What’s up with Steam?

Get the deals while you can!

Some could accuse me of pandering to the PC gamers . . . and they’d be right. I do most of my gaming on my beloved PC. This is because, for the longest time, the only console in the house, an Xbox 360, belonged to my younger brother. I’d only go into his room with a chair and a whip like a lion tamer.

The only games I played on that console were the ones I had to play, such as Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto. Rockstar Games’ lack of proper optimization for PC, when they release for PC at all, is a recurring problem in my relationship with them. I only grew to love consoles later.

For those of you who are lihe me and love gaming on your PCs, get ready, because the Steam Holiday sales have started!

I’ve mentioned Steam before, but I have never explained it for those of you who are in the dark. Steam is a software download/distribution program developed by the legendary Valve Corporation. This is the company that’s responsible for several of the milestones in PC gaming, from Half-Life to Portal to the Source Engine.

As if writing the rule book on everything from first-person shooters to online multiplayer to puzzle games wasn’t enough, they’ve cornered the market on digital downloads for PC. Moderate (and unconfirmed) estimates by analysts put the profit of the Steam platform at around $300 million a year.

One of the keys to Steam success is the sales. Every season or so, Steam pulls out the stops and throws an enormous sale, selling year-old games for extreme discounts. Their holiday sale is one of the biggest, and it’s going on right now.

Two cautions about Steam: First, they are trying to make a “Steam console” to compete with the current ones out. It sounds like a massive experiment, and I don’t doubt that they have the money to try it. I think it will take a while to put together, and it’ll be a miracle if they pull it off. Also, not all of the good indie games are available on Steam, and the ones which are not can have a hard time finding a market. Check the Not on Steam site for some good ones.

If you want good games for your PC, check out the Steam holiday sale!

I'm the daughter of a veteran who spent my childhood in Killeen. As of 2013, I have a degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin. I'm a critic of books, films, television, and video games. Find me on Twitter: @rachel_knows

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