Steam Winter Sale kicks off with deals on The Witcher 3, Metal Gear Solid V, and more

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It’s time for that yearly tradition. The clock rolls over to 10 a.m. Pacific Time and then...F5. F5. F5F5F5F5F5F5. In other words, the 2015 Winter Steam Sale started up this morning, as expected. Thanks to PayPal as always for leaking the date ahead of time.

As with the Fall sale last month, Valve is still experimenting with a new format for the Winter Steam Sale: No Daily Deals, no Flash Deals, no Community Choice. Whatever’s on sale the first day, those are the prices you’ll see straight through until January 4 when this ends. Valve pushes some deals to the front page but it’s just for discovery purposes.

Further reading: The 10 best games of 2015

Boring, I know. But Valve’s trying to tempt you with trading cards, giving you (a bit) of a reason to come back every day. Exploring your Discovery Queue each day will reward you with three free trading cards.

It’s not exactly a thrilling metagame like Valve’s devised in the past, but given that trading cards can be sold on the marketplace it’s pretty much equivalent to Valve paying you to look through the store. Not bad.

There are also some decent deals, regardless of how you feel about the loss of time-sensitive bargains.The Witcher 3 is back to 50 percent off (or $30). Metal Gear Solid V is down to $40. Civilization V is $13 with all the expansions. Rocket League is $14.

There’s less excitement. Less glam. But cheap games are cheap games, no matter how they’re sold. We’ll keep you updated if we spot any other great deals, hidden among the chaff.

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