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The Orange Box Review 358

"PC Gaming is dying," the analysts tell us. "The Massive genre is the only viable business model left," websites report. That they're off the mark is obvious to anyone that's actually played a PC game in the last few years; games like Sam and Max , Battlefield 2 , or any of the numerous puzzle titles available online prove the flexibility and strength of the PC platform. Then, every once in a while, you get an offering like the Orange Box. A value-packed storm of content from Valve, this single sku offers five complete games at an amazing price. That would be great, even if the games weren't any good ... but they are. They're very, very, very good. Read on for my impressions of Half-Life 2: Episode 2, Team Fortress 2, and (the cake is a lie) Portal.

Microsoft's Conference AfterParty and Call of Duty 4 38

In the wake of yesterday's Microsoft conference, there are further details and updates on what was discussed. Moore dropped the statistic that there are 7 million users on Xbox Live, and mentioned an August 24th release date for the Elite SKU in Canada and Europe. Call of Duty 4 seemed to be the most popular game of the event, with the single-player demo going over very well and news of a multiplayer Beta coming soon raising the eyebrows of FPS gamers. There was, of course, a party afterwards; Dean Takahashi gives us a sense of the event, while Kotaku has some beer-fueled comments from Peter Moore and Shane Kim. N'Gai Croal has the final word, with a point-by-point breakdown of the event.

Every cloud has a silver lining; you should have sold it, and bought titanium.