Way back at last year's E3, Valve's infamous Gabe Newell walked on stage at Sony's press event and announced that Portal 2 would be coming to PS3 and that it would be the best version on consoles. Newell confirmed that the PlayStation 3 version of Portal 2 would support Steamworks, which allows for free updates to be applied to the game instead of having to pay for DLC. This news was pretty shocking, but ever since then Valve hasn't said much about the features that the PS3 edition of Portal 2 would have. That's about to change.
"We made a promise to gamers at E3 that Portal 2 for the PlayStation 3 would be the best console version of the product."
"Working together with Sony we have identified a set of features we believe are very compelling to gamers. We hope to expand upon the foundation being laid in Portal 2 with more Steam features and functionality in DLC and future content releases."
Xbox 360 faithfuls, please sit down and relax, because this news isn't going to be easy to swallow.
Valve will be redefining the definition of cross-platform compatibility with Portal 2 by adding several massive features. One of the big ones is cross-platform play, which means that players who have the PS3 version can play with their friends who have Steam's PC/Mac version of the game.
What good would the ability to play with a friend on another platform be if there weren't an ability to chat, though? Valve thought of this and will also be providing cross-system chat options. Portal 2 for the PS3 will also support Steam's cloud-based storage system, which is great news for those looking to maintain their saved data and downloads if anything should happen to their console.
All of this sounds pretty decent, but Valve went on to outdo themselves by confirming that those who invest in the PS3 version of the game are also eligible to receive a Steam-Play version for their Mac or PC. All eager gamers have to do is link their PSN account to their respective Steam account and viola! Portal 2 for their computer.
There is no cause to become concerned with the potential complexity an overlap of both Steam and PSN could have, though, as Gabe Newell has said that all PS3 gamers will have to do is "simply drop the Blu-Ray disc in the PS3, link to their Steam account from inside the game, and all their Steam friends (on PC and Mac) will be visible and accessible for chat and game invites."
Not too shabby, if we do say so ourselves. It also seems like Portal 2 is just the beginning of Sony and Valve's wonderful new relationship. Until Microsoft changes their policies to allow for platforms such as Steam to be used on their system, it seems like the PS3 will continue to have the edge over the 360... for Valve's games, anyway.
What do you think of PS3 features offered in Portal 2? Which system will you be buying Portal 2 on?
Portal 2 will be available April 20, 2011, on PC, Mac, Xbox 360, and PS3. It will also have a brand new Jonathan Coulton song, so everyone should buy it on that principle alone.