Report: Valve billows Steam Cloud

"Near future" update to developer's digital distribution service allows server-side storage of game-generated data; auto driver updates, system-req checks on horizon.

In February, reports flew that Orange Box developer Valve was planning major renovations to its digital delivery service Steam, which in part would include video and music downloads. Although the game maker wouldn't confirm at the time any new features for Steam, Valve marketing head Doug Lombardi did say that the service would see a number of new features to be announced soon.

At an event held yesterday at the company's Bellevue, Washington, headquarters, Valve unveiled one of those new initiatives: Steam Cloud. As reported by Maximum PC, when Steam Cloud launches in the "near future," all game-generated data, such as game saves, game profiles, preferences, and settings will be saved on the server side. As with other updates to the Steam client, Steam Cloud will be available at no charge.

The first games in which Steam Cloud will be implemented are Valve's own Half-Life, Team Fortress 2, and Counter-Strike franchises. Turtle Rock Studios, which Valve acquired in January, will be the first developer to integrate the technology for a new game with Left4Dead, which is slated for release for the PC and Xbox 360 in November.

During its presentation, Valve reportedly dropped details on other upcoming updates to Steam. The service will at some future date be capable of automatically updating hardware drivers as well as running a system-requirements check that will give gamers an accurate reading on whether their rig can handle any given game. All of the new Steam features will reportedly be incorporated into Valve's development toolkit Steamworks, and third-party developers will be responsible for adding the functionality to their games.

Written By

Want the latest news about Left 4 Dead?

Left 4 Dead

Left 4 Dead

Follow

Discussion

72 comments
JackRipper6
JackRipper6

i wonder if there is gonna be a demo for this

Craft2299
Craft2299

Great, that way if i have troubble in L4D. my friends can come and help me where i left off. kewl.

acsam12304
acsam12304

@mysterylobster: You can get almost any PC game through retail. i like having a hard copy of the game. i just input the CD key in STEAM and keep my hard copy next to where i keep all my games plus XBL does downloads too Wii does download PlayStation does downloads. Its a cold hard fact buddy, later on in the future like 50% of all PC and mutiplatform games will only be playable by paying for it and downloading it, so i say just get use to it.

acsam12304
acsam12304

I saw some of the new add ons in Half-Life 2: ep 2 you can have adceivements like you do in X-Box Live. More or less they are going to make STEAM a PC version of X-Box Live whitch in my options is REALLY COOL I CANT WAIT FOR THE ADD ONS!.

Mega-Tom
Mega-Tom

Wow, sounds awesome. but to be honest they should have done this kinda stuff a long time ago

Super_Amanda
Super_Amanda

Steam kinda blows, im not much of a pc gamer, but when i purchased the gta collection recently and tried to mod gta3, the game wont work anymore after multiple re-installs. Apparently you cant mod non source games from steam, or something like that. I don't remember ever seeing a warning not to mod, in fact i know valve has embraced it, so it sucks. It was probably in the eula, but who reads those things? Also on a side tangent...Combatsoldier, I respect any military, but you need some message board etiquette. This isn't a chat room, there are places for that, right here on this site believe it or not! You have been pretty busy on here the last couple days, so hopefully you are learning fast. By the way, a game review should be more than a paragraph long.

dewd4
dewd4

Valve....your awesome.:)

GreyFoXX4
GreyFoXX4

I think saving saves and such is awesome since I've had to reformat and have lost all of my saves in Half Life2, ep. 1 and ep.2. Which now I've gotten more of reason to replay through lol.

atopp399
atopp399

I will update my own computer...

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

This is all fine and dandy but, where is the next installment of half life dammit!! LOL

ColdfireTrilogy
ColdfireTrilogy

Driver updates I will always be doing manually ... computer programs are too faulty at checking for which drivers are the correct ones for said system ... as for server side storage of that info ... seems fine to me. Not sure how it would really benefit the user in the end because i like being able to mess with my configs are thus a point in saving configs saves etc seems a bit redundant and pointless unless the user expects to go to many different computers at some point.

Agent_24
Agent_24

Might sound impressive but knowing Steam's previous performance with things (especially the download speed of their servers and the actual ability to update without the program totally crashing out)... I'm not having high expectations. As for driver updates? WTF? Microsoft can't even do them properly through windowsupdate - most of the time they screw your system over - I trust Steam even less. No, I'm updating my drivers manually.

bangell99
bangell99

Keep it in 1 post, combatsoldier. I think this sounds kinda cool, but what if your internet crashes?

combatsoldier
combatsoldier

Honestly this does sound pretty cool but what if there is a system crash. I recommend not throwing away all your disks just yet to be on the safe side.

combatsoldier
combatsoldier

This would be especially good for 360 and ps3 users however it will never happen since the gaming industry would lose to much money. also go a head and give a thumbs down puppets. did i hurt your pre adolescent feelings. here is the worlds smallest violen now cry me a river. boo hoo.

combatsoldier
combatsoldier

wont this eventually be a security risk. If people can already hack into your hard drives what will stop them from hacking into this

mafdys
mafdys

oh man valve really know the right things to say! this is awesome!

Adam_the_Nerd
Adam_the_Nerd

Steam Cloud sounds like an amazing resource. Savegames and other data take up tonnes of hard drive space and are hell to re-download all the time.

