll their own Steam Box, but for the mass market gamer (and their spouses), a more discrete and compact solution is probably the way to go. Xi3’s PISTON console has been the most promising OEM Steam Box on our radar, and as of today, it’s finally available for pre-order.