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Steam reaches highest peak user count ever during summer sale

07/01, 8:07pm

Service hits eight million concurrent peak users, breaking previous record

Valve's Steam platform draws the attention of all sorts of consumers during its seasonal sales, from gamers looking for a large price break to the completists that feel a need to buy everything that goes on sale. With gamers coming out in droves during the most recent Steam summer sale, which concluded earlier this week, a new milestone was reached for the service. On the final day of the sale, over eight million concurrent users showed up for a last shot at the deals.

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Valve Software pushes Steam Controller release to 2015

05/28, 5:22am

Launch date slips in favor of more hardware development

Steam users will potentially have to wait until next year before they will be able to purchase Valve Software's Steam Controller, the company has announced. In a community blog post, Valve advises it is "looking at a release window of 2015, not 2014" for the controller, and in turn could affect the shipment of Steam Machines from the company.

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Nvidia works with Valve to bring Portal and Half-Life 2 to Shield

05/12, 2:20pm

Handheld now features two of the highest rated PC games of all time

Last month at the GPU Technology Conference, Nvidia announced that it would be working with game developer Valve to bring one of the most celebrated games in PC history to the Android-powered Shield handheld. Today, the company announced that Portal is available on the Google Play store, with an added bonus: Half-Life 2 has also been ported, and released for use with the Shield.

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Oculus poaches head VR researcher Michael Abrash from Valve

03/28, 2:09pm

Coding legend feels VR is ultimately 'The Final Platform'

The driving force behind game developer and distributor Valve's virtual reality effort has left the company. Michael Abrash has taken a job at post-Facebook acquisition Oculus, as chief scientist. In a post announcing the shift (and defending the acquisition), Abrash claims that "Facebook's acquisition of Oculus means that VR is going to happen in all its glory."

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Valve: 10 million new users, redesign of Steam Controller imminent

01/15, 9:55pm

New controller eschews touchpad, adds D-Pad and ABXY diamond

Valve is in the middle of its annual Steam Dev Days developer conference, and it has revealed the addition of 10 million new users in just the last three months. Additionally, the forthcoming Steam controller will no longer have a touchscreen, and will see other modifications for backwards compatibility with legacy applications and other industry-standard controllers.

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Steam Machine beta hardware rolling out to testers

12/15, 6:33pm

Steam Machines arriving at beta tester households

The first units of Valve's Steam Machine gaming devices have begun arriving on the doorsteps of beta testers. Engadget on Sunday pointed to reports from a number of sites showing that beta units have begun showing up at a few households of the 300 beta testers Valve has signed up to try out its new device. The units are arriving in a wooden crate, which opens to reveal a padded interior with the gaming device and its novel gamepad tucked inside.

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Beta 'Steam Machine' gaming testers notified, shipment this week

12/11, 4:19pm

Linux-based SteamOS at the core of slated testing

Digital game purveyor Steam has revealed that 300 beta "Steam Machine" gaming hardware suites will commence shipping to selected participants on Friday, December 13. The 300 recipients will be informed today at about 2PM PST (5PM EST) that they are the recipient of the hardware, as well as a collection of games that run natively on SteamOS. All other factors ignored, qualified users have less than a 0.07 percent chance of being selected for the trial.

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Steam sets new record with 7.2 million concurrent users

12/01, 7:11pm

Steam hits another record for most users at one time

Popular gaming service Steam logged a record number of concurrent users on Sunday, besting its previous high of 6.6 million users. Figures on the service's site indicate that Steam hit 7,190,578 concurrent users mid-morning Eastern Time on December 1. The figure is indicative of the service's growing popularity, and may bode well for the company's impending Steam Box gaming devices.

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Steam grows to 65 million users, eclipses Xbox Live user total

10/30, 5:18pm

Service offers OS X, Linux, Windows games for download

Digital game online storefront Steam today announced 30 percent growth in active accounts during the last 12 months, bringing the company's total to 65 million. The increase in users puts the cross-platform game distribution service ahead of Microsoft's Xbox Live user base, which totals 48 million active users.

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Briefly: Valve schedules Steam Dev Days; Outlook updated for Android

10/10, 12:50pm

Valve invites developers to Steam Dev Days

Following Valve's recent announcements surrounding the SteamOS and Steam Machine hardware platform, the company is inviting developers to its Steam Dev Days conference. The two-day event is scheduled to begin January 15 in Seattle, Washington, where attendees will have access to Valve's Steam team and try out the new OS, prototype Steam Controllers and Steam Controllers.

