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Valve brings game guides to Steam

Valve brings game guides to Steam

Valve has joined up with Prima to bring game guides to steam, viewable through the in-game browser.

Valve has announced today that it has teamed up with Prima to bring readable guides for some games to it's digital distribution platform on PC and Mac, Steam.

The guides on offer cover some of the most popular games on Steam, including Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Left 4 Dead 2, Just Cause 2 and Dragon Age.

All of the guides are readable through Steam's in-game browser, but can also be viewed offline at any point.

Steam isn't the first digital platform to offer downloadable guides for customers to buy - GamersGate has been doing so for quite some time. However, Prima's entire launch catalogue on Steam has been slashed to half-price, so if there's a particular guide you're looking for then it may be cheaper on Steam at the moment.

The standard price for the Prima strategy guides on Steam seems to be on par with physical copies - £12.99 GBP when at full price.

Personally, we're not sure how successful game guides will be on Steam; since the Steam already supports an in-game web browser then it's far cheaper to just look at a free, online guide. Or, failing all else, Alt-Tab out and find out through your normal browser.

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

33 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Gunsmith 21st May 2010, 11:14 Quote
prima guides have always been iffy at best, think gorified expensive game manuel for those who have not actually played the game and you're pretty much there
enciem 21st May 2010, 11:28 Quote
totally useless, especially now that they've improved the speed of the overlay browser after moving away from IE
Tom @ CCL 21st May 2010, 11:33 Quote
Its a brilliant idea, but the fact you can just load up a free guide online is sorta a muted point.

The one feature that would be cool is if they kept the page open relevant to the area your in... play a game get stuck on a puzzle clicking open to instantly fall on the correct page would be epic to say the least.
mrbens 21st May 2010, 11:36 Quote
I don't see the point in paying for an eguide.

If you have a guide it's better to have the printed version to flick thru while you play the game.

If you're just going to read it on a PC all the info is freely available on the internet anyway!
BlackMage23 21st May 2010, 11:41 Quote
12.99 for a digital copy of something that you can get for free anyway. Something tells me this may not work.
Guides have done better for the console market where a lot of people may not use a PC much so will buy the guide.
V3ctor 21st May 2010, 12:10 Quote
google... gamefaqs... done, nice try though
Pete J 21st May 2010, 12:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe
Or you could Alt-Tab to Gamefaqs.
Exactly. £10+ for a game guide - I don't think so.
smc8788 21st May 2010, 12:50 Quote
The problem is that most people only resort to game guides for one or two sections they might be stuck on, depending on the game. You'd have to be really stuck to pay £13 for a bit of help to get though it.

Or, y'know, you could actually try beating it yourself and get the satisfaction of doing that as well as saving yourself some cash.
FelixTech 21st May 2010, 14:20 Quote
Unless they include some sort of hax I can't see how they can justify even £6.50 over the free guides on the internet. Especially as they seem to be mainly for popular games which have plenty of resources on the internet already.
borandi 21st May 2010, 14:36 Quote
I buy guides for games I love, like some JRPGs, but I steer clear of Prima Guides. They are often low quality, missing details, and full of useless rubbish. Piggyback do it SO MUCH BETTER.
Showerhead 21st May 2010, 17:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by V3ctor
google... gamefaqs... done, nice try though
Or as it's through steam you don't evn need to alt-tab just use the overlay
AshT 21st May 2010, 18:14 Quote
There is a huge market for strategy guides and this is a good thing for PC gaming. Some of you can't see beyond your own noses.
AndyCubb 21st May 2010, 18:25 Quote
Meh, whats the point selling it especially when you can get it all free?
Just another Valve money grab-technique. Dont get me wrong I love Steam and all but comparing the prices to retail is crazy. A mark-up for running costs is fine but come on!!
DragunovHUN 21st May 2010, 19:01 Quote
Could they just keep this stuff (along with DLC) on the individual game's store page? The store is clogged up with Railworks addons as it is.
Iorek 21st May 2010, 19:22 Quote
£13, wow thats a rip off for a digital guide that you can get the same information for free elsewhere, I've just had a look at the same paperback guides are £5-£9 from Play.com.

I'm still not seeing the promised pricing benefits to digital distribution, no boxed product to make, store and ship, should give us some price savings? Why can I get Steam games, cheaper anywhere but steam then? I pay for a CD Key in a box basically and don't even have to use the CD/DVD!
l3v1ck 21st May 2010, 20:17 Quote
It's nothing a million free websites don't give you already.
Star*Dagger 21st May 2010, 22:35 Quote
Valve again proves that it is the Premiere gaming service provider.

All Hail Chairman Newell!

