Free Portal? Yeah, you heard right. One, or at least part
of the most innovative games of 2007 is being given away free by Valve and Nvidia. But, hold on, I hear you cry - hasn't Valve been holding ATI's hand for several years, since it gave away Half Life 2 free with Radeon 9600s?
Well it seems both Valve and Nvidia have been paying keen attention to Steam Surveys and with the significant
proportion of GeForce owners out there playing Steam games, Valve got it together with Nvidia too.
Portal: First Slice
is classed as an extended demo, so we may be lying when we said a free game... and since Portal
is a third of a game
in itself you're essentially getting some double digit fraction for free. But, it's still better than leaving your man-bits dangling in a closing dimensional hole.
So, it's not quite free Half Life 2: Orange Box
, yet, but all you have to do is download it
and the software detects if you're running Nvidia hardware. Just go borrow a mates GeForce for an hour or two (that's generous) then give it back.
"More Steam gamers, including myself, play on NVIDIA hardware than any other GPU,
" said Doug Lombardi, Vice President of marketing at Valve. "That's a testament to the company's long history of innovation and quality. By working together with NVIDIA to expand our development, distribution, and marketing efforts, we're increasing our ability to serve the millions of NVIDIA customers logging onto Steam and help us prepare for our next generation of content.
So, even the head honcho's at Valve play on Nvidia hardware too. Having both camps supporting you certainly gives Valve an (even more) awesome position - no longer are they tainted by "the way it's meant to be played
" Nvidia program or getting generous hand outs by AMD like poster boy, Call of Juarez
, subsidising and sponsoring a game it by graphics companies to run better on their hardware (no matter how much its denied).
"Valve's endorsement of our technology and tools is yet another example of how the world's leading gaming companies are working with NVIDIA,
" said Roy Taylor, vice president of content relations at NVIDIA. "Portal is the hottest new, award-winning title from Valve, and we're delighted that Valve will offer First Slice exclusively to GeForce customers.
As if Nvidia support wasn't good enough already, it certainly looks even better for the future of Valve games. Valve and Nvidia will also be working on Counter-Strike
and Team Fortress 2
competitive gaming events together in the future, although there's as yet no specific details about this.
Good news that Nvidia is now on board with Valve? Or a lame attempt at winning some PR by giving away a demo? Let us know your thoughts, in the forums
is also reporting that Nvidia owners can enjoy Peggle Extreme, HL2: The Lost Coast and Half-Life 2: Deathmatch as part of the same offer.