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Xi3 opens 'Steam Box' Piston game console up for pre-order

03/10, 7:15pm

Modular gaming PC to cost minimum $900

Hardware manufacturer Xi3 has opened up its online store to pre-orders for the Piston console. Shown at CES as an example of Valve software's Steam Box game console concept and the first to officially go on sale, the Piston is effectively an entire personal computer with modular components, housed in a compact case.

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Microsoft executive: Valve Steam Box not competitor to Xbox

03/05, 3:10pm

Dismisses Valve console despite company doing 'innovative stuff'

Microsoft is not afraid of Valve's Steam Box game console concept, according to one executive. Don Mattrick, president of the interactive entertainment business of Microsoft, does not view Valve as a competitor to the Xbox platform yet when compared to other established gaming hardware companies, though does admit that the game developer is "doing some innovative stuff."

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Valve launches Steam Client on Ubuntu, discounts first games

02/14, 5:54pm

Linux client, games major step towards Steam Box

Valve has launched its Steam game distribution platform on Linux, after a lengthy period of beta testing. Initially announced in July 2012, the internal project has now opened up the store on Ubuntu, with interested users being able to download the client through Canonical's Ubuntu Software Center at no charge.

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Report: Valve wracked with layoffs, 25 staffers let go [U]

02/13, 6:16pm

Nearly 10 percent of the company may have been laid off

(Updated with a statement from Gabe Newell) Following a tweet Tuesday confirming the firing of human interface engineer Jeri Ellsworth, Valve is apparently in the midst of larger staff cuts. Valve has indirectly confirmed reports of the departures, with the purge of eight staffers from the staff list website that were present as recently as a week ago. The firings include Valve's director of business Jason Holtman, and a handful of development personnel and engineers.

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Hardware manufacturer Xi3 and Valve show 'Steam Box'

01/07, 10:59pm

CES showcase for hardware; Valve heavy investor in project

At least partially confirming the rumors from last year, game developer and digital distribution house Valve and hardware manufacturer Xi3 have teamed up to announce a de facto Steam Box. The hardware, codenamed "Piston," is being previewed at the Consumer Electronics Show in both Xi3's booth and the Valve presence at the Las Vegas show.

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Newell: Valve to release PC hardware for living room

12/09, 5:04pm

Steam Box rumor confirmed in awards interview

Valve Software is planning to release a PC package aimed towards living-room gaming. Though stopping short of a console, Gabe Newell confirmed the company's plans to release the previously-rumored "Steam Box" by next year, and follows the "stronger than expected" reaction to Steam's Big Picture mode by gamers.

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Valve opens applications store on Steam online service

10/02, 5:41pm

First software available intended for game production and design

Steam online store owner Valve Software has announced the availability of the first non-game software for purchase on the online venue. While the Steam game store is cross-platform and includes Macintosh OS X software, the current seven offerings are Windows only. During the first week of Steam Applications availability, all titles are ten percent off.

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Valve job posting suggests continued hardware development

09/04, 9:23am

Possible peripheral planned after lack of 'meaningful' change

Valve has effectively confirmed the wish to build hardware on their website. A job posting for an "Industrial Designer" with six years of hardware product development experience has appeared on the company's corporate pages. This has added weight to the previous rumors of a Steam-based console, although the extent of the company's hardware vision is still not clear.

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Valve opens Steam Greenlight to indie-game submissions

09/02, 10:11pm

Crowd-sourced scheme sets popular items onto online store

Valve Software has opened its crowd-sourced product release scheme. Steam Greenlight will allow game creators to list their titles on the service and allow users to vote for which they wish to see put onto the service in the future, effectively taking a significant amount of product vetting work off the Valve employees. Large game publishers will still be able to add their titles to the system though existing procedures.

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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive does Mac, PC launch

08/22, 9:27am

Only Valve's second simultaneous Mac/PC release

Valve has released Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, a long-awaited update to its multiplayer first-person shooter. The game is available through Steam, and marks just the second time that Valve itself has done a simultaneous Mac/Windows launch through the service. In the past couple of years Valve has turned more attention to Mac support for both first- and third-party releases, compensating for the fact that most Steam content is otherwise Windows-centric.

