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Steam, why can't everything be this easy?

Old 08-09-06, 02:40 PM
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Steam, why can't everything be this easy?

I've been reluctant to try Steam because I heard of the issues it had during the HL2 launch and my computer couldn't play that game anyway. However, I've just upgraded my video card so I figure what the hell and give it a try. It is awesome! I like owning the physical media for console games because they hold their resale value longer, but I could not be happier to dl any and all PC games I want to play. I just wish Steam had more games from other developers to choose from - your Civ's, Rise of Legends, FEAR...etc.

Is there another service like Steam out there for other games? I know EA and Microsoft won't push any of their games through steam, so I wish they had their own steam like services.

It's strange but I'm much more likely to buy a PC game I'm curious through steam than I would if I had to go to the store or buy it online. Instant gratification is a powerful thing.
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Old 08-09-06, 04:43 PM
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To me the only downside to steam is the prices are not going to drop often. With PC software you can find a ton of it on sale or on clearance.

I'm considering it. I just dropped $450 upgrading my PC and the new memory, video card and sound card now make almost any game currently on the market possible. I may try the new Half Life 2 Episode 1 game at least and I definitely want Sam and Max.

Last edited by darkside; 08-09-06 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 08-09-06, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by darkside
To me the only downside to steam is the prices are not going to drop often. With PC software you can find a ton of it on sale or on clearance.
That's true, but the prices I did see were pretty reasonable. Their biggest game, HL2, is only being sold for $30 and the underdog darling Darwinia is only going for $20. So while not rock-bottom they don't seem to be price gouging either.
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Old 08-09-06, 09:26 PM
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Just looked through their catalog and I agree. The prices are definitely not bad. I've got to read more about their DRM, but if it is fair and easy to transfer a game to a future PC then I probably will buy a few titles. I really have no room for PC packaging and would prefer to just have it saved online if I have a PC crash or something. Now I just need to go and buy an Xbox360 controller to play games with.
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Old 08-09-06, 09:43 PM
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I like the concept, but I also like the idea having physical media with me. Maybe a combinaition of both would be good, with the option to purchase the CD/DVD for a couple extra bucks after downloading it online. And vice versa, so that if you buy the media it would also be available for download online.
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Old 08-09-06, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by fumanstan
I like the concept, but I also like the idea having physical media with me. Maybe a combinaition of both would be good, with the option to purchase the CD/DVD for a couple extra bucks after downloading it online. And vice versa, so that if you buy the media it would also be available for download online.
Well, then you're in luck because that's exactly the way it does work for most games. A few of the indie games are download only, but Half-Life 1, Half-Life 2, HL2: Episode 1, Counter Strike, Darwinia, Sin, Red Orchestra, and etc., are all available in stores too. Once you buy the game instores, it's added to your Steam account when you activate it, and then it can be downloaded if you ever lose the discs or just don't have them handy.
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Old 08-10-06, 12:29 AM
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XBLA comes to mind.
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Old 08-10-06, 12:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe Molotov
Well, then you're in luck because that's exactly the way it does work for most games. A few of the indie games are download only, but Half-Life 1, Half-Life 2, HL2: Episode 1, Counter Strike, Darwinia, Sin, Red Orchestra, and etc., are all available in stores too. Once you buy the game instores, it's added to your Steam account when you activate it, and then it can be downloaded if you ever lose the discs or just don't have them handy.
I never realized you could download them later (I own HL2 but never played it much). That's pretty cool, I should probably actually visit the Steam page one day. How about the other way? The option to obtain the media at a later date? That in particular would be useful versus having to deal with downloading a large game multiple times.
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Old 08-10-06, 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by fumanstan
I never realized you could download them later (I own HL2 but never played it much). That's pretty cool, I should probably actually visit the Steam page one day. How about the other way? The option to obtain the media at a later date? That in particular would be useful versus having to deal with downloading a large game multiple times.
Nah, it only works the other way around. If you buy on it Steam first, there's no way to get the box, instructions, and CD later. Valve only actually handles the digital distribution of their games (through Steam). They get other companies to distribute the hardcopies to stores.
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Old 08-10-06, 02:14 AM
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I like the idea of them putting innovative and media darling type games on steam. Gives the games more eyeballs and maybe more people would take a chance on them? I think a game like Freedom Force would have done well if placed on this service.
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Old 08-10-06, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by fumanstan
I never realized you could download them later (I own HL2 but never played it much). That's pretty cool, I should probably actually visit the Steam page one day. How about the other way? The option to obtain the media at a later date? That in particular would be useful versus having to deal with downloading a large game multiple times.
You can backup all of the games you have all ready downloaded on to CD or DVD (as far as I know). So you would only need to get the latest updates if you need to reinstall them.
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Old 08-10-06, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by boredsilly
That's true, but the prices I did see were pretty reasonable. Their biggest game, HL2, is only being sold for $30 and the underdog darling Darwinia is only going for $20. So while not rock-bottom they don't seem to be price gouging either.
And why should they gouge? If anything they should charge WAY less - there's no packaging, shipping, or physical media to worry about, so why do I have to pay $30 to download HL2, when I can buy a physical copy at a store for $20?

