A while ago, Valve announced they would be releasing Counter-Strike 1.6 via the Steam 2.0 beta. On Tuesday, they sent out the Steam 2.0 beta clients to certain members of the press to preview. As reported in our preview, we had some issues with Steam even under light usage conditions, and warned people to expect problems with the beta.
Yesterday, the Steam 2.0 client was supposed to be released to the public at 3:00pm. It was, in fact, briefly available from the official Steam site. But well before the scheduled 3:00pm release, some smaller, less scrupulous gaming sites leaked the Steam 2.0 client from the press preview.
Even before the official, widespread release, Steam was already completely overloaded. Valve suspended the public release of the Steam 2.0 client to prevent further problems.
Right now, there are a good handful of people who managed to get their hands on the Steam 2.0 leaked client. However, it's not doing them much good since Steam is still overloaded and experiencing significant, crippling problems. It won't even load for most users and only a very, very lucky and very, very patient few have gotten to play CS 1.6 at this point.
So what's next? We don't know. Valve says, "Those who have already joined the beta are encouraged to continue their participation and submit their feedback."
CS 1.6 isn't canceled or anything, but we don't know when it will be released publicly. It should eventually be available via a separate, non-Steam download, but again, we don't know when that would happen.
Valve may choose to resume the Steam 2.0 beta at a later time and release the client to the public, but we're guessing that won't be happening anytime soon because – like we said – Steam currently has some major problems.
Valve is serious about Steam, so don't expect it to go away like their failed PowerPlay technology did.
And that's basically all we have to report. Bottom line, beta or not, Valve severely underestimated the amount of demand for a new version of Counter-Strike and overestimated the stability of the Steam backend. Now we'll just have to be patient, wait, and see what happens.
News source: Planet Half-Life