Valve Shows Off Final Steam Controller, Steam Machines, and More

Posted by Ben Huber on Mar 6, 2015 in Tech, Videogames

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If you’re waiting for a Steam Machine and the accompanying Steam Controller, get ready, because Valve has added them all to the Steam store. You still can’t buy them yet, but their prices and specs are listed, along with a nebulous “November 2015” release date. The Steam Controller is there, featuring its curious dual haptic touch pads and myriad of buttons. The streaming Steam Machine, the Steam Link, is also listed. I’m not really sold on a Steam Machine yet, aside from maybe a smaller streaming box. The controller is definitely something I want to get my hands on, though! Check out everything here, then also see Valve’s VR prototypes they’re showing off at GDC here. Read more…

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Valve Partners With HTC To Create Vive VR Headset

Posted by Ben Huber on Mar 2, 2015 in Tech

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The past few days, rumors swirled of a Valve virtual reality headset being announced with a major hardware producer. Today, in Barcelona, HTC announced that they’ll be the ones partnering with Valve to create a new VR headset called the Vive that will release before the end of 2015. The device will use two 1200 x 1080 screens (one for each eye) that’ll refresh at 90 frames per second. In addition to the standard accelerometer and gyrosensor, there will also be two laser position sensors that’ll track your head in a 15-by-15 foot space. The VR hardware race is heating up, now with Oculus, Valve, Sony, and possibly Nvidia all planning headsets (plus Apple is investigating the area too). This should be fun to watch! Read more…

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Last Chance To Vote For The Saxxy Awards!

Posted by Ben Huber on Sep 29, 2014 in Animation, Videogames

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The Fourth Annual Saxxy Awards voting period is almost over, so if you haven’t had a chance yet, you should get over there and vote! The Saxxys is Valve’s annual video competition in which fans use the Source Filmmaker software to create CGI videos using game assets from Team Fortress 2, Portal 2, and Left 4 Dead. Most of the submitted films are TF2 -themed, but there’s really no limit to what you can put in your film, as long as it’s either using game assets or your own original work. There’s multiple categories and several awards to give out. I’ve put a few of the best I’ve seen below the jump. And then get voting here! Read more…

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Watch Valve’s Latest Team Fortress 2 Short: ‘Expiration Date’

Posted by Bob Muir on Jun 19, 2014 in Animation, Videogames

Expiration Date

Team Fortress 2 has been out forever, at least in internet time. But Valve is still supporting it with new updates, even after the game became free-to-play a few years back. Their latest, the Love & War update, promises several additions, such as new taunts. But more importantly, Valve released another short starring the various playable classes, made in Source Filmmaker. “Expiration Date” has the red team confronting their imminent death only three days later, as well as Scout pursuing his crush with the help of Spy. It’s a whopping 15 minutes long, making it the longest TF2 short Valve has ever done. I just enjoy watching the characters bounce off each other, so keep making them Valve! Read more…

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What If Smash Bros. Featured Valve’s Characters?

Posted by Ben Huber on Jun 2, 2014 in Fandom, Videogames

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Smash Bros. is a great game because Nintendo has such a huge catalog of iconic characters to pull from, but not many other companies could pull off a similar feat. YouTube user crazyhalo definitely thinks Valve could do it, as they have created a video that remakes the intro film from Super Smash Bros. Melee with all of Valve’s characters. Gordon Freeman, the Heavy, Dog, every Dota character, Chell, and more are featured in this. If you’ve played Melee, this video will probably bring up a lot of memories, as it’s a pitch-perfect reproduction. Check out the video below! Read more…

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Contribute to The International’s Prize Pool With the Compendium

Posted by Ben Huber on May 11, 2014 in Videogames

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Last year, in the lead-up to the Dota 2 International (the championship game tournament for Dota 2), Valve revealed the Compendium, a way for Dota players and fans to get new items and unlocks for their game while also contributing to the overall prize pool, increasing the winnings available for the matches. Already they’ve blown past previous records and are shooting up the Kickstarter-esque stretch goals Valve has set up. Some of them look pretty high, but given how fast Dota 2 has been growing, I definitely wouldn’t be surprised if they hit them all. They already beat their record for most concurrent Dota players yesterday! Check out the full page here. Read more…

