Valve Software, the company behind popular games like Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Day of Defeat, Team Fortress, and Portal, just made an interesting move by announcing the upcoming roll-out of Steam Cloud. In essence, it is a free extension that will allow any user of the wildly popular digital content platform to store game saves, mouse and keyboard configuration settings server-side, enabling gamers to access their data across multiple PCs.
So what will it actually do?
The Steam Cloud will “just work,” meaning any user changes to their game options will propagate to the Cloud by default. Upon logging into Steam from another PC, these settings will be brought down from the Cloud and automatically leveraged by the game. Any configuration changes on this second machine are then synced to the Cloud for future sessions.
Steam Cloud support, which had already been announced last May, will ship with Valve’s co-op zombie shooter Left 4 Dead demo later this week and the full game on November 18. It is expected to be compatible with all other Valve Steam releases (including the back catalog), and Valve has also been providing other game makers with the tools to make their own titles compatible.
Steam’s digital distribution service has often been dubbed the ‘iTunes for games’, as it provides a platform for buying games right off the virtual shelf. Google has been rumored to be interested in acquiring Valve before, but both companies have denied this formally.
Here’s the intro video for the upcoming Left4Dead game: