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Steam Greenlights Over 20 More Games

Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Counter-Strike, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Portal, and Team Fortress) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced the second set of titles proceeding to worldwide distribution opportunities through Steam Greenlight. This second wave of titles was originally targeted to include at least 10 titles. Given the number and quality of games submitted, and the ship date of many of the top-ranking titles, the decision was made to increase the size of this group.

Steam Greenlight is a new platform feature that enlists the community's help in selecting some of the next games to be released on Steam. Launched on August 30, Greenlight allows developers and publishers to post information and media about their game in an effort to convince Community members that their game should be released on Steam.

L4D2 Runs Faster on Linux than Windows

Valve's hit online multiplayer game, Left 4 Dead 2, which was recently ported to Ubuntu along with the Steam client, is found to play faster on the platform than even Windows. The game generates higher frame-rates on Ubuntu with the new OpenGL renderer for Source engine than the Direct3D renderer it uses on Windows.

The disclosure comes as part of Valve's ongoing efforts to optimize the Source engine to the Linux platform, following which, it plans to port more of its game franchises, such as Half Life, Counter Strike, Team Fortress, and Portal. The games will be available on Ubuntu with SteamPlay, allowing users who already own a license for the Windows or Mac OS X versions to simply download and play the game on Ubuntu, without any purchases.Source: Phoronix

Source Filmmaker Now in Open Beta

Valve, creator of best-selling game franchises (such as Counter-Strike, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Portal, and Team Fortress) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced the open beta release of Source Filmmaker (SFM), for free, to everyone.

The SFM is a storytelling tool Valve developed inside the Source Engine to create all its animated short films, including those in the "Meet the Team" series of Team Fortress 2 shorts. The SFM condenses the production pipeline of an animation studio down onto a single gaming PC. To help the community get started, the SFM includes all assets from Team Fortress 2 along with assets from two of the "Meet the Team" short films.

Valve Corporation Worth $3 Billion

Video games developer, publisher, and distributor, Valve Corporation is valued at US $3 billion. A privately-held company, Valve doesn't disclose its finances to the public. Forbes estimated its worth by consulting video game industry insiders, equity analysts, investment bankers, and technology analysts. Valve's co-founder and managing director, Gabe Newell, who owns over 50% of the company, has a net worth of $1.5 billion, making him the newest billionaire from the video games industry. He ranks 854th out of 1,226 global billionaires in Forbes' list. Apart from having largely successful game franchises such as Half Life, Counter Strike, Left4Dead, and Portal, Valve has arguably the most popular video games digital distribution platform, Steam. Steam distributes more than 1,800 titles, from 50 different publishers.

Source: Forbes

The Most Pirated Games of 2011

Today Kotaku is reporting the top 5 games pirated for major platforms this year according to TorrentFreak. As usual the PC platform is the most guilty almost doubling in pirated copies then its competitors.

Some of the titles listed are not surprising but the lack of a certain title filled with dragon slaying is. Why Skyrim didn't make the top five is anyone's guess. Either Steam is in fact the most user friendly DRM or people just love Skyrim. Either way this is just a small glimpse into the world of pirated software.

Top Five Pirated PC Games

1. Crysis 2 (3,920,000) (March 2011)
2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (3,650,000) (November 2011)
3. Battlefield 3 (3,510,000) (October 2011)
4. FIFA 12 (3,390,000) (September 2011)
5. Portal 2 (3,240,000) (April 2011)Source: Kotaku

Christmas Special: The PC Technology of 2011

Welcome to the TechPowerUp 2011 PC technology Christmas special. We hope that you will enjoy reading it while tucking into your turkey, Christmas presents and a little too much wine... In this article, we go through the technology of 2011 that has had the most significance, the most impact and was generally the most talked about. It's not necessarily the best tech of 2011 which is the most significant though, since lemons can be just as significant as the ground-breakers in how they fail to deliver - and the backlash that goes with it.

January: Intel Sandy Bridge i5 & i7

Released on January 9th, the new Intel Core i5 & i7 processors were based on Intel's second generation Core architecture built on a 32 nm production process (HEXUS review). They included an IGP (Integrated Graphics Processor) physically on the same piece of silicon along with HyperThreading. These new dual and quad core processors soundly beat all previous generations of Intel processors in terms of processing performance, heat, power use, features and left AMD in the dust. Therefore, Intel badly needed some competition from AMD and unless you have been living under a rock, you will know how that turned out in October with the launch of Bulldozer. Sandy Bridge was a sound win and is generally considered to be the only architecture worth considering at this point. The i5-2500K is currently at the sweet spot of price/performance. It comes at a stock speed of 3.3 GHz, but typically overclocks to an amazing 4.5 - 5 GHz with a decent air cooler and without too much difficulty in getting there. Models in the budget i3 range were released at various times later. See this Wikipedia article for details.

SteelSeries and Valve Announce QCK+ DOTA 2 Edition Mousepad

SteelSeries, the leading global manufacturer of gaming peripherals, today introduced the first in a series of co-licensed products with Valve Corporation, creator of best-selling game franchises (such as Half-Life, Portal, Left 4 Dead, and Counter-Strike) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source). The SteelSeries QcK+ DotA 2 Edition provides players with a smooth and consistent glide surface and a non-slip rubber base that keeps the mousepad in place regardless of the gaming environment. Optimized to achieve precision and accuracy for optical and laser technology, the oversized mousepad is 17.7 x 15.7 x 0.08 inches and features the vibrant colors of the Dota 2 black and red game logo.

Valve Announces Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO)

Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Counter-Strike, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Portal, and Team Fortress) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO).

Targeted for release via Playstation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, and Steam (for PC and Mac) in early 2012, CS: GO will expand upon the team-based action gameplay that it pioneered when it was launched exactly 12 years ago (CS beta 1, August 1999).