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Valve confirms plans to expand Steam content beyond games

08/08, 5:20pm

First applications on sale through service September 5th

Valve is set to open its Steam store up for non-gaming content. The formal announcement confirms speculation that was fueled last month through the company's mobile apps, which would see Steam gain categories for various productivity and creativity genres. The first non-gaming titles are slated to begin digital distribution on September 5, in a move that evolves Steam into a general app store beyond its original gaming focus.

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Valve porting Steam client, Source engine to Linux

07/17, 1:49pm

Left 4 Dead 2 reportedly stable, working towards full Linux support

Valve is bringing the Steam game distribution platform to Ubuntu. A company blog for the project tells of an 11-person team porting not only Steam, but also Source engine-powered game Left 4 Dead 2. According to the post, co-founder of Valve Gabe Newell has been interested in a Linux port of Steam and Source for some time, and last year formed the team devoted to the project.

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Steam lists productivity, photography genres in Android app

07/16, 2:07pm

Extra non-gaming categories added to app store

Game download service Steam may be moving into other markets, according to its Android app (Free, Google Play). Genres listed in the mobile app now show non-gaming listings, suggesting the Valve Software service may transition toward a general app store. The move itself would be a natural progression for the service, and would see it competing against Apple's Mac App Store.

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Counter-Strike Global Offensive assaults PC, Mac, consoles

06/04, 8:00pm

Simultaneous release expected August 21

As promised by Valve in 2011, the follow-up to one of the most popular player-versus-player online games of all time, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is shipping for the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, and Steam for Windows and OS X on August 21. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a combined effort from both Valve, and Hidden Path Entertainment. Demos are available for play at this week's Electronics Entertainment Expo.

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Oakley works on Project Glass rival with smartphone pairing

04/17, 11:00am

Oakley would have indepndent, tethered glasses

Oakley is developing its own equivalent to Google's Project Glass with a possibly more independent design. CEO Colin Baden said in an interview with Bloomberg published Tuesday that the project would initially focus on sports, serving as a heads-up display for a workout. It would likely spread to other fields, he said.

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Valve veteran details wearable computing project

04/13, 8:15pm

Valve Software elaborates on wearable tech work

Valve Software researcher and veteran programmer Mike Abrash has posted a long retrospective that has also gone into detail about wearable computing studies. He had started on it after realizing there was no immediate need for more work on Portal 2 and saw it as a chance to explore always-available computing. Wearable hardware could be a practical reality within 10 years and possibly under five, he said, and the research would help speed this along.

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Apple chief Tim Cook seen at Valve HQ

04/13, 3:55pm

Apple CEO visits Valve for possible software deal

Apple CEO Tim Cook was supposedly spotted at Valve Software's Bellevue headquarters on Friday. His purpose and who he talked to weren't mentioned by the AppleInsider contact. Most likely, he would be visiting company founder Gabe Newell.

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Valve engineer hiring hints at possible console aims

04/13, 7:55am

Valve looks to hire hardware engineer

Valve has taken to Twitter to announce that it is looking to hire electrical engineers. Aligning with a recent rumor that the software company is looking to develop a gaming console, the posting seeks to entice potential applicants with ambitions to help Valve ‘invent whole new gaming experiences.’ The successful applicant or applicants will need experience and knowledge of ‘ARM and x86 system design’.

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Valve has no near-term plans for Steam Box

03/08, 6:40pm

Focusing on getting new UI out the door

Last week, rumors began to circulate that Valve was working on the Steam Box, a hardware gaming console. Today, the online gaming software maker has clarified that it is not planning to produce such a device any time soon. The company also stated that it's not partnering with anyone on such a project to date.

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Valve rumored prepping Steam Box, tackling Apple TV too

03/03, 1:25pm

Valve Steam Box would consolize PC gaming

Valve Software is entering the console race by developing its own hardware platform, new rumors brought up early Saturday. The approach outlined by The Verge would have typical PC hardware with a Core i7, 8GB of RAM, and NVIDIA graphics, but it would serve as a fixed platform for three to four years. Developers would then target their games to the system, which as expected would use Steam as its primary way to get games.

