I just got a surprising press release from Valve, the creators of such notable games as "Half-Life" and "Counter-Strike." The PlayStation 3 version of "Portal 2" will have features I never expected to see from any video game company.
The big news: The multiplayer mode of "Portal 2" will be cross-platform, between PC/Mac and the PS3. In other words, a PS3 player will be able to play the online with a computer-using friend. And players will be able to chat across platforms too.
Also, thanks to Valve's proprietary Steam technology, the PS3 version will support "persistent cloud-based storage of PS3 saved games." I'm thinking that means you can save your game online instead of on your console's hard drive, in case you want to play part of the time on the PS3 and part of the time on a computer. But I need to get a hold of Valve to clarify that point.
And I certainly can't forget to mention that if you buy "Portal 2" for PS3, you can download the PC/Mac version of the game from Steam at no additional cost — if you link your PS3 and Steam accounts, and I don't really see why you wouldn't.
"We made a promise to gamers at E3 that 'Portal 2' for the PlayStation 3 would be the best console version of the product," Gabe Newell, co-founder and president of Valve, said in the press release. "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."
"We designed the 'Portal 2' PS3 experience to be very straightforward for gamers," said Josh Weier, project lead on "Portal 2" at Valve. "PS3 gamers will be able to 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.
"Portal 2," for PS3, PC, Mac and Xbox 360, is scheduled for release this April.