Agulf
Agulf

@ Fanible Yeah, that is true, and might very well be the case. If they do it that way it has the potential to be real good. But remember, no other patches on steam are optional thous far - if it's available, it downloads and installs, unless you stop it at which point you can't play the game. :) For drivers, it would be a huge deal as the games would end up unplayable (or forced to run at like 11 fps) but I'm sure they are aware of this.

YoungDab
YoungDab

$team $hould be integrated into XBL/That would be a nice add,$o I could own people on CSS.Theres so many ways to make money with XBL,its ridiculous.I $hould have down loadable on it,ju$t talking bu$ine$$ people.

Fanible
Fanible

@agulf It said it would be CAPABLE of auto-updates for drivers. That doesn't mean it will force you to do so, nor does it necessarily mean that it would automatically install them either. It may just auto-download them. Either way, I doubt it will be a big deal.

Agulf
Agulf

Auto driver updates are BAD mkay. Anyone with an older nvidia graphics card will be screwed. New drivers equals less performance for some reason.

PiNwOrM
PiNwOrM

@ Gaming-Gavan Don't rebuy them.. in Steam, you can go to "Add CD key" or something, enter any games CD key and it adds it to your steamlist as if you purchased it through steam. That's what I did with all of my id games like Quake 4 and Prey. I used to own them on disk, got steam, added them, threw out the disks. Now I can redownload them whenever I want. (And I have, but I don't play them often so I remove them)

Terdog
Terdog

Me like the new things Valve is adding to steam. And at no charge. I will love the ability to have all my game saves on their servers, and on my pc as well. Also having the ability to have steam auto upgrade my hardware drivers automatically, too cool.

Lum_Yatsura
Lum_Yatsura

This is a neat option. Then people don't have to lose their saves every time they switch computers, reformat, etc. Good for laptop owners in particular. Your save will carry from home to abroad easily then.

Gaming-Gavan
Gaming-Gavan

I love steam, I been re buying all my hard copy game through steam, well the ones I can. It so much easier having no cds or dvd in the drive legally, and always having a perfect up to date version! Plus the publishers mega game pack rule!

combatsoldier
combatsoldier

this is actually pretty damn cool..however wont this eventually become a security risk especially if someone can already hack into your pc without even being any where near you. just food for thought.

planetpib
planetpib

Valve rocks, and i forgot about how they (valve/Gabe Newell) hated Sony so much.

tuff_gong92
tuff_gong92

Since an active PC gamer may replace major parts (including harddrive) as well as an entire computer, it makes getting back those games including your progress that much easier. Me likey.

-THA-hamst3r
-THA-hamst3r

Having a backup of my settings and save files online and associated with my Steam account sounds great to me. It means it's less likely I'll lose my spot in a game if my hard drive dies. Also means I can be away from home and continue my games where I left off just by logging in to my account. Awesome. :D

MrGrimFandango
MrGrimFandango

Please, losing ur game saves server side? you have a higher chance losing ur saves client side, not only that but it saves people from having to replay a game if something bad happens, like a virus or something to have to reformat or buying new HDD.

mysterylobster
mysterylobster

"Not a fan of licensing copies of games through download rather then owning a hard copy of it. Reason why I can never get into PC gaming or download the large scale PSN games like Warhawk, GT5 Prologue, Socom Confrontation, or LittleBigPlanet." How many PC games have you not been able to get through retail?

moocow21
moocow21

When it first debuted I was very skeptical of Steam, but here several years later I love it.

StephenHu
StephenHu

As long as I can still modify the autoexec.cfg

ctg867
ctg867

Not a fan of licensing copies of games through download rather then owning a hard copy of it. Reason why I can never get into PC gaming or download the large scale PSN games like Warhawk, GT5 Prologue, Socom Confrontation, or LittleBigPlanet. I'll just opt to get the disc versions. That, on top of the overpriced hardware, I just can't do PC gaming. Maybe something will change my mind, but at the moment, there are too man cons of PC gaming for me to enjoy the much smaller amount of pros.

strikerthrex
strikerthrex

For all you guys worrying that you will have to connect to the internet to access your save files read the article...It says that you will still save the settings on your computer but it will upload them to their server for backup, please read before you bash a service....

somberfox
somberfox

I can see game data being saved server side being fairly convenient for people upgrading computers and stuff, but it better just be a backup of files on the player's computer, otherwise they'd be eliminating a vital component for game configuring and tweaking.

HOMIE_G64
HOMIE_G64

Lawl. Steam Cloud seems too good to be true. There must be something that they **** up...

SCPsyWarrior
SCPsyWarrior

From what I grasped of Valve's info, the savegames and config data will still be stored clientside as well as serverside. You won't need to be connected to the internet to access your saves, and I expect you'd still have the .ini files there to modify manually if you wanted to.

AlphaHawkP
AlphaHawkP

Steam is good and all, but you KNOW it'll be buggy as hell for the first few weeks after it comes out. Luckily Valve usually rectifies the problems.

cooldude03
cooldude03

cross platform games please, I want to play PC vs Xbox360 please.

steven141
steven141

Valve is awesome, glad i found out about steam, its great

Somajan
Somajan

The official term is Cloud Computing, and it's scaring the hell out of Microsoft. Google is at the forefront of this whole CC movement, since it eliminates the use of beefy client-based software, only requires a simple gateway which is what the PC would be reduced to, if they had their way.

Thing2
Thing2

gnbfd, if ur using an ATI card try going back to 7.8, that worked for me