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Latest Team Fortress 2 Comic Features Lots of Bears

Posted by Ben Huber on Apr 4, 2014 in Comic Books, Videogames

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Do you like bears? Do you like Russian bears? Do you like washed-up mercenaries fighting bears? And most importantly, do you like hats? If you said yes to any of those, you should probably check out the third installment of the Team Fortress 2 web comic. This bi-monthly comic… er, tri-monthly… actually, it’s been almost four months since the last one. Let’s just Valve Time applies to their comics too. Still, they’re definitely worth the wait, and add a lot of hilarious backstory to the Team Fortress universe. Check out parts 1 and 2 here, then jump into the latest one. Lastly, Valve also announced they’re making a moon base level for TF2. Just thought you should know. Because that’s awesome. Read more…

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Oculus VR Hires Valve’s Michael Abrash

Posted by Ben Huber on Mar 29, 2014 in Tech

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Everyone was surprised by Facebook buying Oculus VR earlier this week. It seemed like an odd fit, and many people were incensed by the acquisition, but my opinion on it is as follows: Facebook might not be the best fit, but Oculus needed money — badly. So far, Facebook has let their last two acquisitions, Instagram and WhatsApp, operate on their own, so I believe we can expect similarly of Oculus. As part of their new budget, Oculus has hired Valve’s Michael Abrash, a pioneer of the VR movement and creator behind Valve’s VR tech demo that got so much press. At Oculus, he’ll be reuniting with his old pal John Carmack to build Oculus up. Let’s hope it all goes well! Read more…

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Valve’s Free To Play: The Movie Now Available

Posted by Ben Huber on Mar 23, 2014 in Videogames

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We’d been hearing for a while about Valve’s long in-production documentary about the first Dota 2 tournament, called The International. They had beta-tested the film (yes, really) by screening it early to people and using their feedback to fix it up. Now, it’s finally available to watch, and it is of course free. To play. Yup. You can watch it on Steam or YouTube, and it runs about an hour and 15 minutes. It’s impressive to watch all the effort these players put into the game, and also the rise of esports in general. I’m really interested in taking the time to watch it later. Check it out! Read more…

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Lil’ Guardian Pyro and Other Saxxy Award Winners

Posted by Ben Huber on Dec 2, 2013 in Videogames

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Well, Valve’s Saxxy Awards are over! All the votes have been tallied and the winner is… Lil’ Guardian Pyro! It’s an adorable short film feature a Pyro doll defending a sentry from a Spy doll. It’s really well done, but so were most of the nominees this year. Valve’s Saxxy Awards always bring out the best Source Filmmaker artists, directors, and animators out there, so be sure to browse the full site and watch them all. I really enjoyed Disruption, Crackpot, and Chinatown Getaway as well as the overall winner. Check it out below. Read more…

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Latest Team Fortress 2 Update Adds New Weapon Effects, Maps, and More

Posted by Ben Huber on Nov 22, 2013 in Videogames

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Team Fortress 2, despite releasing just over six years ago, is still going strong. A committed player base and continuous updates from Valve adding new items, weapons, and maps have made it the (in my opinion) best free-to-play shooter on the market. Oh, and yes, hats. The latest update, the Two Cities Update, for TF2 arrives today and will add new maps to the popular co-op defense mode, Mann Vs. Machine, along with new cosmetic items that allow you to deck out your items with colorful effects. With these Killstreak Kits, your weapon can glow and you can show off how good you are and killing “tiny baby men.” At least check out the site for more of Valve’s trademark humor and promotional stuff for the update which is absolutely hilarious. They released a new animated short, which is always cool! Read more…

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Valve Announces Weird New Steam Controller

Posted by Ben Huber on Sep 28, 2013 in Videogames

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Weird is definitely the way to describe this. But, it could be the good kind of weird? As their final announcement, Valve has revealed their controller for the Steam Machines: the Steam Controller. It features two circular touchpads in place of the usual two joysticks, with two clickable areas on each: one in the center, and one in the outer ring. It also has advanced haptic feedback inside under each trackpad, allowing for a great degree on control over the intensity, direction, and force of the vibration (presumably allowing you to feel some degree of “pushback” when moving your finger around). It also has the usual assortment of buttons, as well as two on the underside of the controller. And of course, a touchscreen. Valve has a lot going on here and these controllers will begin beta testing with the lucky 300 hardware beta participants this fall. Click here to enter. More images below! Read more…