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Valve may dip into wearable computing hardware

02/20, 3:20pm

Valve Software may leap from games to devices

Valve Software founder Gabe Newell in an interview Monday disclosed that his company was considering getting into hardware. While careful to couch it for Penny Arcade as contingent on what the rest of the market did, the Portal and Left 4 Dead co-creator divulged that the company might make its own wearable computing. The company had already been experimenting with the technology, Newell said, and it would get involved if there weren't signs partnerships or independent work didn't step in first.

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Valve opens up Steam Mobile beta to general public

01/31, 4:35pm

Invites no longer equired

After a brief period of exclusivity, Valve has opened up the Steam Mobile beta to the general public. Previously just a select group of Steam users were allowed to try the beta, although invites handed out to testers gradually increased the userbase. Free Android and iPhone versions of the mobile client are available.

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Steam hits iOS and Android for buying, but not playing games

01/26, 3:25pm

Steam Mobile live for iOS and Android

Valve has partly fulfilled one of the most common wishes of gamers Thursday by posting Steam Mobile. Versions for both iOS (App Store) and Android (Market) lets users both keep up with their Steam chats and groups while away. They can go so far as to buy games for the Mac or Windows that they can start downloading immediately when they get home.

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Valve warns Steam forum hack spread to game account data

11/10, 8:25pm

Valve says Steam payment, passwords may be at risk

Valve Software co-founder Gabe Newell warned in a message to users that a forum hack found on November 6 had also touched on vital account information. After an investigation, the Portal 2 developer found that the unnamed intruders had gotten into a database that also had account names, e-mail, encrypted credit card numbers and passwords, and purchase records. While Valve had no reason to think the account information itself had been compromised, Newell advised gamers to watch their credit card activity "closely."

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Portal 2 arrives in simultaneous PC, Mac, console versions

04/19, 12:15pm

Mac, Windows versions bundled together

Developer Valve Software has released Portal 2, a sequel to a game originally bundled with The Orange Box in 2007. Portal 2 differs not only in being a separate retail product, but also a full-length title rather than a small side-project. Windows, Mac, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions are launching simultaneously. The Mac and Windows versions are bundled together, whether on Steam or at retail.

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Valve teases Portal 2 for Mac with puzzle pieces

04/08, 12:00am

Valve gives us Portal 2 for Mac clue

Valve Software today began giving out cryptic teases for what's presumed to be the launch of Portal 2 for the Mac. MacNN was given a piece along with several others that all follow the same theme. Our copy read "troops be cores," which like the others is an anagram of "reboot process" and hints at the reborn GlaDOS AI that became the villain of the original game.

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Valve explores Steam for iOS, Android

03/22, 4:15pm

Extent of possible integration unknown

Valve is investigating the possibility of expanding Steam to iOS and Android, a member of the official Steam forums claims to have learned. The person says he was told of the company's plans in speaking with co-founder Gabe Newell at Valve headquarters in Bellevue, Washington. Steam is currently only available for Windows and Mac, and even then with a much stronger emphasis on the former.

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CES: Razer Hydra controller and Switchblade first looks

01/09, 4:35pm

We look at Razer's Hydra and Switchblade at CES

Razer had an unusually strong presence at CES this year and brought two big devices: its Hydra motion controller for computers and its Switchblade handheld PC, both of which we saw first-hand at the show. The Hydra was the truly functional example and impressed us with a specially optimized version of Valve's Portal 2. The new version had a handful of new objects and puzzles designed around the controller's dual motion, dual analog stick setup.

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Windows 8 may focus heavily on gaming to recover lost share

12/27, 9:30am

Windows 8 said having gaming focus

Microsoft's Windows 8 could have a much stronger focus on gaming, a slip alleged today. The developer is said making gaming not just important but a "key component for the whole OS." What that would entail wasn't given to the TechRadar source.

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Retailers threaten to ban Steam games in stores

11/11, 2:35pm

UK game retailers threaten to boycott Steam games

Driven by fears of its developing an unassailable monopoly, big games retailers in the UK have said they will boycott selling games that support the Steam digital games distribution platform. According to a Thursday MCV report, retailers' concerns are growing that selling games with Steam will bring gamers to buy games using the download service exclusively. It;s estimated the US studio Valve that runs Steam commands 80 percent of the PC download market.

