Some Hot, Steamy News
Been on pins and needles about the Steam Machines? Are you the kind of person who waits for that time of year where Gabe Newell visits the home of all the good little gamers and showers them with gifts in the form of ludicrously discounted prices? Either way, today is your lucky day because not only was a gaggle of pictures of the Steam Machine prototype released, but also an email allegedly containing the dates of both the Autumn and Holiday Steam Sale has been leaked. According to the email, the Autumn Sale will run from the 27th (Thats the day before Thanksgiving for those of you in the US) to the 3rd of December, and the Holiday Sale will run from December 19th to January the 2nd. Now, these dates are based on an email that could very well just be a hoax, so we will just have to wait and see, but hey, its nice to have an actual date to look forward to.
300 of these Steam Machines will go to 300 lucky beta testers, who I imagine will break out into a song and dance routine similar to Grandpa Joe in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
In addition to this bundle of news, Valve has also announced a change in Steams Offline mode that will allow Steam to be Offline "indefinitely." According to HenryG of Valve Software:
"There are many components involved in Offline Mode,some of them have known issues and bugs which we are continually working to improve. We're aware that it doesn't always work as flawlessly as we want it to, but please keep reporting bugs with Offline Mode. It is not broken 'by design'. We have been working very hard on upgrading the underlying technology in Steam. We have no community managers or PR people, so all the time that we spend on forums is taking away from development time. That said, I know that it's frustrating to get no response, and it looks like we aren't doing anything about it.
Many of the older games on Steam were using an older authentication system which has many known issues with Offline Mode and is incredibly difficult to maintain - it was written for a time when there were dozens of games on Steam, not thousands. We are in the process of upgrading every game in the Steam catalog to a newer authentication system (and fixing bugs that result from the conversion), but this is a slow and time-consuming process. Some day soon, once this work is completed, we will eliminate the old authentication system (represented by the ClientRegistry.blob file) and Offline Mode should immediately become much more robust."
Perhaps this is Valve making amends for that bug that completely broke Offline mode for years, maybe?