Half-Life 2 packages will be made available for pre-order via Valve's Steam content delivery service at 6pm GMT (11am PST) today, the developer has announced. And as promised, anybody who buys one of the Steam packages will be able to play the full version of Counter-Strike: Source immediately. Half-Life 2 will then be made available as soon as it's ready.
The Bronze package, featuring Half-Life 2 and CS: Source alone, will retail for $49.95, while the more exotic Silver and Gold packages (of which you can read far more details here) will cost $59.95 and $89.95 respectively.
Valve also confirms that people with ATI/Half-Life 2 vouchers will be able to redeem them in exchange for the lower end Bronze package (featuring Half-Life 2 and CS: Source only), or put their voucher towards the cost of a Silver or Gold package, receiving a discount equal to the cost of the Bronze package.
As a result of all this, the ongoing Counter-Strike: Source beta will close today, and a small update for Steam is now available to prepare the software for the impact of the Half-Life 2 pre-order offers.
Meanwhile, various retailers now claim that Half-Life 2 will be released in the UK on DVD only. Yesterday GAME was cited, but we've also received word from Gameplay and other online retailers in the past 24 hours saying much the same thing - the six CD vanilla version due out in the US is apparently not coming out here. Publisher Vivendi has yet to confirm the contents of the UK/European DVD package, and it's not clear whether territories outside the UK will receive the CD version too.