Steam Cloud to launch this week

Centralise game data starting with L4D.

Valve has announced that Steam Cloud will launch this week.

Steam Cloud, announced at the end of May, centralises configuration data online so that you can access your controller and multiplayer settings (like spraypaint images for Counter-Strike) from any computer.

In future, Valve intends to centralise save-game data - the idea being that you could delete a Steam game and all its files and still be able to pick it up from the same spot, on any computer, years later.

Steam Cloud will ship with the Left 4 Dead PC demo later this week (Thursday, 6th November for pre-orders), and with the full game when it launches on 18th November.

At the Steam Cloud unveiling earlier this year, Valve said that the first games to support the service would be the Half-Life series, Counter-Strike, Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead.

Announcing the launch this week, the developer said it would be adding the functionality to all its existing games, and reiterated that the Cloud is free for developers and publishers to use.

"For some time now, Steam has allowed gamers to log on from any computer in the world and access their applications. This also makes it easy to upgrade a PC without worrying about losing your games," Valve president Gabe Newell said.

"Steam Cloud is a natural extension of the portability Steam affords gamers and developers, and we intend to expand its feature set as it is used in Left 4 Dead and other games coming to Steam."

Valve said there are now over 15 million Steam accounts.

For more on Valve's vision of the PC future, be sure to check out Valve: Why the PC is the future, where we run through the facts and figures that Newell and his colleagues summoned the press to Seattle to hear earlier this year. They're a bit yay for the PC.

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