Valve has announced that they currently have over 35 million active users on Steam. Steam is Valve's (developer of Portal, Left 4 Dead, Half-Life, Counter-Strike, etc.) digital download service. It seems to me like that's a good number to drive home the fact that PC gaming isn't dead. Last year, Steam was at about 30 million users, so they've seen a great improvement in just one year. This is probably due in some part to the fact that Team Fortress 2 went free-to-play back in June. The digital download service is now available in a whopping 237 countries and 21 languages.
In order to handle the substantial growth of Steam, Valve boss Gabe Newell said that the company has had to upgrade their infrastructure and even hints at an improved Source engine. Newell said, “To meet this demand, the Steam infrastructure has been increased and now has ability to run at 400Gps, enough bandwidth to ship a digitized version of the Oxford English Dictionary 92.6 times per second."
The Valve site also mentions that, "In addition to Steam, there is Source, our own state-of-the-art game engine. Its sophisticated character animation, advanced AI, real-world physics, shader-based rendering, and super extensibility have helped us create some of the most popular and good-looking games on the market for computer and consoles. We don’t like to brag, but Source is considered the most flexible, comprehensive, and powerful game development environment out there. And it’s about to get even better."
So damn cryptic! I've been hoping for a new and improved Source Engine announcement ever since Valve was supposed to hold its own press conference back at E3 2010. Hopefully we all won't have to wait much longer to see what Valve's working on, but really, when it comes to Valve, most things are usually worth the wait.