The Average Gamer

Cross Platform Gaming Incoming – Valve + Portal 2

Portal2_LogoSmallSome very interesting news appeared this morning, regarding cross platform gaming. A press release from Valve announced that Portal 2, due to drop in April, will support cross platform play on PC/Mac vs. PS3 for multiplayer gaming. This isn’t the first time that PC/console multiplayer has been attempted in a game (see Shadowrun), but given the amount of time and effort that Valve have invested in coming aboard the PS3, it looks like it could actually be a success.

Valve also announced the inclusion of cloud-based storage for game saves on the PS3 version of the game. This will please a lot of PS3 owners, especially those who have suffered the loss of their ‘locked’ saves when trying to move data to a new console.

Finally, they revealed that Steam and PSN accounts will be linked, with purchasers of the PS3 version of Portal 2 also receiving a free Steam copy of the game. Sounds nice, although I’m not sure that my ageing and sadly underpowered PC will be quite so keen on the idea.

Whilst PC gamers might take the joys of Steam for granted, it does seem like a breath of fresh air when compared to the generally more restricted Playstation Network. It will certainly be interesting to see whether any other innovations appear when Steam makes its way on to the PS3. Personally speaking, I would just be happy if I finally got to play some Left4Dead.

From the press release:

“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.”

Portal 2 is due for release on the PlayStation 3, PC, Mac and Xbox 360 this April.

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