@ Tom@ccl : The saying is "moot point", muted point doesn't exist in English.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/moot

Enjoy gaming through Valve (at least until OnLive revolutionizes Life as we know it),
Star*Dagger
wuyanxu 21st May 2010, 22:48 Quote
i usually use this:
http://guides.gamepressure.com/

not sure what more do you need.
Gavo 22nd May 2010, 08:53 Quote
Actually, just Shift+Tab. Done. Plus the browser is like 1,000 times better than the old one.
general22 22nd May 2010, 10:01 Quote
I didn't realise people still bought game guides you know with the advent of the internet and all.
Horizon 22nd May 2010, 19:07 Quote
"Or you could Alt-Tab to Gamefaqs."

or better yet Shift+Tab to Gamefaqs.
rollo 23rd May 2010, 16:40 Quote
steams online browser is pretty good these days

its not slow and it will do for gamefaqs thats for sure
Star*Dagger 23rd May 2010, 20:33 Quote
And most importantly it is not IE!!
phuzz 24th May 2010, 16:38 Quote
Personally, I often have my netbook balanced on the corner of my desk, and use the browser on that rather than messing with alt/shift-tab.
I must say though, it's unusual for Valve to sell something I don't want to buy. (of course I need a fluffy boomer doll!)
Sloth 24th May 2010, 17:52 Quote
Oh dear... Prima guides... If you can't learn everything the guide tells you just from basic gameplay then you are quite bad at games. Not even being an elitist here, they're really just like a basic user manual that every game comes with, except with more pictures and some tables in the back.

Or, if you're really having such a hard time because video games are srs bzns (being an elitist now) just search for the answer on the internet like everyone else has said.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Star*Dagger
@ Tom@ccl : The saying is "moot point", muted point doesn't exist in English.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/moot
Not sure if Tom was trying to say this, but a "muted point" could be possible. One could claim that he used muted to mean the point was dampened, quieted, muffled, etc by the ease of finding online guides. Stretching it further, one could argue that claiming it was a moot point would actually be less correct. Strategy guides still have a purpose and a point, so they are not moot, simply overshadowed by alternatives, aka muted.

Or maybe he really did mean to use moot point, who knows.
Tom @ CCL 24th May 2010, 17:59 Quote
I meant to say muted, if it works on not strictly in English I am not that concerned. I see far bigger crimes committed than that every day!

My original point was to say that Valve with the shift+tab feature have taken the thunder from the possible benefit of the new guides. If the feature was not there but you could load up the guides in game then it would go some way to justify the guides to me.

5 years ago I think the reception to these guides would have been somewhat different.

At least there is the potential for them to bundle the guides for free on future releases. :)
Sloth 24th May 2010, 18:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom @ CCL
At least there is the potential for them to bundle the guides for free on future releases. :)
Ah, and this will quite likely be happening more and more in the future.

This weekend only, Metro 2033 only $39.99 with FREE Prima strategy guide!

Pre-Order your copy today and get a Prima strategy guide FREE!

THQ Pack now just $89.99, includes Prima strategy guides for ALL titles!

I'm scared.
smc8788 24th May 2010, 18:48 Quote
The main problem with most guides is that they usually only offer a very specific strategy which the author found the most useful to progress through game. Most of the fun of completing a game comes from finding your own strategies, not knowing what is coming up next and thinking on the fly etc. Using a strategy guide all throughout a game will just ruin the experience and turn it into nothing more than series of button presses.

The only guides I find of any use is ones for open-world games with collectibles like the GTA series, Just Cause 2 etc.
phantombudgie 24th May 2010, 19:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
This weekend only, Metro 2033 only $39.99 with FREE Prima strategy guide!

Pre-Order your copy today and get a Prima strategy guide FREE!

THQ Pack now just $89.99, includes Prima strategy guides for ALL titles!

I'm scared.

That has to the the reason. There's no way in sanity they would think they could make some money out of people actually buying the darn things at full price without even getting a hard copy of it.
Xir 25th May 2010, 11:47 Quote
shift-tab is the "in steam browser" i guess?
(never understood what steam needs a browser for. There's...well...browsers to perform that task!)
Tom @ CCL 25th May 2010, 12:20 Quote
The fact that you can browse the web in game is great, handy for waiting in lobbies or checking your email while playing L4D!
Leman 25th May 2010, 12:24 Quote
Some of the guides online in places like IGN and CheatHappens are better laid out and developed than most of the Prima guides I've seen.
Iorek 25th May 2010, 15:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
shift-tab is the "in steam browser" i guess?
(never understood what steam needs a browser for. There's...well...browsers to perform that task!)

I often thought that, but I have the luxary of dual screens... game on one (windowed) and a browser / email etc on the other
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