The Orange Box, a compilation which includes a mix of Valve’s best and most anticipated games (Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode 1, Half-Life 2: Episode 2, Team Fortress 2, Portal) is being released exactly one week from today, but Steam subscribers can get their hands on one of the titles, Portal, right now, sort of.
Anyone who pre-ordered The Orange Box on Steam can pre-load Portal onto their PCs this very moment, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be able to play it before it’s released. It merely means that they’ll be able to load the game’s files onto their machines now and unlock it with a special key that they’ll be able to download on October 10th.
On one hand pre-loading is a great idea, because you’re that much closer to being able to play a game the milliseconds it’s released, on the other hand having a game on your PC and not being able to play it is like having food on your plate that you can’t eat and you all know gamers are hungry for some Orange Box (that is not a double entendre).
Gaming Today: Portal Begins Pre-Loading