Phase two of CS: Source beta begins, Half-Life 2 preload August 19

Buyers of Counter-Strike: Condition Zero and the ATI/Half-Life 2 bundle join the beta as Gabe Newell informs public that assets are en route.

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One week after it began at cybercafes, Valve has opened the Counter-Strike: Source beta to the public--sort of. The developer announced that starting at 7pm PST (although Daylight Saving Time is still in effect on the West Coast), buyers of Counter-Strike: Condition Zero and the ATI/Half-Life 2 can go to Valve’s Steam Web site to begin downloading the beta for the Half-Life 2 multiplayer component.

In addition to the CS: Source beta, Valve will be providing a Valve Source technology benchmark to determine if the company's systems will run Half-Life 2. According to a statement from Valve, the benchmark will be available to all beta participants via the main menu. Beta participants will have the option to send their benchmark results to a Valve-hosted Web site that tracks the results.

In other news, Valve CEO Gabe Newell has posted a message on the hl2fallout.com forums saying preloading of Half-Life 2 will start Thursday, August 19. “HL2 pre-load will begin tomorrow,” read Newell’s post. “It was ready yesterday, but we decided to use the bandwidth to get out the [benchmark] first, since I get pelted with zillions of questions from people asking how their PCs will run Half-Life 2.” Hl2fallout.com is the venue where Newell first mentioned the preloading last week. His statements were later confirmed to GameSpot by Valve.

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