Portal Pre-Load Underway, Half-Life 2: Episode Two Pre-Load This Week (Updated)

Update: Though no specific date has been set, a Valve representative tells Shacknews that Half-Life 2: Episode Two will be available for pre-load later this week.

Original Story: Those who pre-purchased Valve's first person brain twister Portal through Steam, either in the $44.99 ultra compilation The Orange Box or by its separate $19.99 listing, can now begin downloading the game's assets.

Commonly referred to as pre-loading, the idea is to let gamers gradually download a game in advance so they only need to download a small enabling file on the day of its release, preventing owners from being held back by slow download speeds and clogged servers. nope

While buying a physical copy of The Orange Box at a retailer sidesteps the pre-loading process, retail consumers will still need to go through the same Steam-based activation process in order to play the included games.

With The Orange Box gone gold and confirmed to release on October 10--that's next Wednesday--for PC and Xbox 360, the pre-load for Half-Life 2: Episode Two is expected to begin shortly.