It's a good day to be an NVIDIA SHIELD owner. Valve's Android ports of PC shooter classics Portal and Half-Life 2 just dropped in the Play Store for $10 a pop. They're only for the SHIELD (even other devices with the Tegra 4 chipset aren't invited to the party), which is a bit of a mixed blessing - these games really require a full controller to play.
It says it all, really.
PC gamers will recognize the logo for Valve's much-loved science fiction shooter Half-Life 2 emblazoned on the bar, which is the iconic starter weapon for the game. "What Would Gordon [Freeman] Do?" and NVIDIA's SHIELD logo, along with NVIDIA's signature green color, makes this a not-so-subtle indication that the game is coming to the Android-powered SHIELD at some point.
Portal was released nearly seven years ago as part of the Valve Orange Box, which also included a few other games. Seven years is an eternity on the internet, but the excitement was still palpable when Nvidia announced it was working on a version of Portal for the Shield. Now here we are just a weeks later and the game is about to hit the Play Store. The questions we have to ask are...
After a bunch of clever Russian programmers started creating their own Portal for Android last month using the Unity 3D engine and Valve's assets, the news got picked up and spread through the Internet like wildfire. It all seemed too good to be true, but the initial demo was playable, and as I was monitoring the development thread, I saw how quickly progress was being made. The developers were literally recreating the Portal world at a phenomenal pace, and things were looking up.
Yep, I'm 100% serious. Right now, on my phone, is an alpha, proof-of-concept build of Portal. No, it's not official (it's definitely not supported by VALVe Software in any way), but it is tantalizingly awesome. Now, before you ask, we aren't going to link to the apk - it's from a pretty sketchy source. But if you look hard enough, you'll probably be able to find it out there in some of the darker corners of the web.
Yesterday Steam launched its brand new app for Android. Unfortunately, the app is still in closed beta and many users are waiting with bated breath for their invites to show up. If you're among the unwashed masses waiting for your golden ticket, we’ve got you covered. Don’t worry, though. You're not missing out on too much.
Let's get the obvious out of the way first: you won't be playing any games with this app.
If you were part of the PC gaming scene in the late 1990's and early 2000's, you almost certainly played Counter-Strike at some point. It was the online first-person shooter (of course, Doom III was around as well), and was essentially a modified runtime of Valve's popular sci-fi FPS Half-Life. Later iterations of the game like Condition Zero and Counter-Strike: Source lacked the magic which made the first game so addictive, and so the series has essentially been undergoing a slow death over the last few years.
Those of you familiar with PC gaming will no doubt be well aware of Valve Corporation's digital distribution platform Steam. Well, member PoliticalGamer over at the Steampowered User Forum just got back from a trip of a lifetime to Valve HQ in Bellevue, WA, and he brought back some interesting news.
In a discussion with Valve co-founder and frontman Gabe Newell, PoliticalGamer caught wind of Valve's interest in expanding its Steam operations onto both iOS and Android.