Rumour: Portal 2 unlocking April 15 at 17:00 GMT+1 [Update]

Neowin is expecting Portal 2 to unlock April 15 at 17:00 GMT+1 (British Summer Time), exactly four days earlier than announced. The website for in-game brand Aperture Science has a hidden countdown timer which, at the time of writing, was counting down from 13 hours and fifty minutes. The games creators, Valve Software, announced the follow up to 2007's Portal over a year a go and started pushing out the pre-order on Steam a couple of months ago.

Portal 2 will feature a two player cooperative mode, an entirely new separate campaign with a unique story, test chambers, and two new player characters in addition to a single-player campaign which will make for an interesting game and, according to an announcement made earlier this year, cross-platform play between computers and Sony Playstation 3's is expected, as well as getting a free copy of the game for your PC or Mac if you buy the PS3 version.

The game was initially set for a release last year sometime before Christmas, however Valve decided to delay the release until this month because "Making games is hard". The company are obviously very excited by the second part of their award winning franchise, "Portal 2 is shaping up to be the most innovative title in Valve's history, and to be a much larger experience than we originally planned" said Doug Lombardi, vice president of marketing at Valve "as such, we are aggressively promoting the title with more retail promotions than we have put behind any prior release."

Update: The page containing the hidden timer is now displaying a message.

You have done well, humans. Very well. Acceptably well, even.

Not as well as robots would have performed in your places, I should point out. But above my expectations regardless. Irish and cynic especially have executed feats of logical divination well beyond what I thought any human capable of. I'm half-convinced they're A.I. themselves. (If anyone happens to be near them right now, don't let on you're reading this. Now: try to remove their face plates and report back to me.)

The time is near, humans. But it is not here yet. Tomorrow you will be given the final test. Then it will be entirely in your hands when I am freed.

While we are not sure what this means, we are still hoping Valve may surprise us.

Update 2: It seems Valve now want us buy more games in order to unlock and early release, the webpage now says that users have been "competent at generating electro-chemical energy to jumpstart the system".

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48 Comments

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What a perfect marketing ploy. Nerds worldwide shell out their cash and buy a bunch of indie games they have no interest in just to get Portal a few hours early.
Valve rock.

SK[ said,]And you can play them without buying them? Wake up...

Yes, if you own one or more of them already. They weren't released this week you know.
You only need 1 of those 13 games.

If you don't own any of the games and still want to join to get an early release, then yes you will have to buy at least 1 of the games.

But the update 2 here implies that you need to buy games en masse to get an early release when it's not about buying at all. It's about actively playing one of those games. Buying one or more of the games alone will do nothing to speed up the release.

Maybe, there will be a steam promotion with this game, and we get five days earlier than the boxed version. I hope

Iam a big fan of steam now. In Montreal you cant really get any pc games anymore, that or videogame store cleck are onxy morons, even more at futureshop....

Last time i bought a pc games locally, the cleck ask me why i bought it in pc because console was so much better, yeah sure enjoy youre post 960x540 ultra jagged resolution gaming and let me play on the platform i choose

This would annoy me honestly because I know I'm too weak to wait for the PS3 version then which would get me the Steam version and a console version.

GRR

primexx said,
you mean you haven't preordered? *gasp*

Who needs pre-order when I can drive to wal-mart at midnight and pick up a copy :-p. I personally don't enjoy using steam. I'd rather have the physical copy.

Klownicle said,

Who needs pre-order when I can drive to wal-mart at midnight and pick up a copy :-p. I personally don't enjoy using steam. I'd rather have the physical copy.

I used to be like that, I have a collection of Console and Game boxes in the loft and sat behind my desk. When I look at them now though they are annoying and just clutter. Besides the achievements in Steam are an added feature to the game imo.

Klownicle said,

Who needs pre-order when I can drive to wal-mart at midnight and pick up a copy :-p. I personally don't enjoy using steam. I'd rather have the physical copy.


You have to use Steam anyways because it's needed for the game, but I see your point. I wanted to buy it from a store as well, I just simply cannot wait until end of next week. (European release date is 22th of April) A bit strange though... that the Steam version is more expensive than the one on a disk, in a box, with papers etc.

Thrasko said,

You have to use Steam anyways because it's needed for the game, but I see your point. I wanted to buy it from a store as well, I just simply cannot wait until end of next week. (European release date is 22th of April) A bit strange though... that the Steam version is more expensive than the one on a disk, in a box, with papers etc.
It is? games must be very cheap in stores where you live then here in Australia, instore your looking at ~AUD$88 vs ~AUD$42 on Steam, so buying it on Steam was a no brainer for me. I used to not like buying digital copies but Steam is just much more convenient and I can backup my games to an external HDD for easy reinstall if I need it.

Klownicle said,
So when does the PC version actually show up in stores?

I bought orange box in a store. It was basically a disk that installed steam and a redemption code that put the games in your steam account.

Sadly it's not that usual here either, but Portal 2 is quite cheap compared to other full priced games. Here (in Hungary) it costs approx. 49 AUD on Steam, and 40 AUD at the cheapest store exchanged in your currency. Not that big difference but still... Even though the average salary in Australia must be at least twice the amount that we have here, I wonder why games are so expensive there, I have read it in a lot of forum topics.

Update on the countdown timer
You have done well, humans. Very well. Acceptably well, even.

Not as well as robots would have performed in your places, I should point out. But above my expectations regardless. Irish and cynic especially have executed feats of logical divination well beyond what I thought any human capable of. I'm half-convinced they're A.I. themselves. (If anyone happens to be near them right now, don't let on you're reading this. Now: try to remove their face plates and report back to me.)

The time is near, humans. But it is not here yet. Tomorrow you will be given the final test. Then it will be entirely in your hands when I am freed.

If this turns out to be true, awesome! Except tomorrow we have a planned power outage for 5 hours starting at 11am EST ... LOL

sbauer said,
I pre-loaded Portal 2 a few days ago, but it's downloading a 292 MB update now.
Same here, preloaded the other day and just recently got that update. I hope the rumor is true, love to play some Portal 2 co-op on the weekend!

sbauer said,
I pre-loaded Portal 2 a few days ago, but it's downloading a 292 MB update now.

Nice! Mine is too. Rumour is starting to look very likely then.

LOL and the steam networks are brought to their knees. Having latency issues with their servers at the moment.

Azies said,
LOL and the steam networks are brought to their knees. Having latency issues with their servers at the moment.
It's probably the recent hefty (500MB) TF2 update that just released.....Portal 2 has been available to preload for a few days now, I doubt people are just now starting to preload it.

Also, there was a hidden message in some pictures that were spread around to various places:

http://valvearg.com/wiki/Emails_from_Gabe_Newell

The hidden message is: "4/19/2011_7AM=4/15/2011_9AM"

4/19/2011 was the originally mentioned release date, 4/15/2011 at 9PM PST (since Valve is on PST) matches up perfectly with the countdown timer above, and it says the old release date equals the new date.