Today Valve issued a press release with “the goods” regarding Portal 2’s Steam service integration on PlayStation 3. For those who aren’t familiar, the PS3 version of Portal 2 will be the only console version of the title (sorry Xbox 360 owners) which includes Steam support. And what Steam brings to the PS3 is substantial, easily making it the best option if you’re planning to buy Portal 2 on a home console and not on PC or Mac.
Before we get into the thick of things, know that Portal 2’s Steam integration is a pioneering step for cross-platform play in gaming. Portal 2 marks the first game on consoles that will support Valve’s Steam network. By having Steam on the PS3, players of Portal 2 will be able to cross-platform matchmatch and play with PC and Mac users, as well as chat with their Steam friends and earn Steam achievements on their PS3. You’ll also be able to save your single player and co-op progress to the Steam Cloud which enables you to go to any PS3 console and continue your game where you left off. The future is here!
All of these features are easily accessible once you link your Steam account to your PlayStation Network account through a boot-up option in Portal 2. And for those who don’t already have a Steam account, it’s a simple procedure that you’ll be prompted to do when first turning on Portal 2. The Steam overlay is apparently in “lockstep” with the PSN’s friends list and trophies, making it so the two networks are integrated fluidly, not competing against one another.
Finally, and this is the real kicker, purchasers of Portal 2 on PS3 will get a voucher to download a full copy of the game on PC or Mac through Steam. This comes at no extra cost, it’s purely the gravy poured on top of this awesome digital feast.
So I think we’ve made our case. If you’re planning on buying Portal 2 on a home console next week when the game ships, we advise you to go with the PlayStation 3 version. None of these features are available on the Xbox 360.