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Portal 2


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An EA employee has confirmed to PressXorDie that Valve's upcoming first-person-puzzle-platformer Portal 2 will be sporting cross-platform co-op between PC and PS3.


At E3 2010, Gabe Newell came on stage during Sony's press conference to announce that Portal 2 will be coming to PS3. But more importantly than that, it will also be the first console title to come with Valve's "Steamworks" package. Valve announced that this would include Steamcloud support and automatic updates, but it seems it's also enabled something a little more exciting.


Cross-Platform play between PC and console has been attempted several times this generation, though normally with an imbalance in PC's favour. Has Valve managed to smooth over the kb/m & controller divide?


The official press release is expected next week.





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Now this is what sets Valve above the rest


Marking the debut of Steam functioning on any next generation console, the features shipping in the PS3 version of Portal 2 include cross platform play (PC/Mac vs. PS3) for multiplayer games, persistent cloud-based storage of PS3 saved games, and cross platform chat (PC/Mac and PS3).


In addition, those who purchase Portal 2 for the PlayStation 3 may unlock a Steam Play (PC & Mac) copy of Portal 2 at no additional cost by linking their PSN and Steam accounts.


"We made a promise to gamers at E3 that Portal 2 for the PlayStation 3 would be the best console version of the product," said Gabe Newell, co-founder and president of Valve. "Working together with Sony we have identified a set of features we believe are very compelling to gamers. We hope to expand upon the foundation being laid in Portal 2 with more Steam features and functionality in DLC and future content releases."


"We designed the Portal 2 PS3 experience to be very straightforward for gamers," said Josh Weier, project lead on Portal 2 at Valve. "PS3 gamers will be able to simply drop the Blu-Ray disc in the PS3, link to their Steam account from inside the game, and all their Steam friends (on PC and Mac) will be visible and accessible for chat and game invites."


[source: Valve PR]


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How much is the PC version going to be "dumbed down" to accomodate the lack of accuracy of a controller vs kb/mouse?


autoaim will be enabled to some extent, i imagine


that has been a shooter staple in console games forever

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How much is the PC version going to be "dumbed down" to accomodate the lack of accuracy of a controller vs kb/mouse?


Considering Portal is about solving puzzles more than anything else I assume it won't be dumbed down on PC. Co-op implies players vs the ai in single player.

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Valve announced the PlayStation 3 version of Portal 2 at least year's E3, and promised Sony would be getting the best version of the game. Launching with Steam on the PlayStation 3, giving players a copy of the game on the PC and Mac when accounts are linked, and allowing cross-platform play is certainly a good way to get the attention of gamers.


We spoke with Doug Lombardi, Valve's VP of Marketing, about this news, and what it means for other consoles as well as future PlayStation 3 games.



"It's not two copies of the game, it's the same game"

"The goal is to give a Portal 2 customer access to their game on as many devices as possible. We introduced this notion when we launched Steam Play for Mac and PC games in the spring of last year," Lombardi explained. "Giving a PS3 owner of Portal 2 the ability to also play their game on the PC and Mac is an extension of this philosophy. From our perspective, it's not two copies of a game; it's the same game, but with Sony's help we've worked out a method to allow that Portal 2 PS3 customer to also play their game on the PC and Mac."


Which of course brings up an obvious question: was this option also offered to Microsoft? "It is achievable from a technical standpoint, yes," he told Ars. Allow us to speculate for a moment and say that Microsoft most likely doesn't like third-parties using their own online tools, nor would it agree to giving up any control of patches or updates, an issue that has long been a sticking point between the two companies.


Now that Steam is running on the PlayStation 3, the service may be added to other games as well as Portal 2, but Lombardi refuses to give any specific news. "We are hoping other titles will benefit from the Steamworks tools and services we've created for Portal 2 PS3, but we don't have anything to announce today."



Mouse and keyboard vs. controllers, Episode 3

The PlayStation 3 version of Portal 2 offers a free version of the game for the PC and Mac once you link accounts, and you'll be able to play with friends on those platforms as well. "Portal 2 is cooperative multiplayer, and co-op only. So the mouse/keyboard vs. gamepad flame war doesn't really apply," Lombardi said when asked about the difference in controls. "It's also worth noting that Portal is more about brain power than split-second reflexes. If you're thinking with Portals, the input device used to execute each move is very much secondary."


Some of our readers expressed nervousness about linking their games with their Steam accounts. Will they still be able to resell their games? Lombardi declined to offer specifics when asked about what protections were built in, saying only that we'll have more details on account linking closer to launch.




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Speaking of cross platform


Valve's Chet Faliszek has confirmed that user-created levels for Portal 2 will be available on PC, Mac, PS3 and Xbox 360


Portal 2 is out in April and will feature cross-platform play on PC, Mac and PS3.


"The mod tools have to stay on the PC side just because there's a bunch of dependencies that require the Windows platform," Faliszek told NowGamer. "But the content that comes out is agnostic, and so we will be seeing that on all the platforms. Depending on the platform you're on I should say, will depend on how we're delivering it."


"The content is agnostic, so we will be seeing that on all the platforms"


Faliszek confirmed that PS3 gamers would receive such content through the upcoming Steam works features.


"There's just a lot of value in engaging the community because they're smart, they're thinking of really cool things and we want to be able to have everyone share that," he added.


Look out for the full, exclusive Portal 2 interview with Chet Faliszek soon on NowGamer.


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  • 3 weeks later...
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Today we're opening up the beta of the Portal 2 Authoring Tools to everyone! It's available as a free download for all owners of the PC version of Portal 2 and can be found under the "Tools" tab in Steam.


The Portal 2 Authoring Tools include versions of the same tools we used to make Portal 2. They'll allow you to create your own singleplayer and co-op maps, new character skins, 3D models, sound effects, and music.


Here's what's included:

- Updated version of Hammer, the Source level editor

- Updated Faceposer

- Example maps and instances to help build new maps

- Updated suite of command-line compiling utilities


If you want to get started on the beta, we suggest joining two mailing lists:

Portal 2 List

General Source List


This is beta software, so if you have any problems or issues, please send them to the p2mapper email list.


Get out there and show us what devious puzzles you've all been brainstorming!


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Free for all PC owners of Portal 2. http://www.thinkwithportals.com/blog.php?id=5443


The idea of making my own Portal 2 maps filled me with glee and my first thought was, "This is why Valve is awesome." Then it occurred to me that 10, 15 years ago, this was the standard. It's not that Valve has gotten better than any other video game companies, they just haven't devolved.



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