Playing Steam games may allow Valve to release Portal 2 ahead of schedule.
As promised, GLaDOS’s countdown clock has hit zero, and the malicious Portal AI has launched another countdown clock, although this one has a bit more detail. Valve’s GLaDOS@home website is now ticking off the hours until the launch of Portal 2 with a timer, a loading bar, and a message that reads, “Portal 2 Steam Systems Offline: Computing Power Required for Launch,” and it all adds up to what could be an early release for Portal 2.
The whole system is tied into the thirteen-game Potato Sack bundle that was recently released on Steam, and here’s how it works: as more people play the games in the Potato Sack, GLaDOS will draw more computing power from the various Steam customers and the loading bar will begin to fill at an accelerated rate. So the more people dive into the Potato Sack, the sooner Portal 2 gets here, although only the Steam version will be released ahead of schedule. The boxed retail versions for the PS3 and Xbox 360 still won’t be available until the scheduled April 19
To help fans keep track of their progress, the website lets us know many people are currently playing all 13 Potato Sack titles, although the dedicated gamers are yet to make much progress. That’s not exactly a surprise. Even if everybody jumps on Steam and goes nuts, we still wouldn’t get Portal 2 more than a day or so early, so this will likely do more to promote the Potato Sack than Portal 2. It’s a fun way to connect with fans, but it’s ultimately more about marketing than entertainment.