The year is 2007. Console owners tap their fingers in barely contained impatience. For years they have been starved of Valve's delicious, full-bodied courses, forced to watch from the bleachers as Valve mixes a unique blend of kinetic first-person with extraordinary tech. Besides a brief dalliance with the original Xbox and the PlayStation 2 - which produce pale imitations of its best work - Valve has remained faithful to the PC.
And then, in a flash, five of them arrive at once; neatly packaged morsels for a new generation reared on Microsoft's & later Sony's consoles. Five games, all in one orange box. Valve serves the PC too, for it is October 18 - a day of celebration - and everyone should feast.