Another bummer is that they won't let you play the downloaded version of the game any sooner than you can buy it at the store - even though the game is ready way before it even ships to stores, you still have to wait until it's "release" date to play it if you downloaded it.
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Old 08-10-06, 11:03 AM
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Question... I got HL2 when it first came out through a code I got when I purchased my video card.. I downloaded it and played it etc.. This was over a year ago..

I recently upgraded my PC, didn't backup any of my HL2 stuff (didn't really want to).. Am I able to dload it again on this new PC??
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Old 08-10-06, 11:11 AM
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As long as you have your username/password to log into steam (or e-mail address to reconfigure it), you can redownload any games you have previously purchased as many times as you want, on any computer you want.
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Old 08-10-06, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by RichC2
As long as you have your username/password to log into steam (or e-mail address to reconfigure it), you can redownload any games you have previously purchased as many times as you want, on any computer you want.
Cool!

What would keep me from downloading the game on every friend's computer then? I'm assuming online play wouldn't work all at once but I would also assume they would have some sort of protection against downloading copies on 100's of computers eh?
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Old 08-10-06, 01:25 PM
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What would keep me from downloading the game on every friend's computer then? I'm assuming online play wouldn't work all at once but I would also assume they would have some sort of protection against downloading copies on 100's of computers eh?
Nothing afaik, you can download the game and enable the Offline feature.
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Old 08-10-06, 05:16 PM
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EA has a STEAM-like program called EA Downloader.

https://account.ea.com/commerce/main...e&app=homepage
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Old 08-11-06, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by slop101
If anything they should charge WAY less - there's no packaging, shipping, or physical media to worry about, so why do I have to pay $30 to download HL2, when I can buy a physical copy at a store for $20?
I'm not surprised there is some disparity between in-store prices and online prices. Unless that particular store marked down the game, then the prices should at least be the same price across the board (but cheaper across steam). I would be curious to see how much money it costs them to have to customers either ship/package a game versus downloading it. These are big honking files we're talking about so it's not like that's free, though surely cheaper than having to deal with physical media.

Another bummer is that they won't let you play the downloaded version of the game any sooner than you can buy it at the store - even though the game is ready way before it even ships to stores, you still have to wait until it's "release" date to play it if you downloaded it.
That's probaby just to have a universal launch. So as to not undercut B&M retail stores. Just like game stores not putting out games even early (usually) even though they get them sometimes a week in advance. That doesn't bother me.

It does have it's kinks, but I like what I'm seeing so far.

Last edited by boredsilly; 08-11-06 at 06:13 AM.
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Old 08-11-06, 07:51 AM
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The stores marking games down thing is still the sticking point for me. I just bought Oblivion for the PC and was able to grab a new copy online for $26 because the box got dented. This is not a deal I could get with a digital download.

However, I notice that Steam marked down episode one of Sin to $14.95 so price drops do happen online. If anything I may do the episode games like Half Life and Sam and Max (not sure if steam is offering this one) through Steam.
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Old 08-11-06, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by darkside
If anything I may do the episode games like Half Life and Sam and Max (not sure if steam is offering this one) through Steam.
I read in CGW that Sam and Max will be on Gametap, new episode every month for the $10 a month Gametap sub.

I really like how steam works, but it sure is a pain with dial-up. Though it isn't that hard to download things at work and transfer them to the home computer.
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Old 08-11-06, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by slop101
And why should they gouge? If anything they should charge WAY less - there's no packaging, shipping, or physical media to worry about, so why do I have to pay $30 to download HL2, when I can buy a physical copy at a store for $20?

Another bummer is that they won't let you play the downloaded version of the game any sooner than you can buy it at the store - even though the game is ready way before it even ships to stores, you still have to wait until it's "release" date to play it if you downloaded it.
there are a lot of costs involved with all the infrastructure like servers, bandwidth, security etc. not saying they don't make more money via steam, but it's not like it doesn't cost them anything. One advantage from their point of view is that stores mark down inventory so it doesn't take up space. they don't have to do it online since there is no store space to take up. only reason to mark something down would be to increase sales if they were interested in increasing sales of a game.
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Old 08-11-06, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Nifty03
I read in CGW that Sam and Max will be on Gametap, new episode every month for the $10 a month Gametap sub.
It will be possible to buy Sam and Max without going through Gametap, but it may only be sold directly from them.

I may give gametap a shot though.
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