GAME are currently doing a sale on the Valve back catalogue to coincide with the Steam hardware finally being available. You can check out the full list here, but this one is worthy of a highlight of its own. Normally Counter-Strike: Global Offensive costs around £11.99, so to get it for £3.50, along with previous iterations like the original Counter-Strike and CS:Source is an absolute bargain. It remains one of the most popular team-based shooters around, so if you want to know what all the fuss is about - and die, repeatedly - this is a great and very cheap chance to do so. Cheers for Buzz for the heads-up!
With E3 right around the corner, it just wouldn't have felt right to not get the Dealspwn team together to discuss the incoming storm of gameplay reveals, shocking announcements, and terrible on-stage banter. So, we've brought back the beast that refuses to die - welcome to another edition of Game Buzz Extra! In this E3 Special, Carl, Jon and Brendan discuss yesterday's Oculus Rift conference before diving into their hopes and expectations for the rest of the pressers. Highlights include some of Jon's blue-sky-thinking, Brendan's surprising suggestion of what Sony will bring, and Carl warning all against any mentions of a certain remake.
Game Buzz Extra | The countdown to E3 - Recorded 12th June, 2015.
Parental Advisory: We've tried to keep it as conversational and informal as possible, and you should be warned that there may be some instances of strong language, dreadful impressions, and terrible puns.
Steam are now offering quibble-free refunds and it's about time too. After years of complaints and even a defiance of EU legislation, Valve will now let you get your money back for any game you've played for less than two hours for any reason whatsoever, within 14 days of purchase. It's a big step for a company that has long been criticised for its aftersale customer service.
Unfortunately, like so many nice ideas on paper, Steam refunds have already revealed a worrying dark side that's causing any number of small studios to be out of pocket due to gamers doing what they do best: gaming the system.
Is it abuse? Is it actually an exploit? Is it even an extension of the Pay What You Want model? Let's take a look at the problem and then get involved.
Here's the situation. Steam's two-hour refund window is a good size when it comes to most games, which typically last somewhere between 5-40+ hours. It's enough time to test the game, mess about with the graphics options, attempt to fix any performance issues and get a good feel for the gameplay before making an informed decision about whether it's broken, incompatible with your hardware or simply not your cup of tea. After which you can get a refund. All well and good.
The problem, unfortunately, is that plenty of games last less than two hours... which makes them prime targets for so-called abuse.Click here to read more...
It's been a long time coming, but the Steam Machines are finally on the march. Releasing in October, Valve's range of SteamOS living room PCs run the gamut from thrifty to beefy, even if they're all arguably made obsolete by the Steam Link hardware that allows you to beam content from your existing PC at a staggeringly cheap price.
However, Valve are also ready to show off the much-vaunted Steam Controller, which has undergone numerous revisions and iterations over the last few years. Ditching thumbsticks for touch pads in an effort to support more PC-centric gaming experiences, then throwing a single thumbstick and traditional face buttons back into the mix, it's an odd device that has bags of potential yet makes us worry that Valve have compromised too much in an effort to please everyone.
The finalised Steam Controller features two big trackpads, one of which features a D-Pad and both of which are clickable, alongside traditional triggers, left thumbstick and face buttons. We're pleased to note that the chassis has been vastly streamlined since its original reveal, which resembled a cross between the original Xbox' 'Duke' controllers and the Sidewinder Freestyle Pro, resulting in a piece of kit that should be relatively comfortable to hold.Click here to read more...
Update: It seems Valve see £6.17 as a reasonable shipping charge for the Steam Link which gives the overall delivered price a £47.39 tag.
Some would look at the Steam Link as Valve pretty much competing with themselves on top of the release of the Steam Machines that they also intend to release in November of this year.
With price tags attatched that range from $479.99 to $4999.99 the Steam Machines look like a costly purchase for a gamer seeking high end specs, so what would be the best possible alternative? Surely purchasing your own gaming setup for a cheaper price tag alongside one of Valves own Steam Links would provide better value for money?
Regardless, the Steam Link is shaping up to become a must have product for gamers wanting to kick back and relax on their sofa whilst playing the 100's if not 1000's of Steam games acquired in multiple bundle purchases that we actually never thought we would ever play.
The Steam Link boasts:Click here to read more...
Steam is now offering 14-day refunds... and this time it looks like Valve actually mean it.
So long as you've played a game for less than two hours, you should be able to get your money back for "any reason."Click here to read more...
