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As if Operation Wildfire and the new de_nuke update weren't enough, this week has brought two more big pieces of news on the Global Offensive front.
$1,000,000 PRIZE POOL FOR MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP
In a recent blog post, Valve announced that, starting with the MLG Columbus 2016 championship, each CS:GO Major Championship prize pool will be increased from $250,000 to $1,000,000.
As HLTV.org has pointed out, "the initially crowd-funded events have featured a $250,000 prize pool since their inception at the end of 2013, with 7 such tournaments having taken place so...
Speaking at the Vision Summit 2016, Joe Ludwig gave an overview of the SteamVR, OpenVR, and Unity VR APIs, and what power they bring to VR applications developers. I've gone ahead and basically done a transcription of his presentation in order to provide a document for future reference. I think this is important because Joe does outline some long-term goals of SteamVR and OpenVR, both very important sets of standards for the VR ecosystem.
In the spoiler tag below, you can find a video of Joe Ludwig's presentation, as well as my transcript. Some of the information is new, some is a refresher, but most of it is technical jargon, so you have been warned. Enjoy!
In the beginning of his presentation, Joe Ludwig first took some time to explain the differences between SteamVR and OpenVR.
SteamVR is considered to be the work that Valve is...
Following the reveal of the initial price point for the HTC Vive yesterday afternoon, this morning briefly saw Valve jump the gun by releasing the “SteamVR Performance Test” a little too early. The application is used to analyse a system’s CPU, GPU, and OS performance over the course of two minutes before providing the user with a report regarding how each component fared when compared to the recommended Vive technical specifications released yesterday.
The program was only publicly available for a short time on the Steam Store before being removed. As shown below, the test, running on Source 2, takes place in a cutdown and shortened version of the Aperture Robot Repair demo with lower visual fidelity, fixed camera angles, no interactivity, no sound effects, and very few of the “core” animated sequences, including the opening of the drawers and GLaDOS’ arrival.
While it certainly...
In an official press release from HTC earlier today, it was revealed the Vive virtual reality headset, created in partnership by Valve and HTC, will ship for $799 when it first arrives in early April 2016. When it is made available for pre-purchase in just a few days on February 29th 2016, the Vive will ship to consumers with two free VR-only games, including Job Simulator by Owlchemy Labs and Fantastic Contraption by Northway / Radial Games. As two of the highest quality and fully-fledged experiences available, these two games are definitely great additions to the pre-order bundle.
Although steep, this price point is actually not too unusual or unexpected when compared to the price of the...
While the TF2 Competitive Matchmaking Beta Steam group has been pretty quiet since its creation several weeks ago, that all changed this evening with a new post by Valve's John Schoenick (Steam name: Jill). The post outlines the team's enthusiasm for the upcoming beta before discussing how the slow, gradual expansion of the closed beta will progress. Users invited to the beta will receive an in-game item called the "Competitive Matchmaking Beta Pass", which will grant them access to the on-going and evolving beta program.
Users that meet the following conditions will be more eligible for a beta invite:
- Have either purchased a copy of Team Fortress 2 prior to June 23, 2011, or have made a purchase from the Mann Co. Store. (AKA premium accounts)
- Have Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator enabled.
- Have a phone number...
After being removed from CS:GO many moons ago, the recently released and equally overdue "Operation Wildfire" has brought about the return of classic map DE_Nuke, which has received a full visual overhaul and a partial redesign. The new Nuke features the same high-quality visions as that found in the redesigned Train, increasing overall visibility and readability. Also like Train, it features a small number of new routes and paths which can be used whether attacking or defending, including a new Decontamination Room, raised flooring in Bombsite A, and several new ladders around the outdoor rooftops.
The Operation Wildfire included with the update will run until June 17th 2016, can be purchased for $5.99, and features a wealth of missions and objectives in two separate "Campaigns", a...
Despite being a relatively quiet week as far as official news out of Valve, it did see Gabe complete his transformation into the white, male, nerdy version of Oprah Winfrey, while new updates to the HTC Vive Pre and SteamVR helped further prepare the service for launch later this year.
If you want to check out more of our content in the near future, don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for watching!
In this week's Round-Up, we're celebrating Lunar New Year with Valve by checking out a new Steam Sale and a Quest Path for Dota 2, while also bidding farewell to one of Valve's longest-standing animators, Doug Wood, who will retire later this month after 19 years at the company.
If you're interested in catching more of our content coming soon, please subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on...
After nearly 19 years at Valve, Doug Wood has announced that he'll be retiring in the coming weeks.
Doug Wood is one of the founding fathers of the Half-Life saga. He was responsible for animating characters and creating some of the most iconic scripted sequences in the series, including "tentacles that pull unsuspecting scientists through the ceiling." Of course, his skills were applied across a variety of other Valve titles, including Left 4 Dead.
