Two days after Gabe Newell obliquely mentioned it on the Half-Life 2 Fallout forums, next week's preloading of Half-Life assets has been officially confirmed. "Yes, we plan to start preloading next week," PR director Doug Lombardi told GameSpot.
Valve will only preload textures, audio, and "other stuff that doesn't change," according to Newell. However, the fact that the developer is moving finished Half-Life 2 assets to its Steam download service means the long-delayed shooter must be near gold status. The confirmation lends further credence to rumors that Half-Life 2 will complete its final debug next week and will be submitted to VU Games for approval shortly thereafter.
For complete coverage of the Half-Life 2 development saga, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.