Goodbye for now, paid Steam mods. We hardly knew ye. Scant days after the triumphant announcement and the program has been shut down as Bethesda pulled the plug, resulting in refunds across the board and a return to the status quo.
"After discussion with Valve, and listening to our community, paid mods are being removed from Steam Workshop," Bethesda explained. "Even though we had the best intentions, the feedback has been clear - this is not a feature you want."
I'm not so sure. Though the backlash was fierce, I have to be honest and say that I liked the idea even if the implementation left much to be desired. And I'd like to see it return... after some substantial retooling.
For me there are two key questions at the heart of this controversial issue and answering both will be crucial. The first is simple: why shouldn't modders be allowed to charge for their work?
Click here to read more...
Barely five days after Valve rolled out the ability to buy and sell Steam Skyrim mods, Bethesda has pulled the plug on the entire scheme and shut it down, while Valve have offered a full refund to everyone involved.Click here to read more...
As paid Steam mods continue to evoke a passionate reaction both for and against, Gabe Newell has finally spoken out to defend the controversial new scheme while confirming that Valve won't be doing any policing or curation themselves... but will it satisfy the 120,000+ gamers who signed a petition against the new program over the weekend?Click here to read more...
If you're a PC gamer, chances are that you've noticed the storm clouds swirling around Steam over the last 48 hours. Valve have finally allowed mod creators to charge for their wares and let publishers control the cut, resulting in a flurry of premium modifications onto the store.
It's a real mess out there.
Though we love the idea of hard-working content creators to earn money for their efforts, it seems that Steam's first foray is hitting some serious stumbling blocks and fierce resistance both from customers and the community. Seeing as Steam are already still struggling to stop the rising tide of shovelware and Early Access tat from engulfing the quality and deserving titles, there's a case to be made that this is yet another area in which they're throwing quality control to the wind.
All while developers are being paid as little as 25% of the revenue they generate. Is this a great new feature with teething troubles or a disaster waiting to happen?
The answer, I suspect, lies somewhere in the middle.Click here to read more...
Earlier today we were given some extra details on over a dozen new Steam machines, including prices for the base models from multiple manufacturers. Many things remain unclear, but the consensus amongst the PC-savvy crowd seems to still be that they could build their own equivalent gaming rig for considerably less. This is hardly earth-shattering news though.
Steam Machines are all about the convenience for the non-savvy consumer looking for a way into PC gaming, namely people who own a PC or laptop solely for work or console gamers. People like me. I know this, you know this. So why doesn’t Valve?
Why do I have to do all the research through gaming/tech sites to find out even the most basic of facts? The info available on Valve’s site is just terrible. One of the most problematic issues for me is the lack of confirmed Operating Systems for these different models. One minute I’m hearing Linux is the default, then it’s the newer Steam OS. None of these options are particularly attractive because it means there are a huge number of incompatible games on the Steam store as most of the games are built for Windows. I’m presuming extra licensing costs are the reason behind the Steam Machines not wanting to run with Microsoft’s OS, but when it has such an impact on a player’s potential library, it seems like Valve are cutting their nose off to spite their face.
My earlier point about the lack of pricing for any of the Steam Machine models beyond the entry level ones is worth coming back to. Even with no PC gaming experience (apart from Day of the Tentacle and Doom back in the day), I know that the cheapest machines sporting 4GB of RAM (the same as my wheezing ten year old laptop) isn’t up to much and hardly future-proof. When quizzing my PC-gaming colleagues they told me that I wouldn’t be running anything past average settings, which doesn’t sound like the ‘on a par with the PS4/Xbox One’ comparison Valve are claiming.Click here to read more...
Valve have finally lifted the lid off the Steam Machines once and for all, releasing the full list of available models, prices (up to $4999.99!) and some of their specifications too.
To be honest, it's a confusing and somewhat embarrassing shambles. Instead of one clear message, over a dozen machines are desperately trying to claw their way into the limelight, most of which have similar specs or even upgradable in and of themselves, making for a bit of a nightmare for consumers.
Great. Still, in an effort to make things as easy as possible, here are all of the Steam Machines announced so far, how much they'll cost, their specs where possible and a bit of commentary. Bear in mind that only US prices are currently available and we've got no word on a European rollout yet (but the Gods of VAT will not smile on us, no doubt).