Citing Doug's Facebook, he said:
Despite the fact the Steam Winter Sale only ended a month ago, Valve are already whipping out a brand new set of deals in the "Lunar New Year Sale". The week-long event features the now-standard Daily Highlighted Deals and around 9,000 titles currently on sale, with this sale in particular featuring a heavy focus on tags and filters.
The huge success of the discovery queue during the Winter Sale has likely influenced the Lunar New Year Sale's themed storyline which sees users attempt to guide a Monkey back home to his family using a number of multi-choice answers to scenarios. Depending on the answer given (such as Swim, Drive, Pirates, or...
In this week's Round-Up episode, we're exploring Dota 2's recent influx of high quality mini-games, checking out the various intriguing HTC Vive games shown off at the SteamVR Developer Showcase, and looking forward to Team Fortress 2's upcoming Competitive Matchmaking mode!
In order to catch more great content headed down the pipeline, don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel and to follow us on...
You'd be forgiven for believing Dota 2 has recently become a virtual casino with the introduction of the Winter 2016 Battle Pass and the included Shanghai Major Compendium. For $7.99 or £5.29, the Pass gives access to a number of different activities and cosmetic items, with new additions such as quest "Paths", a "Winter Blessing" wheel of fortune, improved Wagering, and Friend Leaderboards featuring alongside old favourites like Battle Levels, Achievements, and new item treasures.
Completing objectives along a chosen path (themed around the gameplay styles of Support, Carry, and Solo) will award Battle Points and cosmetic items while contributing to a global pool which, when completed, will unlock an alternate skin for each of three available item sets. A massive number of new item sets, wards, frozen effigies, taunts, and...
Although short and sweet, this week's News Round-Up gives us plenty of time to focus on the recent re-releasing of Sven Co-op onto Steam and a bunch of helpful gameplay tweaks to Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2!
If you want to catch more of these News Round-Ups in the future, make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel and following us on Facebook and...
As was promised to us a few of years ago, Sven Co-op is now available on Steam – for free!
In case you don’t know, Sven Co-op is an online cooperative mod for Half-Life. You get to play along with friends to fight against monsters and to solve puzzles in the Half-Life universe. While the weapons, monsters, and characters are similar to that of Half-Life, the difficulty has been ramped up to better suit team play.
According to a recent news post from Sven Co-op’s developers, the stand-alone game includes "many hundreds of features, fixes and improvements, as well as new maps and...
While the past week was a little light on officially released news from Valve, there was still plenty of partner and community topics to help develop a few headlines. These headlines include new details about the upcoming reveal of games for the HTC Vive, the announcement of Steam versions of the Sven Co-op and Prospekt mods for the Half-Life series, and a leaked recap listing the successes of the recent Steam Winter Sale.
If you enjoy these News Round-Ups, be sure to catch future episodes by subscribing to our...
We're back for a whole new series of news Round-Up episodes in 2016! In this week's episode, we're recapping all the news from the course of our three week break, including the recent reveal of the HTC Vive Pre at CES 2016, the extremely infamous Steam Christmas data leak, and the sad news that Marc Laidlaw has officially retired from Valve.
If you enjoy this kind of content, don't forget to subscribe to our...
At long last: We have a date! Earlier today, HTC Chief Executive Cher Wang told The Telegraph that the company's virtual reality headset, created in collaboration with Valve, will be available for pre-order from February 29th 2016 ahead of the full retail launch in April 2016, as previously revealed in December 2015.
The Telegraph's article also mentions HTC are, at least partially, refocusing their hardware efforts away from smartphones and towards virtual reality, claiming creating "a natural extension to other connected devices like wearables and virtual reality is more important". While their commitment is admirable, the headset's starting price has yet to be...
Update: Marc has directly confirmed his retirement with us and many others. The future of Half-life will be with someone else.
Although unconfirmed, user @TeddyWolf posted an email exchange with Valve writers Marc Laidlaw which states Marc as having retired from Valve and that "My time working on the series [Half-life] is behind me"
The email comes from an address known to be Marc's personal gmail and is listed on his personal website. The content in the email come across as very genuine however it is a little strange how Marc has decided to reveal this news.
As expected, CES 2016 has seen Valve and HTC unveil the "Vive Pre", the second generation developer kit for the HTC Vive revealed last year at GDC. While we previously had a pretty leaky look at the headset and the newly-designed controllers, today's unveiling has really drawn back the curtain on this new model and it's enhanced features.
All of the headset's components feature a smoother and clearly more finalised design, with the now-smaller base stations appearing almost entirely black and featureless. While the controllers have had the biggest redesign in terms of ergonomic use, they are apparently nearly functionally identical to their older counterparts, with the only real improvements arriving in the form of new built-in lithium batteries and a...
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