Valve Announces Steam Cloud; Online Network to Store Saved Games Indefinitely

Valve today announced Steam Cloud, a free Steam system that will retain users' saved games and configuration files indefinitely.

Half-Life and Half-Life 2 will be the first games to support the service. User key mappings will also be saved in Counter-Strike, and Left 4 Dead will ship with the feature. If players are offline, the service will store the data and then add it to the network on the next connection. According to Valve, saved games and configurations will be stored forever. Valve further noted that the service will be freely available to developers, and is set to launch in the "near future." The company also detailed plans for several new Steam systems, including a driver auto-updater and calendar functionality. Another feature in development is a system-requirement checker. The program will analyze your hardware and compare it to multiple games, estimating your performance and recommending upgrades. Valve is also considering storing replay videos and kill-cam screens from games such as Team Fortress 2 and Day of Defeat: Source.