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So you play online games, right? You play Counter-Strike? Team Fortress Classic? You hate cheaters? How about downloading patches? Do you find it a necessary nuisance? If you've answered yes to any of these questions, then you may be ready for Steam, Valve Software's new online gaming platform announced today at the Game Developer's Conference in San Jose.

"Steam is a broadband business platform," Newell said. "With it, we can market and have direct communication with customers, sales and distribution, and have customer service and support. It uses a high-performance distributed file system for fast, scalable content delivery. You only download what you need and when you need it. It's faster and cheaper than CDs and lastly, no more patches."

Steam is essentially a "platform" for all types of applications - an integrated solution for a number of tasks. Whether it is delivering new content (new maps, mods, skins, full versions of game, etc), managing version control (no more patches) or handling anti-cheating measures (it can check your version every day, hour or however often the developer wishes, preventing cheaters from hacking the code). This is only a small glimpse of what Steam will be able to do.

News source: GameSpyDaily

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