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Valve Releasing Steam Machines Next Year

Posted by Bob Muir on Sep 26, 2013 in Tech, Videogames

Steam Machines

Let’s say you were excited about SteamOS, the living room-focused OS meant to make it easier to play PC games on HDTVs. If you were thinking of buying a new PC to hook up to your HDTV, why not consider a Steam Machine? These boxes running SteamOS are the second of Valve’s three big announcements this week. Valve is working with multiple manufacturers to bring Steam Machines with varying specs to retail in 2014. But before those are released, Valve is testing a high-performance prototype machine, and you could be one of the 300 people to test it for free, if you’re eligible. Read more…

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Valve Reveals SteamOS, A Free OS For Your Living Room

Posted by Bob Muir on Sep 24, 2013 in Tech, Videogames

SteamOS

The first of Valve’s three big announcements is here: SteamOS, a full operating system based on Linux. SteamOS will be downloadable for free and is intended for use on PCs in the living room. This isn’t Valve’s first attempt at moving from desktop PCs to the living room, having introduced Big Picture Mode that tailors PC games to an HDTV. The OS itself seems tuned to improve game performance, from audio improvements to input latency reductions. Read more…

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Valve Teases Steambox Announcements Next Week

Posted by Ben Huber on Sep 22, 2013 in Videogames

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Valve’s mighty leader, Gabe Newell, recently mentioned at Linuxcon that they’d reveal more details about Linux support and the Steambox. And this time Valve time didn’t kick in! Valve has placed a page on Steam teasing three announcements regarding the future of Steam, the Steambox, and presumably, given Gabe’s comments, Linux support. Will the Steambox run Linux? Has Valve figured out a way to convince devs to develop for Linux? Will we see Source 2 at all (or any new games for that matter)? Whatever happens, the first big announcement will hit Monday. Intense! Read more…

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Steam Announces Family Sharing

Posted by Ben Huber on Sep 13, 2013 in Videogames

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Ever wanted to lend your digital games just like your physical discs? While most have gotten used to the fact of digital rights generally being locked to single device, it would be nice to have more freedom. So here’s a little something! Valve announced that Steam will soon have a Family Sharing feature, in which you’ll be able to let other Steam accounts (your close friends and family) play your game library. While you lend your library to your friend, they’ll be able to download and play any game you own (unless the publisher specifically forbids it). If you start up a game though, it’ll start a countdown timer on your friend’s PC, telling them to save and quit or buy the game to continue playing. Sign up to the Steam group here to enter for a chance to get beta access next week! Read more…

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Steam Summer Getaway Sale Begins

Posted by Ben Huber on Jul 12, 2013 in Videogames

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Are you ready to give Gabe Newell all your money? The Steam Summer Getaway Sale has begun, and it brings with it a whole host of discounted games, along with a new meta-game to play. Steam Trading Cards are out of beta and are available to all Steam users now. How do you get these virtual trading cards? Just play the games! TF2, Half-Life, Bioshock: Infinite, Hotline Miami, Toki Tori 2, and more will drop cards into your Steam inventory as you play. You can also collect Steam Summer Getaway cards by combining your existing cards, nabbing you emoticons and wallpapers. On, and the sales too. Buying stuff in the sales. Read more…

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ThreeA Portal 2 Figures of Atlas and P-Body on the Way

Posted by Ben Huber on May 18, 2013 in Hobbies and Collections, Videogames

 

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ThreeA has some skilled people working there. I love the character and design put into their figures and models, but their recent penchant for picking up licenses is really neat too. Next up? Atlas and P-Body from Portal 2! These two will be available for an unknown amount sometime this month on the Bambaland store. As soon as the pre-orders go up you’ll probably want to rush in and claim a pair for yourself, because these typically go very fast. Check out some more images below of these excellent 1:6th scale figures. Read more…

