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Counter-Strike Source Beta Debuts In CyberCafes 50

orion024 writes "From the official Half-Life 2 website - the Half-Life: Counter-Strike Source beta '...will be playable [starting tomorrow, Wednesday] at all cyber cafes that subscribe to the Valve Cyber Cafe Program. Later this month, the beta will be extended to owners of Counter-Strike: Condition Zero; and ATI Fulfillment Coupon holders.' Hopefully, this beta, using the Source engine Half-Life 2 is built upon, will ease those HL2 jitters many fellow gamers are experiencing." We previously reported on some friction between cybercafe owners and Valve - as for CS:Source, IGN PC also has an updated preview on the title, which sports "the same specs that Doug Lombardi mentioned for Half-Life 2... minimum system requirements appear to be a 1.2 gigahertz processor with 256 megabytes of RAM and a DirectX 7 video card."
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Counter-Strike Source Beta Debuts In CyberCafes

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  • by Sicnarf ( 529730 )
    why post minimum system requirements? why not post the recommended system requirements since I wont be playing in 640x480 resolution!
  • Man CZ owners should have gotten it first...or at least at the same time. We payed how much for CZ and got very little change, and what changes we got are moot with the release of source... I'm not complaining, but how does this really help cybercafe owners? The installed base of CZ is not huge, but you would think you would want as many people out there playing source as soon as possible to prevent a dearth of serves...
    • I think, because it's beta, this is a controlled test for them. As in, they don't have to worry about people pirating it just yet... also they might not be ready to test it on anything but a lan.
      • Steam makes it virtually impossible to pirate
        • People have been saying stuff like that for years... but people tend to with enough motivation find a way around everything... right now with the other programs Steam has no one's really needed to pirate anything... everything but CZ is free, and CZ is so close to CS I doubt anyone cares. But Source... I think it could be enough motivation... no matter how much faith Valve puts in Steam I dont think they can be too safe. I could be wrong, but I'd bet that there is a way to pirate it, though it'd probably
    • CZ has been the biggest ripoff ever up until now. For $40 we got some updated models (which got given away for free to regular CS owners), some single player "missions" (including such gems as making you kill a bot with a knife), and some other single player missions that were so good they got the company that made them fired off the project.
  • I don't of any which are legititmate cybercafes in NJ... I wanna play tomorrow!
  • by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Tuesday August 10, 2004 @05:10PM (#9934081) Homepage Journal
    like things that would alter the gameplay somehow, as cs has already gotten way beyond the point of where graphics or eyecandy matter.

    especially what have they done to enhance the playing on public servers experience(are there any real fundamental differences in the engines inner workings to remove certain types of cheating completely)?

    anyhow, i've been playing some SAS lately on ut2004(http://www.sas.jolt.co.uk/index.php?page=do wnload.php&action=open&id=445). which is quite similar to CS.

    oh.. and for crying out loud, doom 3 is out but hl2 is still taking it's sweet time. **"When Valve's designers were working on Half-Life 2, they wondered how easy or difficult it would be to migrate older mods into the updated engine. According to Product Manager Jess Cliffe, the designers took the 1.1 build of Counter-Strike, stripped it down to its barest essentials, and then imported elements piece by piece into the source engine. Along the way, they included features from every Counter-Strike up to the current 1.6 version and Condition Zero.

    The end result are elements that were much more detailed, featuring many more polygons per model, bump mapping and other graphical enhancements to take advantage of newer video cards. "**

    doesn't really promise that much besides better graphics.

    when they were working on hl2 how about if instead of wondering if they could just import a type of mod that would be done in a month by amateurs maybe they could have actually gotten the thing out already and we could be playing action-hl2-mod or something.
    • by bigbigbison ( 104532 ) on Tuesday August 10, 2004 @05:18PM (#9934173) Homepage
      I've seen in a couple of the clips floating around that there are the same physics in this as in HL2, so that would have some change on the gameplay, especially if people are used to specific tactics on specific maps. (I remember seeing some barrels blown up in Aztec for example)

      I also seem to have heard rumors that boosting has been taken out, which has some people mad. But the riot shield is also gone, which has just about everyone happy.

      But remember this isn't "CS2" it is just the equivelent of when Valve release Deathmatch classic which was supposed to be Quake deathmatch with better graphics.
    • I thought that at first, but if the physics of the new engine are really used well in designing it, It could totally change the game.

      Other engine improvements like the new hitboxes, weapon recoil, ricochets (and anything else you can think of affected by a new engine) could really affect the gameplay.

      I can imagine ducking behind a box only to have it shot through in front of me...or breaking a hole in a box somewhere to hide. (There are alot of crates in HL/CS...)

      To me, CS:S is all about the physics

  • They deserve it (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Satertek ( 708058 )
    Cybercafes are paying around $10 a month per computer to be in the cybercafe program. Valve wants to give them all the benefits they can so they'll feel its worth the price.
  • Yay! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Jesterboy ( 106813 ) on Tuesday August 10, 2004 @05:45PM (#9934428)
    Let us hop up and down in joy!
  • by Lisandro ( 799651 ) on Tuesday August 10, 2004 @06:48PM (#9934965)
    I mean, seeing how they bitch with every CS update (not without reason, i might add - from 1.3 it's been downhill); this one will change the gameplay dramatically, if only because of the added freedom in maps. Imagine pushing a barrel arround for cover, and so.

