Gamers rejoice, another mega Steam sale is here. The Steam summer sale kicked off a few minutes ago, and has already knocked down the store, which is unavailable through both the client and the browser. Steam’s mega weeklong sales have become famous for offering incredible deals that gamers around the world eagerly wait for. While Amazon and other third parties like GMG have also started offering offering stunning deals, Steam sales still are a mega event.
To get things started, Steam is offering a flat 50% discount on the universally acclaimed Bioshock Infinite. Endless Space, Left 4 Dead 2, Dragon Age: Origins, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, and Scribblenauts Unlimited are available for less than half their original price. Other games that are available at half price are Witcher 2, The Walking Dead, and FTL. The recently released Grid 2 is also available at a 40% discounted price.
Head over to store.steampowered.com to check out all the deals, and don’t forget to check back everyday for fresh deals. It is also worth remembering that waiting until the last day for a game to become a featured deal can often help you in getting a better deal.
Gaming on Linux is getting more interesting by the day. Valve has updated its Steam December Survey to include Linux statistics. This is Valve’s first month with Linux and even though the Steam for Linux system is still in a beta stage, Linux users already account for 0.8% of total Steam users. This figure is expected to increase once Steam for Linux comes out of beta, and reaches more Linux distros. Nonetheless, this is a good start for Steam for Linux.
Steam conducts a monthly survey to collect data about what kinds of computer hardware and software our customers are using. Participation in the survey is optional, and anonymous. The information gathered is incredibly helpful to us as we make decisions about what kinds of technology investments to make and products to offer.
In other statistics, Windows 7 64 bit is the leading operating system with more than 50% of the total user share and the favorite primary display resolution of Steam gamers is 1920×1080. While 60% of all Steam users use Mozilla Firefox, only 11.56% of them were found using Google Chrome, which is surprisingly low (lower than Internet Explorer at 19.82%) given Google Chrome’s market share.
Another interesting fact is that the number of Steam users on 64 bit versions of Ubuntu 12.10 and 12.04 are almost double that of 32 bit users (unlike Windows 7, where 64 bit users are four times of 32 bit users), which is probably for Physical Address Extension (PAE).
Humble Bundles often showcase games by Indie developers. This time however, things have taken a turn with troubled North American games developer/publisher THQ keeping some of their top-hits on sale, with the usual Humble Bundle premise of pay-what-you-want.
The Humble THQ Bundle packs Company of Heroes (and its expansions Opposing Fronts and Tales of Valor), Darksiders, Metro 2033, and Red Faction: Armageddon. If you pay above the average price, you’ll also unlock Saints Row: The Third. Unlike other bundles, the THQ bundle is not DRM-free, Windows only and you get keys for the games which can be activated in Steam. Besides the games, the bundle also packs in soundtracks for each of the games. The amount can be split to be paid to THQ, Charity(Child’s Play/American Red Cross) or the Humble Bundle site maintainers.
Though the lack of cross-platform support and DRM-free games slightly deviates from the Humble Bundle branding, the games included are fantastically awesome and is well worth the purchase. Head over to the site, play what you want and buy the games!
Update: With just under 18 hours remaining for Humble Bundle, THQ has added Titan Quest, Warhammer 40,000:Dawn of War and Path to War DLC for Red Faction: Armageddon since the past few days. If you’ve still haven’t bought it, now would be a good time to get it!
Not quite content with occupying the lion’s share of the digital distribution games market, Valve’s digital delivery service, Steam is now set to expand into non-gaming titles. Making the announcement as a press release, Valve mentions that the first set of software titles are heading to the Steam store for both Mac and PC.
Valve mentions that applications ranging from creativity to productivity will available on Steam. The first set of software titles are set to hit the store from September 5th. What’s even more exciting is that SteamWorks — which allows for Cloud storage on Steam Cloud and auto-updates — will be available to software titles as well.
Will it work?
Steam did experiment with non-gaming media for digital distribution — particularly when Indie Game: The Movie was released on Steam store, which didn’t do too bad. There are still couple of points that might stick out about software coming to the Steam store:
Cross-platform licensing: Steam for Ubuntu is coming soon, Steam for Mac is already here. SteamPlay allows for a game license to be used across multiple devices and multiple platforms. Software title developers, however, are quite insistent about single-use-only licensing. We’ll have to wait and watch to see how many developers will be going ahead with single-license-multiple-platform approach.
Steam’s DRM: The popular opinion about DRM in Steam is that it’s DRM done well. Now I don’t agree that it’s done well — though it’s not that bad either. Steam games require that you stay online when you launch the titles. If you plan to play offline then there’s a “Go offline” option that must be explicitly used before you go offline — without doing this, the probability that you’ll be able to launch a title is less than 1%. These restrictions are unlikely to go well when we’re talking about productivity applications.
