All week long the entire internet has been trying to figure out a massive ARG puzzle that many thought would lead to the release of Portal 2 for the PC at 9 AM PST this morning, and they were sort of right. At 9 AM on the dot, a message from GLaDOS, the computer that's running the Aperture Science research facility appeared on the Aperture Science website and basically said if a vast number of people contribute towards the purchase of a few featured indie game sales featuring Portal related content, then Valve will release Portal 2 early for the PC.
Sure many people (myself included) thought that the big reveal was going to just be "here play Portal 2, we love PC gamers! <3!" or "Half-Life 3 is coming!" but in the end that's not what happened. Yet, after taking a step back I really appreciate what Valve is doing. First of all they're staying true to themselves by not releasing any Half-Life 3 info. Second, Valve has always been such a huge supporter of indie games and as of this writing over 17,000 indie games from the Potato Sack Bundle have been purchased and people have found over 124,000 potatoes within the games.
According to the official Portal 2 Steam Group, "The more CPU power dedicated to the process, the faster it will finish. What does that mean? From now until release, play any or all of the Potato Sack games to expedite the launch of Portal 2. Your efforts will be tracked on the official GLaDOS@home page. The Potato Sack games are all great, and each one has also received a massive Portal-themed update. So why not get a taste of Portal 2 now while you help launch it?"
- DETAILS: How Steam Works With Portal 2
So yes, while it's a little saddening that Portal 2 wasn't just handed to us PC gamers on a silver platter this morning, I think it's cool that Valve is sticking to its guns and helping out these indie developers. Also, for the record, you just have to play the games on the list, not find the potatoes within the games. The more you play the games, the more the bars power up and the less popular games will power the bars up faster. But if you want something fun to do while playing the games you can try to find all of the hidden potatoes, because if you find all 36 then you'll get a special surprise when the game actually does come out.
Portal 2 is coming out for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 on April 19, and for the PC possibly anytime from today until the 19.