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Left 4 Dead 2 Mac launch includes major price cuts

10/05, 3:40pm

Special bundle merges first, second games

As promised yesterday, Valve has launched the Mac version of Left 4 Dead 2, its zombie-themed first-person shooter. To promote the game though the company is now also offering a special discount, pricing the title at $6.79 instead of a standard $20. A free expansion, The Sacrifice, has been made available simultaneously.

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Left 4 Dead 2 to reach Macs on Tuesday

10/04, 11:30am

Original Mac game due by Halloween

The Mac port of Left 4 Dead 2 is set to launch on Tuesday, Valve has announced. Players assume the role of one of four armed survivors, trapped in the middle of a zombie apocalypse ravaging the American south; five primary campaigns chronicle the group's escape. While playable with AI teammates, the game is meant to be experienced online, where modes such as Versus and Survivor allow a second four-player team to control the zombies.

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Lawsuit targets Apple, others over transaction schemes

10/01, 3:55pm

Case even extends to gaming companies

Olympic Developments has filed a lawsuit through the US District Court for the Central District of California, LA Division, charging several companies with violating two of its patents. The first patent, Transactional Processing System, describes a way of offering products and services through credit card transactions. The concept also involves real-time authorization. The second patent, Device for Controlling Remote Interactive Receiver, specifically describes a remote that can save financial information.

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Valve to give Mac graphics code to Steamworks developers

07/30, 4:00pm

Should improve speed of game production

Valve will provide some extra resources to Mac developers using the Steamworks community infrastructure, says Jason Holtman, the company's business development director. In exchange for the closer integration with Steam, developers should soon get "a portion" of Valve's graphics code to accelerate production. Specifically the code is meant to help with the Mac OS X graphics layer, considered the biggest obstacle to Mac game development. Windows is typically more concentrated on game support.

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Counter-Strike: Source for Mac hits Steam

06/23, 4:45pm

Wraps in enhancements from Windows update

Following up on an earlier claim, Valve has released the first Mac version of Counter-Strike: Source through Steam. Players take sides with a team of terrorists or counter-terrorists as the former try to plant a bomb and ensure it isn't defused. Until today, the popular multiplayer game has only been available for Windows users.

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Counter-Strike: Source to reach Macs next week

06/18, 2:55pm

Will allow play between Macs, PCs

A Mac version of Counter-Strike: Source should be available through Steam next week, developer Valve says. The company has generally committed to releasing new Mac games once a week, but missed this week as a result of having to present at E3 in Los Angeles. There the company showed early gameplay footage of Portal 2, due to come to the PC, Mac, PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2011.

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Apple, ATI, NVIDIA helping to improve Valve game speed

06/15, 4:10pm

Suggests drivers to blame for performance hits

Apple, ATI and NVIDIA are working with Valve on improving the performance of Source-engine games, says Valve's Robert Barris. Source is used in all of Valve's current titles, such as Portal and Team Fortress 2. These have so far suffered in speed, however, next to the original versions developed for Windows. Drivers are largely to blame, according to Barris.

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Team Fortress 2 coming to Mac on Thursday

06/09, 10:45pm

Team Fortress 2 shares PC servers

According to Valve’s official Team Fortress 2 blog, the multiplayer warfare game may be coming to Steam for Mac tomorrow. While the company has yet to explicitly state the exact date, the latest post suggests the big announcement rhymes with “Speem Gortress amavailable on the Babac”. Back in March of this year, Valve announced that all of its Source engine games would be coming to the Mac platform. The announcement answered several questions regarding the Mac version of Team Fortress 2.

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Mac users already make up 8.9% of Steam gamers

06/04, 3:20pm

Win 7 overtakes XP, Mac gets significant share

The launch of Steam on the Mac has seen the Mac surge to 8.9 percent of the audience in less than a month, Valve's May hardware survey said. The platform was only available from May 12 but has already overtaken Windows Vista 64-bit in share. Most of the Mac share was using a 64-bit version of Snow Leopard.

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Half-Life 2 arrives on Steam for Mac

05/26, 6:50pm

Episode One and Episode Two also added

Valve on Wednesday added several new titles, including Half-Life 2, to the Steam gaming service on Mac or Windows platforms.. The company also added two earlier versions of the game, Half Life: Episode One and Episode Two.

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