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Portal 2 gets PC, Mac, PS3 cross-platform mode

Valve has confirmed plans to resurrect something which hasn't been attempted for quite some time in a mainstream game: cross-platform multiplayer gaming, due to hit the PlayStation 3 and PC in the company's first-person puzzle title Portal 2.

Although attempts have been made in the past to offer PC gamers the ability to play alongside their console-bound brethren, it's never been a successful marriage for one simple reason: in twitch games, a mouse is king and a control pad akin to completing a marathon as a three-legged race. In a sack. Carrying a ship's anchor. In the dark.

Valve's Portal 2 is hoping to solve that problem, however, by offering cooperative, rather than adversarial, cross-platform gaming. In Portal 2, players will be tasked with using a physics-bending portal gun to escape from a death maze run by an insane AI - and the multiplayer portion will see players working together, helping to minimise the disadvantages faced by console gamers.

In even better news, those who buy Portal 2 for the PS3 - which Valve's Gabe Newell claims will "be the best console version of the product" - will be able to link their PlayStation Network accounts with their Steam accounts and unlock a free, full copy of the game for PC or Mac.

The new Steam-for-PS3 functionality will unlock additional features, too. According to gaming site Gamasutra, gamers with joint Steam and PSN accounts will be able to store their save games online and play and chat cross-platform.

Sadly for Xbox 360 owners, it looks like Microsoft's console is left out of the party, with no plans for Steam functionality or cross-platform support in that release.

Portal 2 is due to launch in April on PC, Mac, PS3, and Xbox 360.