As I’m typing this update, Valve’s Perpetual Testing Initiative DLC for Portal 2 is downloading via Steam. This update brings a slick and simplified level editor to Portal 2 along with Steam Workshop support to easily share and find other puzzles online – the first chambers are already beginning to show up!
Over at MapCore, we’re kicking off the Perpetual Testing Challenge in which designers will have about two weeks to create 1-3 Portal 2 test chambers using only the new editor. In addition to being a great quick and timely challenge (that also buys us some time to prepare for the next more technical challenge), it also provides as level playing field as we’ll probably ever get.
Back at E3, Valve’s Gabe Newell made a surprise appearance in the Sony conference to announce that Portal 2 would be hitting the PS3 with Steamworks support. The big news today is that Portal 2 on the PS3 will allow users to link their PSN accounts to their Steam IDs, unlocking cross-platform play/chat as well as the Steam Play version for PC/Mac. In this household, at least, this dramatically changes the status quo.
Since the start of this console cycle, I’ve used the 360 as my platform of choice for multi-platform titles while buying Valve titles off Steam and reserving the PS3 and Wii for platform exclusives. Now, I can say with certainty that Portal 2 will be my first multi-platform purchase for the PS3, and the PS3 version will likely become my default platform for Valve games if this is the benchmark for future titles.
While I’m a huge fan of Valve and Steam and I consider this a massive victory for the multi-platform gamer, another part of me is still left feeling a little uneasy. As great as Steam is, there’s one demographic that I believe finds it a little bit lacking in comparison to platforms like Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network – gamers with families.