SteelSeries and Valve Announce Multi-Title Agreement for Co-Branding Gaming Surfaces

SteelSeries, the leading global manufacturer of gaming peripherals, today announced a new partnership with Valve Corporation, entertainment software and technology company and creator of the popular Steam platform and award-winning properties such as Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Team Fortress, Portal and Left 4 Dead. Through a multi-title agreement, SteelSeries will work closely with Valve to design co-branded gaming surfaces, specific for Valve’s most recognized game titles.

ASUS ''Innovation Beyond Expectations'' At Computex 2011

ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih has unveiled the highly-anticipated Padfone along with the latest ASUS innovations, which include new UX Series notebooks, redesigned N Series notebooks with SonicMaster audio technology, the revolutionary and versatile Eee Pad Memo 3D, ultra-thin Eee PC X101 netbooks, and unique home entertainment devices such as the motion-sensing WAVI Xtion and the 27” All-in-One high-definition ET2700XVT desktop PC. With “Break the Rules, Innovation Beyond Expectations” as the dominant theme this year, Mr. Shih has reiterated the company’s strength in cutting-edge designs and superior engineering skills to help bring users the devices of their dreams. “Breaking the rules and changing the status quo are the keys to our success, and we strive to offer customers an experience that surpasses their expectations,” said Mr. Shih.

Steam for Mac Available, Valve Gives Away Copies of Portal

Valve today officially introduced the Steam for Mac. The popular game content distribution and multiplayer game networking platform will bring a wealth of casual games as well as games developed by Valve to Mac users. To celebrate this launch, Valve is giving away a free copy of Portal to anyone who downloads Steam between today and May 24, 2010. Existing steam users who don't have the game yet can simply click on the install button on the game's Store page.

"The Mac is a great platform for developers," said Gabe Newell, president of Valve. "And it's also great that we now have the ability to connect with Mac gamers via Steam. This is the beginning of a groundswell of games coming out for and fully utilizing the openness and power of the Mac." Each Wednesday a new group of games highlighting an area of Steam functionality will be released. This week's titles, which show off Steam Play, include:

Steam Holiday Sale On Now

The Steam Holiday sale is on now. Through January 2, 2009, every game on Steam is available at 10% to 75% off the regular price. Select publisher catalogs such as Ubisoft, THQ, and 2K Games are 25% off. Award-winning titles such as Bioshock and Portal are available for 75% off the regular price. For more information, please visit this page.

Portal 2 Confirmed by Valve

Valve's acclaimed puzzle-action hybrid Portal will be given a sequel, according to the game's lead designer Kimberly Swift."Well, I believe Doug Lombardi who is our lead marketing director at Valve, has announced Portal 2." said Swift in an interview with G4TV. Lombardi had previously stated that more Portal was on the way, but Swift's comment is the first mention of a true sequel to be made thus far. No further details on the project were provided. Aside from the announcement of the sequel, Portal also won the Game Developers Choice Award for Game of the Year last night in San Francisco and has taken home the awards for Innovation and Best Game Design.Source: Shacknews

Valve Confirms More Team Fortress 2 Content, 'More Portal', and Cake

Valve developer Doug Lombardi recently promised gamers everywhere something that is sure to be appreciated: "more Portal". What exactly consists of "more" is still in the works, but Lombardi promised something else while we wait: brand new download-able Team Fortress 2 Maps, which will arrive for all platforms, for absolutely no charge. Valve has not said anything about possible release dates, but they have unveiled a "juicy" little tidbit about Episode 3:
In Episode One I think we left people with some big questions. After Episode Two people saw it was going somewhere. With Episode Three we want to live up to the promise of where we are taking things to; there's a lot of work being done to make sure we deliver on that promise. Exact details on what's next for Gordon are a way off; probably months not weeks.
We'll keep you posted as this shapes up.Source: Neoseeker

Valve and NVIDIA Offer Portal: First Slice Free to GeForce Users

The most recent Steam Hardware Survey shows more Steam gamers play on NVIDIA GeForce hardware than any other graphics platform. In an effort to further support this popular PC gaming configuration - Steam games plus NVIDIA hardware - Valve and NVIDIA have entered into an agreement to collaborate on development, distribution, events, and more. Effective immediately, all NVIDIA gamers may receive a free copy of Portal: First Slice, a special version of the award-winning new game from Valve, by visiting steamgames.com/nvidia1 and "Taking the test." Steam will then auto-detect the presence of NVIDIA hardware and make Portal: First Slice available immediately, free of charge. To make it easy for all NVIDIA customers to redeem this offer, a link to the Steam offer will also be included in all NVIDIA drivers.Source: Steam

Bethesda Softworks Makes Map for Portal

Bethesda Softworks, the company that developed games such as Morrowind and Oblivion, has made its own map for Valve's hugely innovative Portal after being so infatuated with the title. Bethesda's level designer Daryl Brigner was responsible for creating the map, which is currently up to version 1.2 after a few tweaks have been made.

The map is available for the PC version of Portal only and can be downloaded at TWHL.Source: Bit-Tech

Portal Pre-Load Underway

Those who pre-purchased Valve's first person brain twister Portal through Steam, either in the $44.99 ultra compilation The Orange Box or by its $19.99 separate listing, can now begin downloading the game's assets. Commonly referred to as pre-loading, the idea is to let gamers gradually download a game in advance so they only need to download a small enabling file on the day of its release, preventing owners from being held back by slow download speeds and clogged servers. With The Orange Box gone gold and confirmed to release on October 10th for PC and Xbox 360, the pre-load for Half-Life 2: Episode Two is also expected to begin shortly.Source: Shacknews
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