GameBillet is having a nice sale, this time it’s Borderlands 2: Game of The Year. It does have most of the game’s DLCs inside so it’s a really nice offer. The page says it’s a Mac game but since it’s a Steam Play game it works both on Mac and Windows. Remember to use our special voucher UNPWR at checkout to get extra 20% off!!!
The Complete Pack of Civilization V is now on sale on Mac Game Store for only $12.25 and it works in SteamPlay mode. Check it here.
We all know by now that Windows 8.1 (on desktops and laptops without touchscreens) was a disaster. It simply sucked. However, Windows 9 conference is taking place in less than a week, unfortunately no live stream is going to be there, so we can’t be sure that Windows 9 beta is coming out on that day or not – September 30th that is. For now we only know this:
Are you at all excited about the new system? Do you plan on switching from Windows 7? Latest rumor is that it will only support 64-bit machines and all GUI elements will support screens with resolution bigger than 4K – no more pixelated icons! Vote in poll below!
The biggest highlights of the new OS are of course the comeback of Start Menu, but it has been redesigned and now it supports the metro apps that you can pin. The metro start screen is gone along with other useless touch screen elements. Metro apps will launch in windowed mode on desktops which is nice as well. And the last cool feature is the notification bar (not seen on the screenshot below) which will inform you about all things that happen in the system (new messages, calendar events etc.).
Here’s a great research on Linux sales on Steam from Gamasutra:
“The question on everybody’s mind is : how many Linux users are there anyway (on Steam)?
Nearly three times as many Linux sales as Mac sales, Linux (for desktops) is a much smaller market than Mac. There’s several possible explanations for these results – pent-up demand from Linux users, Defender’s Quest being one of only a handful of Linux games available, and the Linux theme of the promotion itself.
There’s also the possibility that we’ve simply been under-estimating the Linux market all along (especially considering the results from the various Humble Indie Bundles).
Methodology matters just as much as raw data, so here’s how Steam calculates “linux” and “mac” users: “Mac/Linux sales are based on platform of purchase; or after 7 days, the platform with the most minutes played.”
That’s pretty straightforward, except for an ambiguous edge case – what happens if someone buys the game on Windows, plays for a minute, and then logs 60 hours on their Linux box 10 days later? Are they counted as a Windows user or a Linux user? (I’ve written to Valve for clarification on this). I’m not sure there’s enough cases of this sort of thing to grossly affect the data.
In any case, data from a one-week, Linux-themed sales period isn’t exactly typical, so I compared these results to our lifetime direct (non-steam) sales stats. These numbers only account for sales made directly through www.defendersquest.com. Whenever someone purchased the game from our site, they got links to Windows, Mac, and Linux builds of the game. Our storefront software, FastSpring, tracks how many times users click on each link.
Just as on Steam, Windows clearly dominates, and at least for our direct sales, Mac has a slight lead over Linux.
Our Linux builds came in three flavors – DEB, TAR.GZ, and RPM, to accommodate the various different Linux distributions. Of these, the DEB package accounted for 52% of downloads, the TAR.GZ had 36%, and the RPM package came in last at 11%.
This data set accounts for overall download attempts, not individual users. Our storefront provider, FastSpring, lets user download each file up to 6 times before a fixed expiration date, after which we have to manually reset the link at the customer’s request. (Needless to say, this “feature” makes me want to replace FastSpring at the first opportunity).”
For conclusions and more head over to Gamasutra.
Operating system Windows 8 will be a "catastrophe" for PC game makers, according to Valve Software’s boss.
Speaking at the Casual Connect game conference in Seattle, Gabe Newell said the next version of Windows could mean big changes to the PC market. Many took his comment as a criticism of the changed user interface in Windows 8 as well as its built-in Windows Store.
The Windows Store could dent the success of Valve’s own online market, Steam, through which players buy games.
Mr Newell, who worked for Microsoft for 13 years on Windows, said his company had embraced the open-source software Linux as a "hedging strategy" designed to offset some of the damage Windows 8 was likely to do.
"We want to make it as easy as possible for the 2,500 games on Steam to run on Linux as well," said Mr Newell.
"Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space."
The arrival of Windows 8 would be likely to drive some PC makers and others out of the business because it put so much pressure on their sales margins, Mr Newell added.
He said the success of Valve, known for its Half Life, Left4Dead and Portal titles, had been down to the open nature of the PC.
"We’ve been a free rider, and we’ve been able to benefit from everything that went into PCs and the internet," he told the conference. "And we have to continue to figure out how there will be open platforms."
However, he added, the openness that helped Valve as well as firms such as Google and Zynga could disappear with Windows 8.
"There’s a strong temptation to close the platform," he said, "because they look at what they can accomplish when they limit the competitors’ access to the platform, and they say, ‘That’s really exciting.’"
This is seen by commentators to be a reference to the inclusion of a Windows Store in the Microsoft operating system.
This is a shop through which users will be able to buy apps for their Windows 8 device.
On some versions of Windows 8, it will be the only way to get downloadable software such as games.
Microsoft takes a cut, up to 30%, of every sale made through this store. This could be a significant threat to the massively successful Steam online game store that Valve runs and which gives it a commission on every title sold through the online market. A Windows Store closed to everyone but Microsoft might reduce the range of games available for sale through Steam.
Windows 8’s links with Microsoft’s Xbox Live online game service could also dent the appeal of Steam for many people.
Mr Newell said Valve was preparing for the future in other ways. In particular, he said, it was trying to make tools and services that players could use to make games and gaming more fun for everyone.
"We think the future is very different [from] successes we’ve had in the past," he said.
"When you are playing a game, you are trying to think about creating value for other players, so the line between content player and creator is really fuzzy."
One harbinger of this future was perhaps found, he said, in the success of one Team Fortress player in Kansas who was earning $150,000 (£97,000) a year making virtual hats.
"This isn’t about video games," he said. "It’s about thinking about goods and services in a digital world."