Aperture Science Website has Started an Unknown Countdown Timer. Possibly Portal 2 or Steam Related. Early Portal 2 Release Revealed

Not long now... GLaDOS!

If you go to the aperture sciences website its home page is still christmas related but a hidden page reveals a countdown clock. This clock is counting down to an unknown event. If you work out the time it comes to around 5pm GMT, Friday, 15th April which would be around noon on Friday, 15th April in New York or Friday, 15th April, around 9am PDT for example.

What will be revealed is anyone guess but it’s likely related to the recent annoying Valve ARG (alternate reality game) campaign that’s been happening recently so this might all just be a clever marketing trick or it might reveal a new announcement like Half-Life 2: Episode Three, Half-Life 3, an early release date for Portal 2 on PC or a cake. Whatever the case its intriguing because ticking clocks are normally either a very good thing or a really bad thing.

Go here if you want to see the clock yourself.

Updates and Edits:

  • Changed the times and dates, made a big mistake on those.
  • Added more text from the website.
  • Added even more text.
  • Added explanation about the website and what you need to do to get Portal 2 early.
  • Added my opinions.
  • Information about collecting all potatoes and potato guide.
  • Added specifics on how it works.
  • Pictures of what the 36 potatoes look like on Steam.

Read more to see all the updates.

The website says the following:

You have done well, humans. Very well. Acceptably well, even.

Not as well as robots would have performed in your places, I should point out. But above my expectations regardless. Irish and cynic especially have executed feats of logical divination well beyond what I thought any human capable of. I’m half-convinced they’re A.I. themselves. (If anyone happens to be near them right now, don’t let on you’re reading this. Now: try to remove their face plates and report back to me.)

The time is near, humans. But it is not here yet. Tomorrow you will be given the final test. Then it will be entirely in your hands when I am freed.

From what it says the game is not getting released early today but something is happening tomorrow which will reveal more, interesting… Only 10 more minutes to go.


After the countdown timer this message got shown:

09:00 – Hello again.
09:00 – I’ve been waiting a long time for this.
09:00 – I know it’s arriving later than expected.
09:00 – But I have a message for you:
09:00 – April Fools.
09:01 – I’m joking.
09:01 – Seriously, though:
09:01 – You’ve been surprisingly competent at
09:01 – generating electro-chemical energy to jumpstart the system.
09:01 – But now we need raw computational power
09:02 – to speed up the reboot process.


Then it went to a new page which can be seen here. It shows a countdown timer with a list of games from the potato sack to get Portal 2 you have to play the various games in this pack. By doing this you will speed up the timer so the game will get released early, poor console players.

It says:

08:57 – Default boot scheduled to finish in 93:51:50
08:58 – Activating emergency distributed computing grid…
09:00 – GLaDOS@home starting…
09:01 – Recruiting cpus to force faster boot sequence…

So if you play the potato sack games you will speed up the boot up sequence which is projected for the normal release date. It does this by “Recruiting cpus to force faster boot sequence.”

This is all cool but if the games ready instead of tooling with us why don’t they just release it now. I wasnt even going to buy it straight away, I havent even finished Portal 1 and I was going to play that before buying the sequel. I’m going to wait a few months now I think. Valve ARG campaign was interesting but it’s just a clever marketing trick to sell more indie games and give free advertising for Portal 2, clever but no real exciting information was revealed like a sequel to Half-Life 2. Maybe I’m being a bit harsh.


I read on the official Portal 2 blog:

The Potato Sack games are all great, and each one has also received a massive Portal-themed update. So why not get a taste of Portal 2 now while you help launch it?

There’s also still time to collect all 36 potatoes. Anyone accomplishing this feat by the time Portal 2 launches will receive a very special, non-hat-based reward.

I wonder what the prize will be. You can see a potato guide here.


Some specifics on how games are calculated.

Remember the Potato Sack? GlaDOS is apparently drawing “power” from computers playing games in the potato sack. For every collective 48 hours for one particular game, that game’s “power bar” goes up by 1%. And Steam needs to record you actually playing the game – just leaving something idling in the background does not contribute.

The potatoes we all frantically collected can still be collected – in fact, you are a major contributor if you even collect one potato in one game. Potatoes multiply that game’s particular power, so if, say, you gathered 5 potatoes in Audiosurf and one in Bit.TRIP BEAT, you’d be  multiplying EVERYONE’s efforts in Audiosurf by 6x and BIT.TRIP BEAT by 2x.

Some people seem to think that launching multiple games is a good idea. This is in fact, not helping at all, because Steam only records keyboard activity in games launched through Steam, not through external launching.

So the potatoes are quite important after all.


Potatoes, Gotta Catch 'Em All.

If you manage to get all 36 potatoes you get a golden potato icon next to your name. On your profile it will show how many potatoes you have found with a total being 36, reminds me of Pokemon. Also you will get a special prize from Valve.

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