Week in Gaming regular Hugh has returned from several days of...well...nobody's quite sure. Memory is said to be hazy and in his bag was a revolver, some duct tape, a replica Batman utility belt, two chicken drumsticks and a lot of unanswered questions. Perhaps they're better left that way.
But the point is that balance is restored, and just in time by the looks of things. This week in gaming has been like any other - moderately explosive.
Steam: it's for cats
It's fair to say that Valve dominated the headlines this week with a triple whammy of gaming goodness, making three big announcements over the course of five days. First was SteamOS, Valve's standalone operating system based on Linux, which it will be making available to everyone.
But of course, it would be nice to run it on something more tailored for the experience, and sure enough Valve's second announcement was the fabled Steam console, arriving in the form of Steam Machines.
Yes that's plural: we'll be seeing the box in different shapes and sizes in 2014. For now, Valve has promised that it will be sending out 300 prototypes to the public.
"But I don't want a keyboard on my lap!" you cry. Valve's got you covered there. You see, the third and final part of the puzzle wasn't the Half-Life 3 announcement you were all hoping for. It was for a Steam controller with dual trackpads, haptic feedback and a touchscreen (it's the future, dontchaknow).
New year, new ball
Sunrise, sunset, new FIFA. The 2014 edition of the annual franchise also arrived this week, though it was somewhat swallowed up among all the other madness.
So what's the verdict? Well you can go check out CVG's FIFA 14 review right now. Then you'd do well to go and find out why FIFA 14's small changes take months of balancing. The more you know and all that...
But it wasn't just the Xbox 360 and PS3 getting the football love. The game is now also available for free on iOS, Android and Kindle Fire, but packed with plenty of in-app purchases to suck your wallets dry.
So GTA 5 is out, everyone's playing it, job done. Right? Well, almost. We still have the small matter of Grand Theft Auto Online to deal with when it arrives on October 1, and we can't wait. It'll be easy to spot TechRadar - we'll be the ones driving off with all the money we so kindly helped you rob from that liquor store, leaving you stranded in the middle of Blaine County. Hey, business is business.
Following in a similar vein to FIFA 14, this week we discovered that the GTA multiplayer universe will be opening shop for in-game transactions. We spent literally minutes debating the merits of this in the TechRadar office. Rockstar says the game is balanced in a way that means a player isn't going to reap huge benefits if they decide to splash the cash (except maybe they can buy a tank and you can't).
But we do wonder...if you choose to carry that money around and then find yourself the subject of a mugging, isn't that like, almost as bad as being robbed in real life?
The lines are blurring, our brains are hurting. Time for some links from some of our friendly neighbourhood Future sites.
Where's the Yeti? We explore the very finest GTA 5 conspiracy theories
Now that we've played through GTA 5 we look to the future of the series in our 8 things we want from GTA 6 article.
The next generation is almost here. Take a look at some of the upcoming games in 11 new RPGs on the horizon for 2014 and beyond.
Official Nintendo Magazine
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