Steam Announces …

It’s here, it’s finally here: Half Life 3! Oh wait, nevermind, my mistake.

Steam had an “announcement week” last week with some big news. Just to be clear, it wasn’t Half Life 3. Steam, for non-PC gamers, is a digital distribution, digital rights management, multiplayer and communications platform developed by Valve Corporation. Valve is the company that develops the “Half Life,” “Portal” and “Left for Dead” games — iconic series we all know and love.

The first news came on Monday: SteamOS! SteamOS is the new operating system from Valve that will supposedly transfer your PC gaming experience to your television. Valve’s main idea behind the product is, “At the core of SteamOS is everything you already love about Steam.” So, what does this mean for gamers? It means that we can finally play beloved games like “Arma 3,” “Killing Floor” and many more of our favorite Steam titles right in our living room, creating incredible competition for consoles. But wait, there’s more!

On Wednesday, Steam announced “Steam Machines” (my favorite name for a console ever). Unlike traditional consoles, where personal choice is limited to hard drive space and color, Steam Machines will allow you to choose your hardware and — as suggested by the company — the complete design. Through working with different developers, Steam hopes to make the Steam Machines a PC/Console hybrid with the major pros of both: the convenience of a console and the customization of a PC. Even though they are still in development, the Steam Machines will be the new sheriff in town.

You’re probably thinking, “Man that is so much information. What else can there be?” Well, on Friday Steam released plans for its very own controller. This release was to be expected since they created a console, but the design is absolutely revolutionary. With dual track pads, haptics and a touch screen, this thing looks a totally alien. I’m not suggesting I don’t like it, but I’ll need to get my hands on one before I can give a fair judgement. The controller will not only work with the Steam Machines, but also with SteamOS and Steam on your computer.

I know we all wanted Steam to unveil “Half Life 3” — something we have been waiting an eternity for — but I still love what they revealed. I have always been conflicted because I love to game on both PCs and Consoles, but most gamers choose one or the other. I believe Steam’s announcements will open the road to great games, larger gaming communities and “Half Life 3” … eventually.