The first annual Steam Dev Days event doesn’t begin until Wednesday of this week, but Valve has already released SteamVR to the public, its experimental virtual reality mode for owners of the Oculus Rift who want a sneak peek at Valve’s progress on a VR interface. SteamVR allows Steam users to explore the digital platform We reported last week that Valve would be introducing a software development kit for developers who want to work with virtual reality. SteamVR is likely just a proof of concept as Valve prepares even more substantial reveals for later this week. More →
More than 7 million gamers were logged into Steam at the same time on Sunday, a new record for Valve‘s platform, which has a total of around 65 million users according to the latest available data. The new number surpasses last year’s record of over 6 million users that played simultaneously on November 25th, 2012, Engadget reports. The new record is particularly interesting considering that Sony and Microsoft have each released new consoles in the past few weeks, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with both devices receiving increased attention from gamers. Over 1 million PS4 units were sold during its North American launch, a number the Xbox One matched during its first day of sales, although Microsoft launched its new console in more markets than Sony. More →
Steam on Wednesday published its Black Friday and Cyber Monday game deals part of the Autumn Sale 2013 promotion that takes place from November 27th to December 3rd. The company will offer different deals each day combined with flash sales that last only eight hours each. Discounts range from 50% to 80% for the first new daily deals, while flash sales have discounts between 33% and 80%.
Valve is not going to be the only maker of Steam Machines and iBuyPower has become the first company to come up with Steam Machines prototypes of its own. The company told Engadget it plans to launch its Steam Machines at some point in 2014, although an actual roll out plan has not been shared with the publication. More →
Valve plans to show off its virtual reality prototype and explain what it will mean for Steam at its Steam Dev Days event that takes place in Seattle in mid-January. The schedule for the developer sessions includes a couple of virtual reality-related events aptly titled “What VR Could, Should and Almost Certainly Will Be within Two Years,” and “Virtual Reality and Steam.” Apparently, in addition to Steam Machines and Steam Controllers, Valve is interested in building more gaming hardware. More →
Valve seems to have hit on a good thing with its Steam online store for PC games. The Verge reports that Steam now has 65 million active users, which represents a 30% year-over-year rise from 2012 and which has helped the store blow past Xbox Live’s active user count of around 48 million users. The reason this is interesting is that Valve will be taking on both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 next year when manufacturers start cranking out Steam Machine consoles based on its free-to-use Linux-based SteamOS gaming platform. While it’s going to be hard for a third player to make waves in the gaming console market, Valve’s 48 million active Steam users give it a better head start than any other prospective players.
Last week Valve quietly put up a teaser page for what many assumed would be the Steam Box console. Surprisingly, the page made it clear that not one, but three announcements would be coming this week, and the first reveal is likely the operating system that will run Valve’s hardware — SteamOS. Steam’s first-party, stand-alone operating system will be Linux-based and completely free. Valve says that it “[has] achieved significant performance increases in graphics processing” for SteamOS as well, and is now working on “audio performance and reductions in input latency.” More →
Valve has been building up a lot of goodwill in the gaming community with its popular Steam online store and now the company is preparing to enter the hardware arena. We talked about the less-than-subtle hints dropped by Valve CEO Gabe Newell last week at LinuxCon, and now the company has made a more official gesture by setting up a teaser webpage dedicated to Steam’s impending move into the living room. More →
In a recent talk at LinuxCon 2013, Valve CEO Gabe Newell reaffirmed his belief that Linux, and open source platforms in general, are the future of gaming. Valve launched the Steam online gaming store on Linux in February of this year and the store is already host to 198 games. Valve is infamously tight-lipped about upcoming projects, but the prospect of a Linux-based “Steam Box” has been in the works for quite some time, and Newell remarked during his talk that more information about the future of Valve in the living room might be right around the corner. More →
Critics have blasted Microsoft over its used game policy for its Xbox One gaming console. Games are locked to a user’s personal Xbox Live account and require a persistent Internet connection for verification. The company also gave developers the freedom to prevent games from being shared with friends or even sold at certain retailers. In the wake of Microsoft’s bad press, gaming giant Steam appears to be preparing its own lending feature for its popular gaming marketplace. More →
Valve on Monday announced the public release of the company’s Big Picture mode for its Steam software delivery platform. The new mode supports a traditional gamepad, along with a keyboard and mouse to give gamers access to their favorite titles and content right on their television sets. The Big Picture interface can be enabled on any TV by connecting a PC or Mac with an HDMI cable. To celebrate the launch, Valve is discounting over thirty controller-friendly games that will be on sale from now until December 10th. Big Picture mode is fully supported on 41 titles including Portal 2 and Left For Dead 2, and an additional 386 games are listed to include partial controller support, which will still require a traditional mouse and keyboard at certain times. Valve’s press release follows below. More →
So much for the resistance from PC gamers. Steam’s latest hardware survey reveals Microsoft’s (MSFT) radically redesigned Windows 8 is now the fastest growing operating system among Steam users. The survey shows 4.69% of Steam users have jumped onboard Windows 8 making it the platform’s fourth-most used OS, behind Windows 7, XP and Vista. Although Steam usage on Windows 7 saw a 0.85% drop, it still reigns supreme with 72.56%. Meanwhile, Apple (AAPL) Mac users who game with Steam still lag behind at 3.26%, and that’s with OS X 10.6, 10.7, 10.8 combined. More →
Valve announced on Tuesday its “Software” section for non-gaming applications available on its Steam platform is now open for business, just under one month after the company missed its original September 5th launch date. Moving beyond offering digital PC games, Steam’s new software offerings provide another app store for consumers to buy software from. But unlike Apple’s (AAPL) hugely successful Mac App Store, software on Steam can be tweaked to have Steamworks features such as “easy installation, automatic updating, and the ability to save your work to your personal Steam Cloud space so your files may travel with you.” Valve’s press release follows below.