Orange Box pre-load begins

Portal and Episode Two files.

Valve has started to pump up the volume along with the stereo and pre-load files for Half-Life 2: Episode Two and Portal.

If you have pre-ordered The Orange Box on Steam, next time you restart Steam you will discover that secret files are being downloaded, ready to activate on 10th October when the game goes on sale.

Those are files for Episode Two, the latest instalment in the Half-Life episodic trilogy, and Portal, the excellent new first-person puzzle game, with the other Orange Box title, Team Fortress 2, already available as a beta release for pre-ordering types.

Valve currently flogs Orange Box at USD 49.95 on Steam with a 10 percent discount because they love you.

Retail releases of the PC and Xbox 360 versions of The Orange Box, which also includes Half-Life 2 and Half-Life 2: Episode One as bonuses, are planned for 12th October in Europe - a date reconfirmed to us by Valve's Doug Lombardi earlier this week after distributor EA's press website erroneously listed it as 19th October.

For more on The Orange Box, check out our PC and Xbox 360 gamepages. A PS3 version is due out in the near future.

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