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Valve Building ‘Steam Box’ Game Console Based On Linux OS

Posted by Bob Muir on Jan 9, 2013 in Tech, Videogames

Piston "Steam Box"

The rumors were true! At CES, Valve confirmed they are making their own videogame console — well, sort of. The as-of-yet unnamed “Steam Box” (codenamed “Piston”) will run their already-existing Steam game delivery system, which is by far the market leader when it comes to PC gaming due to solid service, simple DRM, and ridiculously cheap sales and vast bundle deals. Valve has recently introduced “Big Picture” mode, a menu system designed to be viewed on HDTVs instead of PC monitors, so it made sense that Valve was eyeing the couch gaming market. Read more…

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Valve’s Steambox – Sooner Than We Think?

Posted by Ben Huber on Jan 6, 2013 in Videogames

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Valve and their slow, secretive process towards creating a TV box has been a big focus of the gaming community. Gabe Newell declared Windows 8 a “catastrophe” and proceeded to initiate work on Steam for Linux, which is now in beta. Now, Valve engineer Ben Krasnow has said that the box will indeed run Linux, and they plan to show off more about it this year, possibly at GDC or E3, and release it later this year. Given Valve’s penchant for delays, I won’t hold my breath for a 2013 launch, but hearing all about this does get me excited. Read more…

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Steam Holiday Sale Begins!

Posted by Ben Huber on Dec 21, 2012 in Videogames

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It’s one of the best times of the year! Your family comes close, you share gifts with each other, maybe a cup of hot cocoa, and you hover your browser on the Steam web page mashing the F5 button to see new daily deals. Valve has started up the latest Steam Sale, and there’s some great deals going around. Scribblenauts, Hitman, Borderlands, and more are on sale for 50% to 75% off, and that’s only the first day. Flash deals are also still a feature, although Valve seems to have thankfully extended the time limit on many of them. The sale runs until January 5th, so keep checking back for more deals. Also, don’t forget to also watch Amazon for some competing sales as well!

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Valve Launches Steam Community Market Beta

Posted by Ben Huber on Dec 16, 2012 in Videogames

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Ever had a virtual gun you wanted to sell? Perhaps a virtual hat you no longer need? Well Valve is taking the first steps into establishing a legit digital market within Steam, starting with Team Fortress 2, their eternal guinea¬†pig, and Dota 2. Currently, you’re now able to sell and buy “Tool” items for real money, and eventually Valve plans to add weapons and cosmetic items into the mix as well. While this sort of market has existed for a while, it required third-party websites or middlemen to make the transaction happen (because you better not be PayPal-ing money to random people for virtual hats by yourself – that’s scam city). Now, with a solid trading system backing it, Valve will be able to monitor and foster their virtual economy even more. It’s pretty fascinating stuff! Read more…

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Steam Autumn Sale is Coming for Your Wallet

Posted by Ben Huber on Nov 25, 2012 in Videogames

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I love me some Humble Indie Bundles and Steam Sales. So whenever one pops up, it’s my duty to bring the news to you. The latest one is Steam’s Autumn Sale, and as the brown and red leaves fall around your desolate computer tower, surely the one thing you must be wanting this holiday season is games. Because not enough of those come out in November. Anyway, fill you backlog up easily with the constant Flash Sales (short sales that only go on for a few hours) or the Daily Deals. At time of writing, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is $4.99! How can you not get it at ¬†that price. See all the latest deals and sales here.

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Team Fortress 2 Saxxy Awards Now Live – Vote for the Winners

Posted by Ben Huber on Nov 18, 2012 in Videogames

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Team Fortress 2’s annual fan-made video contest, the Saxxy Awards, have started up for their second year. You can now vote on the best Source Filmmaker video and best replay, as well as their individual categories. Comedy, drama, and all the variety and entertainment of a real awards show, without all the pomp and fancy dresses (except for maybe that Magical Heavy Fairy video). The voting period goes until November 27th, and the winners will be announced on November 30th… aside from Best Overall. That one will be shown live on Spike TV’s Video Game Awards pre-show and aired on TV. Now that’s pretty sweet!

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