Well, this is it! The moment gamers have been waiting for now for upwards of a decade: the possible announcement of Half-Life 3 is imminent, if it is in fact ever coming out.
Why now? For those of you not keeping up with the bleeding edge of gaming news, last week, Valve teased three (yes, three) announcement for this week. Since Valve’s head honcho Gabe Newell isn’t exactly a huge fan of Microsoft or Windows 8 and was talking smack about them at LinuxCon last week, it is without any surprise that this week, Valve announced SteamOS and SteamBox within 48 hours of each other, a Linux based operating system and family room PC-lite gaming rig.
However, why in the world would anyone buy one of these little Steam boxes when you’ve dropped $1000 on that shiny new Titan graphics card? This is Valve’s attempt to get into the living room and woo over the general gaming public tired of the Microsoft/Sony/Nintendo choke hold on the gaming market. Steam has always been an incredible platform in and of itself, but the price of admission for most of the games being offered at rock bottom prices having to purchase the hardware has been prohibitive. Also, folks who don’t like spending four hours on tech forums trying to find arcane patches for a certain game because it just won’t run on your homebuilt machine is what drove me away from PC gaming personally. Having standardized hardware and an OS to boot definitely makes PC gaming a metric ton more accessible, and I’m certainly excited about that.
But what does Valve have to offer to entice PC gamers to shell out a few hundred dollars for a brand new form factor for their living room? Exclusive software like Half-Life 3. Thanks to some DOTA 2 lookie-loos who toured the Valve facility in Washington, we know that Left 4 Dead 3 is in development as we speak, but will that really bring all the boys to the yard? No. It needs to be the White Whale itself, the decade long awaited sequel to Half-Life 2, Half-Life 3. It has to be. What else could it be? A freakin’ controller? No. Valve needs to move units, and without an absolute “you-can-only-get-it-here” exclusive to SteamBoxes, then most people will be happy with having their own hand crafted system.
This is it folks, and I say it again. Either in 48 hours we have a Half-Life 3 announcement, or it will never see the light of day.