The summer event PC gamers have been waiting for and speculating about for weeks has finally arrived. The Steam summer sale has begun.
The sale, titled the "Steam Summer Getaway Sale," will last from today until July 22. The first round of daily deals includes well-reviewed titles such as Hotline Miami, Antichamber, and BioShock Infinite.
In a new twist to the Steam sale, Valve is using the occasion to promote its new virtual trading cards. Customers can collect a set of 10 "Summer Getaway" cards to craft a "Summer Getaway" badge. The badge can be crafted (leveled up) up to five times, and badges earn Steam rewards such as emoticons and backgrounds. A card can be obtained by crafting a game badge, purchasing $10 of merchandise during the sale, voting three times for the community choice flash sales (only for those with a Steam level of 5 or above), trading for them, or simply buying them from the community market.
Oddly, the familiar Steam sale mascots are nowhere to be found in the background of the sale page. Instead of the colorful vistas normally associated with Steam sales, the current background appears to be a grey map with several locations marked with symbols and a single, tiny white plane. Feel free to decode exactly how this points to the impending confirmation of Half-Life 3 in the comments section below.