Going against existing, preloaded marketplace: Windows, OS X, Ubuntu — all feature their own built-in Stores. Windows 8’s Windows store features prominently as a Tile on the Start Screen, the Mac App Store has gained some traction amongst OS X users and with Ubuntu, you’re guaranteed to take a look at the software centre at least once a day. Will these be enough to deter the casual users from loading Steam?
Having said that, Steam’s approach to include software titles will be an interesting change to look at. Now all that I pray is that future Steam Sales will include software titles as well.
After years and years of rumors, Valve is finally taking the bold step of porting its Source engine to Linux. With this porting, you can also expect Linux to get steamy. Yes, the Steam client is showing its head on Linux too, and all this is happening on our favorite Linux flavor- Ubuntu. The announcement has been done in style with a blog post titled “Steam’d Penguins“, on Valves recently launched Linux Team blog.
The purpose of this blog is best explained as,
Our mission is to strengthen the gaming scene on Linux, both for players and developers. This includes Linux ports of Steam and Valve games, as well as partner games. We are also investigating open source initiatives that could benefit the community and game developers.
The first time we heard rumors of Source being ported to Linux was back in 2008, when Phoronix started reporting about it. The leaked Valve handbook showed the world how flat their management structure is. Years went by, and finally, the rumors started getting stronger this year. earlier in April, Valve’s Gabe Newell confirmed (to Phoronix, again) that there will indeed be a ported Source engine and a Steam client for Linux, and here we are!
Linux will prove to be a prospective platform for obvious reasons of openness. Although Valve is working on Steam for Ubuntu 12..04 currently, they also have plans for other Linux distros in near future. The flagship game to be ported to Linux will be Left 4 Dead 2, and it will run on OpenGL.
Finally, Linux will have its own native Valve games and its users will not have to deal with the idiosyncrasies of Wine or any other compatibility layer anymore. Last month, EA started betting big on Linux too, and their choice of distro too was ubuntu. It is good to see that Ubuntu is being seen as a platform of choice for pilot projects like these. Nonetheless, gaming on Linux too is entering a new era.
Not quite content with introducing gamification in games using Achievements, Valve has quietly rolled out badges in their digital games distribution platform, Steam.
The badges are retroactively applied, though certain badges will require that you redo the action, even though you’ve already done them before — for instance — launching a game or publish a screenshot. You can see the badges that you’ve unlocked from your Steam profile
Clicking on “All Badges” brings up a detailed listing of all badges.
With the Steam Summer Sale on, Valve seems intent on making people do more than just play games — Valve wants people to share their images, videos and essentially build up a small social networking community within Steam. And the results of the badges being introduced can be seen right away, as Jerwin so eloquently puts it.
Whether the comments and other such activity will be sustained, remains to be seen. For now, you can start acquiring your badges!
Few days ago, I had posted about the Steam Summer Sale being imminent. Well, you no longer have to wait, for the sale is live on Steam Store now.
The sale will run from today, July 12, 2012 through July 22, 2012. As previously mentioned, the Indie Bundle 1 is up for sale, indicating that all predicted game bundles will be up for sale as well. In a new addition, you also get to vote which game should be the next featured deal.
Steam Store’s currently under heavy load and was quite unresponsive while I tried to load, it should stabilize in couple of hours’ time.
Today’s deals include:
Terraria (75% off, $2.49 instead of $9.99)
Total War: Shogun 2(75% off, $7.49 instead of $29.99)
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (50% off, $29.99 instead of $59.99)
Legend of GrimRock(60% off, $5.99 instead of $14.99)
Indie Bundle 1(75% off, $9.99 instead of $39.99)
Might & Magic: Heroes VI(50% off, $24.99 instead of $49.99)
Ridge Racer Unbounded(50% off, $24.99 instead of $49.99)
Portal 2(75% off, $4.99 instead of $19.99)
Crusader Kings(75% off, $9.99 instead of $39.99)
Now that you’ve read what’s on sale, you might want to head over to the site and grab some sweet deals. And do leave a comment mentioning what you’ve purchased.
By this time, most gamers would be waiting with baited breath — for it’s time for Valve to unleash their annual Steam Summer Sale. Traditionally round about this time we expect Valve to announce their annual Steam Summer Sale. This year, however, it’s been a little bit quiet — 10 days into July and still no whisper of the sale.
Ever been in this situation where you’ve purchased a kickass game during your work hours and can’t wait to reach home and start playing it? You’re eager to start the download. But you run into a small glitch. You can’t start the download till you have access to your home system and you can’t access your home system from work.
Luckily, Valve’s come up with a solution for this.The latest beta version of Steam client comes with a new feature: the ability to initiate remote downloads. You’ll need to opt-in into the beta program to utilize this.
Once you’ve updated to the new client, login to Steam Website, head over to Community -> Games. Now all games tied to your Steam account will be listed, as will be shown, the icon to start the remote install.
You can even pause and check the status of the download, all right from the website.
Pretty nifty feature this, to be honest. Hope it gets featured into the stable builds soon. Till then, you can always opt-into the beta and start using this.