    Also, the minimal hardware to run CS (which was pretty low spec for the original HL engine) will be kicked up a notch. Expect a whine about lost FPSs in no time.

    Sorry, i can't help myself. I always get a kick when i see some of the stuff the "CS pro" comunity does ;)
    • I've been playing CS since beta 2 in 1999. I've heard bitching after every single update.

      I believe one of the reasons CS has such a huge following is because of the low system requirements. CS will run fine on a computer where Unreal Tournament (yes, the original) crawls.

      I have plenty of stuff to complain about with CS, other updates I've loved. You just have to get used to changes with a game that is updated continually.
  • People (like my flatmate!) who where duped into buying condition zero deserve a FREE COPY when it is released, not just a beta!!

    Man was that a travesty of a FPS or what?!?

    Since when did Beta releases become such a big deal anyway? Aren't they just advertising? Why the hell are they restricting it????
    Perhaps they are following the MS/MMOG example and consider a Beta an actual product?
    • Duped? Honestly, I feel no remorse for people who bought CZ expecting something good. There were reviews, screenshots, and tons of information about it already available before they bought, do some research and realize you're not getting your money's worth.
      • Had said flatmate bothered to ask me, I would have advised, but he did not. He is not all that consumer wise and bought it because he loves CS. I am sure he was not alone.

        The fact that the CS name was on such a rubbish game should warrant a reparation payment to such trusting consumers.

        In case you can't tell, I am joking...
    • Maybe because its not for general consumption by n00bs like you who obviously don't understand that a beta is designed to help the developer remove any bugs and further improve the game with the help of experienced users. Most cybercafe owners are very good at troubleshooting and have a system of backups that allows them to revert to a pervious state in case the beta screwes up their system. If you want a wide distributed version, wait for a demo, or the release. Betas are not the same as demos!
      • Demo/Beta - it is all the same in this case. A reduced feature version of the final product.

        My main point was, if you would have stopped from ranting for a second to read it, that Demo/Beta versions are now being treated like products.
        In the case of MMOG, you pay a subscription for it. (even MMOGs that are far from fully featured as per the box) In the case of this demo, you have to pay a Valve subscriber to use it. Very similar in that Valve get subscriptions both ways, wouldn't you say?

        Someone must
  • by JohnCub ( 56178 ) on Tuesday August 10, 2004 @08:51PM (#9935718)
    Valve/Steam is really kind of an interesting thing to watch right now. My personal belief is that they are going to end up losing more than they gain in their quest to become the AOL/Time Warner of the gaming world but it is an interesting struggle. Within the community itself lies a huge percentage of people complaining about the system or lack of availability even on the HL1 platform. Now they will introduce (I'm assuming) several hundreds of thousands of new users to the system. I'm not saying it will fail or it will pass but it will be fodder for all of the game tech news sites once again and for quite a while I assume.

    One day we'll look back on this and tell our grandchildren, "Oh yeah? I lived through the Half Life 2 transition. All 20 years of it." :-P
    • I agree with you, but I think I understand Valve's motivation here. I'll use me as an example.

      I bought Half-Life way back in '99. It's now 7-2004. I've had the game for about five years. I'll round it off and say 60 months. The game originally cost me $55, so I ended up paying less than one dollar per month to use it (although pre-Team Fortress multiplayer was pretty bad and not even worth that dollar).

      Now, HL2 with online content will cost $10/mo., according to interviews with Valve's PR flack. If
      • "Now, HL2 with online content will cost $10/mo., according to interviews with Valve's PR flack. If I use this game for 60 months, valve will end up with $600. That doesn't include the add-ons I'm sure they're going to sell (just like Everquest)."

        I haven't heard that they are going to charge a monthly fee to play online HL2? Where did you hear this? If so it will flop big time. No one is going to go from paying for free with HL to having to pay to play with HL2 content. It'll never work.
        • Alright, nothing is confirmed yet, and this gets a little complicated...

          First, read this [planethalflife.com]. There will be two common means of purchasing the game: the $50 retail box and the $10 monthly subscription. Valve is making it sound like the retail box will be able to play multiplayer like everyone else, including mods. But the subscription people will have "future expansion" stuff. This doesn't sound so bad at first, but I strongly suspect vavle's motivation is to get everyone on the monthly subscription. I th
  • How long (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lord_Dweomer ( 648696 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @01:01AM (#9936837) Homepage
    So, how long do you think it will take before someone gets a leaked copy of this and some how makes it playable?

    • Depends if Valve learned its lesson from letting people download Condition Zero over Steam to hack it into a 3rd party mod. The exploit [blizzhackers.com] lasted all the way from the release date into August, when Valve finally patched Steam. It'll probably still work if you can get the CZ updates elsewhere.
  • by DeadBugs ( 546475 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2004 @09:55AM (#9938990) Homepage
    It's kind of sad that people who bought an ATI card hoping to get HL2 and play it on (what they thought) was the best card available, now have a card that is outdated and still no HL2. ~ ATI has already released its next generation of cards (X800)

    However I did buy a NVIDIA 6800 that came with Far Cry (an excellent game) for those who want to buy a video card that comes with a game and not a coupon.

"I don't believe in sweeping social change being manifested by one person, unless he has an atomic weapon." -- Howard Chaykin