Starting at $479.99 USD
Big power, tiddly form factor. "The Alienware Steam Machine combines the awesome experience of console gaming with a massive library of over 980 games, all in full 1080p HD on your TV. You’ll experience powerful and immersive gaming with the high performance NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX GPU 2GB GDDR5 graphics and Intel® Core processors."
So basically it's an Alienware Alpha, then. Specs here. Chances are you'll need to spend quite a lot more than the base price to get future-proofed bang for your buck.Click here to read more...
Valve presented a show at GDC last night, shedding new light on the Vive VR headset, the long-awaited Steam Machines and the next generation of Source Engine games.
It was... interesting.
Now, in the cold light of day, the three of us have put our heads together to recap and dissect the news as well as revealing our reactions to what was an odd little show in the end.
Half-Life 3 confirmed!
Gotcha. Sadly, despite Valve's GDC presentation kicking off at 3/03 at 3PM, there was no "3" in sight. No Portal 3. HL2: Episode 3. Left 3 Dead? DOTA 3? The more I think about it, the more I reckon some mischievous event organiser came up with the timings just to drum up some publicity.
Never mind, though, because Valve did bring some interesting announcements to the class. Starting with the fact that Source 2 is finally on the way and will be free to use. Valve joins Epic and Unity in opening up game development to everyone (with a little licensing kickback of course), meaning that big publishers will have to find a different excuse than "games are so expensive to make" to justify their silly prices. Plus, seeing as most engines launch with a flagship game... no, I won't get your hopes up.Click here to read more...
Or should that be HTC's VR headset?
Ahead of their GDC presentation on 3/03 at 3PM (seriously, you'd better announce it now), Valve have revealed the headset that will support SteamVR. A cooperative venture with HTC, the newly-christened Vive is set to release this Christmas, compatible with SteamOS and a range of games to be released "soon."Click here to read more...
So Valve are coming to GDC... and they're bringing some toys.
"At GDC 2015, we'll be giving demos of the refined Steam Controller, new living room devices, and a previously-unannounced SteamVR hardware system," read an unassuming little post yesterday that sent the internet into a flurry of speculation and expectation. Valve's much-vaunted 'Steam Machines' initiative stumbled and fell by the wayside, but they've been quietly beavering away in the skunkworks and are ready to return.
Valve are perfectly placed to become a major player in the emerging VR market, but do they have what it takes to conquer the living room? Do they even plan to? Here's what the three of us want and expect from this year's showing.
What do I want to see from Valve? Some affordable products releasing sometime soon would be a lovely start.
In all seriousness, considering the fiasco over pricing and variation of the Steam Machines, it would be great to see if Valve can deliver a VR headset that can rival the Oculus in terms of performance, comfort, and more importantly price. That last point has been the main barrier between stopping me joining the VR revolution, so I do hope that it doesn’t become another peripheral too expensive to realistically consider.Click here to read more...
Are you new to Steam or PC gaming in general? If so, you should probably consider getting hold of this outstanding bundle which includes almost everything Valve have have made. By using the voucher code WINTER-SALE20-GROGRE at the checkout you can get hold of 24 games for just a tenner. Find out exactly why the internet won't shut up about the Half-Life, Portal, and Left 4 Dead series'. Or just go play some Ricochet. Just 'cos. Thanks to Jesse148 @ HUKD!
Bookmark our games deals stream for further savings!
Valve Complete Pack | Steam | £18.99 (75% saving vs RRP)
This is some great value, at least if you don't own the majority of these bona fide classics. You get all the Half-Life games, both Portals, both Left 4 Deads, both Team Fortresses (the second is F2P but still on here for some reason), all the Counter-Strikes including GO, Richochet, Day Of Defeat...
Hang on a second. £18.99? 1+8+9+9 = 27 = 3 x 3 x 3 ... HALF LIFE 3 CONFIRMED! You heard it here first.
Chances are that everyone who wants Left 4 Dead 2 already owns it, unless you happen to be Australian. Thankfully the ban on the uncut full version has now been lifted down under, so Steam are throwing a deal for everyone to celebrate. Thanks to ferreirm @ HUKD!
Oh lorks, here we go again.Click here to read more...
We've all got a Steam backlog. No matter how fastidious or frugal you are, those Humble Bundles and Christmas sales are just too tasty to resist.
Don't deny it - and don't worry, because you're in good company. In fact, it transpires that almost 37% of all Steam games ever purchased have never been played or even installed.Click here to read more...