When I was a younger, much less experienced man, I bought a Steam controller. It cost me close to $100 in Canadian funds, but I thought it'd be well worth it. A controller that's great, according to the propaganda, for playing everything from point-and-click adventure games to the latest shooters? Who the hell wouldn't want that?
As it turns out, I did not want that.
I used it a few times before breaking down and buying an Xbox wireless controller to use instead. I dug that the Steam Controller allowed you to pretty much map PC game to it to allow for some epic couch gaming sessions. I loathed how cheap it felt and that, even when it was properly mapped to my PC games, It's poor accuracy made for a shitty gaming experience.
Four years after Valve released its oddball Steam Controller, it's not making any more. The controller is on sale today for $5 -- that's 90 percent off its list price of $49.99 -- and a note in the Steam Store warns that there's a limited quantity remaining. Once those controllers are gone, Valve doesn't plan to make more, The Verge reports.
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While most reviewers originally wrote the Steam Controller off as too weird, Valve sold over 500,000 in the first six months. It became one of the most configurable gaming devices -- you could play Street Fighter V strictly with motion controls or Serious Rocket League with the grips programmed for acceleration/brake and drift/boost.
A few years ago the announcement that Steam would begin supporting Linux was a big deal: it meant that anyone who preferred to rock an open-source operating system over Mac OS or Windows 10 would have instant buy-it-and-play-it access to a large catalog of game titles that would have otherwise taken a whole lot of tweaking to get up and running or wouldn't have worked for them at all. For some, at least, the party may be coming to an end.
If you're a Linux gamer who prefers Ubuntu, you might want to look for another distribution in the near future. Valve is dropping official support for Ubuntu in Steam as of the operating system's upcoming 19.10 release, which will cut 32-bit x86 components. The Steam crew aims to "minimize breakage" for existing Ubuntu users, according to Valve's Pierre-Loup Griffais, but it'll shift its attention to another distribution in the future.
So, in short: no 32-bit support means no Steam support. Given that the many of the games available on Steam can only be had by buying a license, this news sucks in so many ways. That said, as noted by Engadget, at some point in the future, it could be possible to switch to a different distribution that'll allow you to undertake some, glitch-free fragging. However, for the time being, Canonical and Valve haven't made any announcements of which distribution will best serve gamers, moving forward. When that announcement will come down the pike is anyone's guess. Read the rest
Half-Life 3 is a running joke (or tragedy) among fans of the series who waited more than a decade for it to exist. With publisher Valve's business shifting to its Steam platform and key writer Marc Laidlaw leaving the company, the writing seemed on the wall. Turns out, though, it's on his blog: Epistle 3 is a lightly-cloaked synopsis (already edited by fans to remove obfuscating elements) of what was, in another world, the greatest game of 201A.
a Certain Sinister Figure appeared, in the form of that sneering trickster, G-Man. For once he appeared not to me, but to Alyx Vance. Alyx had not seen the cryptical schoolmaster since childhood, but she recognized him, instantly. "Come along with me now, we've places to be and things to do," said G-Man, and Alyx acquiesced. She followed the strange grey man out of the Borealis, out of our reality. For me, there was no convenient door held open; only a snicker and a sideways glance. I was left alone, riding the weaponized research vessel into the heart of a Combine world. An immense light blazed. I caught a cosmic view of a brilliantly glittering Dyson sphere. The vastness of the Combine's power, the futility of our struggle, blossomed briefly in my awareness. I saw everything. Mainly I saw how the Borealis, our most powerful weapon, would register as less than a fizzling matchhead as it blew itself apart. And what remained of me would be even less than that.
Laidlaw describes it as "fanfic":
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Valve, publisher of legendary game series such as Half-Life, Portal and Team Fortress, announced a new game at The International, a convention for players of DOTA, one of its big hits. The hyped-up crowd's reaction to finding out that Artifact is to be a "DOTA card game" is quite something.
It seems like a perfect conceptual faceplant, where two popular things are combined to form something comically unappealing. But is there an ironic angle? The völkisch consumerism of gamers got out of hand years ago, so it seems unlikely to be a joke at their expense. In any case, one hopes players have to pay for every single card: a good innovation would be a micro-transaction for every time a card is deployed. Read the rest
After a 7 year hiatus, perhaps the greatest horror video game series of all time may be picking up where it left off! Rumors have it that Valve has delayed work on Half-Life 3 to work on Left 4 Dead 3.
Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 were wonderful zombie smashing, cooperative first person shooters. The game play was fantastic, the characters, levels, and script hilariously endearing. We all wept when Bill sacrificed himself for the team. I'm hopeful!
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The last game in the series came out back in 2009, but it is believed that the latest title has been given a 2017 release date.
Reports also claim that the four characters have already been given names, with the sole female said to be known as Katherine.