While we've known for a while that the Team Fortress 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive development teams now share an office, things are seemingly getting a little too cozy between both games. The most recent update for Team Fortress 2, titled "The Gun Mettle" update, will introduce many systems previously introduced as part of CS:GO's Operations, such as weapon skins and cases, a campaign pass available for $5.99, a stat tracking campaign coin, and player contracts able to act as additional objectives.
Like CS:GO, purchasing a campaign pass will provide access to special themed weapon cases and skins while also supporting the creators of several community-made maps submitted to the Steam Workshop, including Borneo, Suijin, and Snowplow (yes, THAT Snowplow). Also included is "Powerhouse", a Hydro-like 3CP map created by Valve's own development team. All four maps will be added alongside three new taunts, the "Kazotsky Kick", "Box Trot", and "Proletariat Posedown", and 5 new Powerhouse-specific achievements.
As mentioned earlier, special weapon skins will be made available in crates to those who purchase the $5.99 pass, including the Powerhouse, TeuFort, Craftsmann, and Concealed Killer cases. These four initial crates feature differently skinned variants of existing weapons, all of which appear different from one another but function identically to before. "Strange" weapon variations have also been expanded upon for those opening these cases, as weapons can now be found with "Stat Modules" attached, making recorded kills or scores visible within the game world.
The Gun Mettle update is now available within Team Fortress 2, so be sure to head on over to read all about the unusually massive number of gameplay balance tweaks while you download the patch! Oh, and don't forget to check out the new "The Contract" comic!
Half-Life 2: Episode Two is Valve’s fourth title to be released onto Nvidia's Android-based SHIELD platform. The game still requires a bit of horsepower to run smoothly, meaning it’s exclusively available on the NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV. You can pick it up on Google Play right now for $7.99.
You may recall that the other three Valve titles available for the NVIDIA SHIELD are Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode One, and Portal. Half-Life 2 and Portal were released around the same time in May of last year, while Half-Life 2: Episode One came out a few months later. Their supported devices (which is a bit of a fragmented field) and pricing information are detailed below:
Half-Life 2: Episode One
$7.99 - Google Play
- SHIELD Android TV
- SHIELD Tablet
our full playthrough!
In less than a month since pre-orders opened on June 4th 2015, Valve are reporting the "Get It Early" Steam Hardware has officially sold out. The "Get It Early" scheme incentivised pre-orders of Valve's own Steam Controller and Steam Link by promising those who purchase from an initial batch will receive their devices on October 16th, almost a month ahead of the official launch on November 10th 2015.
This likely only extends to the Steam Controllers and Steam Link, as the Steam Machines are sold and distributed by their third party manufacturers, not by Valve. Still, it's an impressive announcement which hopefully spells good things for the future of Valve's hardware pursuits. It's worth noting pre-orders for both devices are still available, but you'll just have to wait until November to get your hands on one. That said, be sure to head on over to the products' Steam Store pages to learn more or to place an order!
In this week's episode, we take a look at Valve and Microsoft's virtual reality partnership, the announcement of the presenters and hosts of The International 2015, and the latest SteamOS release, Brewmaster!
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Last week at Microsoft's E3 press conference, we learned that Valve and Microsoft are partnering up in the VR space. No details regarding the partnership were given at the event, but Kudo Tsunoda expanded a bit while appearing in an interview with Maximum PC.
Both companies are looking to standardize the APIs that are being built for VR. A consistent set of technologies and best practices will ensure that the experience of VR, both for developers and consumers, will be the best possible. Kudo said that, "as we try to make life easier for developers by getting some consistent APIs built, that's going to allow the developers to not have to focus on solving technical problems, but to really focus on making their experiences better, and that's better for developers; that's better for consumers."
The best VR experience will be delivered on the Windows 10 platform, according to Kudo. "One of the things we want to do with Windows 10 is make it the best developer platform for VR... And we really want to make Windows 10 the best VR platform for consumers." He also explained that Microsoft chose not to create & tether their own VR device to Xbox because that would limit consumer choice. "We want to enable a great virtual reality experience for all PC gamers, and that means you can choose your own VR device because multiple ones work with Windows 10."
Towards the end of the interview, it also sounds like Kudo is suggesting that there's more to this Microsoft and Valve partnership than just an effort to standardize a set of APIs. "We don't have anything else we're announcing today regarding our partnership with Valve." Does this mean more stuff is already in the pipeline? Or is he just suggesting that both doors are open to more collaboration? Either way, this is all good news for PC gamers and those looking forward to virtual reality.
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