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Digital distribution--you don't have to leave your apt.!

Dangerou-DaveDangerou-Dave __BANNED USERS regular
edited July 2009 in Games and Technology
So it's occurred to me recently how amazing digital distribution is. As a PC gamer, there are plenty of options already. Direct2Drive, Steam, Good old Games all offer new and old games for purchase. I've known about this, but for some reason it's never occurred to me to buy games this way.

I'm just now getting into the whole thing, so I was wondering what avenues you guys take to buy your games digitally...or where you think the trend is going.

As far as I can tell, one of the biggest thing going for digital distribution is the hot ass deals. Weekend Sales, play-for-free-periods and 3-day-price-drops abound. It's great. I'm debating picking up Mount and Blade (as seen in the pic) for seven bucks as I type--and Left4Dead was marked down ridiculously cheap last week on Steam.

What makes me a believer is the fact that tonight, I was bored...I pulled out my debit card, and five minutes later I'm downloading a new game onto my computer. It's like I've suddenly realized this awesome means of purchasing content that's been under my nose all along.

d2d.jpg

So yeah. Cloud, Steam, GoG, etc. etc. etc. What do you guys think?

Edit: Ah, I've been a member of Gametap for about a year, but they have really let me down. Their PC games aren't Windows Vista-64 compatible.

Yes, that's the same OS that's been shipping out of just about every decent new PC for the last year.

Dangerou-Dave on
«13456

Posts

  • StericaSterica Yes Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited May 2009
    Steam is the love of my life. Just a very nice interface and the Steam Community is a great feature with some nice new stuff out.

    Digital was my lifeline when my DVD drive crapped out and I refused to buy a new one. The scary thing is that it wasn't games that got me to finally buy one...since in broke back in 2007 I have yet to have a reason to use a DVD for a game.

    It's definitely a mainstay in gaming once some growing pains get sorted out (DRM), but I don't think brick-and-mortar is going anywhere just yet.

    Sterica on
    YL9WnCY.png
  • Dangerou-DaveDangerou-Dave __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2009
    I also prefer Steam over any other. Especially since I've gone through multiple computers since signing up. All I have to do when I get a new PC is download the ~50mb Steam Client...log in to my account, and there are all my games waiting for me to download. No fuss.

    I've found Direct2Drive has the best selection, though. They have crazy amounts of awesome games. The download speeds are pretty inconsistent, though. They average around 500kb/s, but it'll swing as high as 1mb/s and as low as 100-200kb/s. 200kb/s seems decently fast, but that'll take several hours for a PC game.

    Dangerou-Dave on
  • StericaSterica Yes Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited May 2009
    Now, EA abandoned their own service and went to Steam, right? Because getting the Spore Creature Creator last year was was a ridiculous hassle.

    If it still exists: act as if it didn't.

    Sterica on
    YL9WnCY.png
  • AnteCantelopeAnteCantelope Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    My current internet connection charges me 2c/Mb. If I tried to download the game in that picture, I'd have to pay over $100. That's not including buying the actual game.

    I'll stick to brick-and-mortar stores for now, I think.

    AnteCantelope on
  • Dangerou-DaveDangerou-Dave __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2009
    My current internet connection charges me 2c/Mb. If I tried to download the game in that picture, I'd have to pay over $100. That's not including buying the actual game.

    I'll stick to brick-and-mortar stores for now, I think.

    You speak of some sort of internet hell

    Dangerou-Dave on
  • AnteCantelopeAnteCantelope Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    My current internet connection charges me 2c/Mb. If I tried to download the game in that picture, I'd have to pay over $100. That's not including buying the actual game.

    I'll stick to brick-and-mortar stores for now, I think.

    You speak of some sort of internet hell

    It's a university connection.

    So, yes.

    AnteCantelope on
  • RainbowDespairRainbowDespair Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    This week I got Plants vs. Zombies via Steam and Halfbrick Echoes from XNA Community Games. Both are fantastic games and combined cost $12.50. I think it's safe to say that I love digital distribution.

    RainbowDespair on
  • SteevLSteevL What can I do for you? Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Digital distribution must suck in places with metered internet.

    As for me, it is extremely rare for me to buy a PC game if it's not on Steam. I have bought so much stuff on there. Sometimes I even buy stuff for other people because it's so cheap. I remember buying Audiosurf when it was on sale for 3 bucks for both my fiancee and her brother.

    SteevL on
  • Dangerou-DaveDangerou-Dave __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2009
    I have a hard time buying stuff on XBLA.

    I try entering in my credit card information, and I can't get the address I enter in and the address on my card to match up, so it won't let me make purchases.

    What I mean is, I've lived in four different apartments in the last five years, and so I really don't know what the hell I'm supposed to enter in to XBL. Even if I do get the right address, it has to match up exactly, and I have no idea if it's entered in as...130 E Jefferson. 130 East Jefferson...130 East Jefferson St...130 East Jefferson Street, etc. etc.

    So basically I just keep getting the message that my address doesn't match the one for my credit card. I probably could sort this out with my bank, but I've just reverted to PC digital distribution instead.

    Dangerou-Dave on
  • NappuccinoNappuccino Surveyor of Things and Stuff Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    digital dl is only cool if a) the game is not in print anymore or b) at a price much lower than the instore price considering you aren't buying a physical think you actually get to have

    Nappuccino on
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  • OlivawOlivaw good name, isn't it? the foot of mt fujiRegistered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I love Steam

    I love the convenience of buying games and knowing that they'll always exist for me, come what may

    I love not having to keep track of fucking discs and serial keys and all that bullshit

    I hate requiring an internet connection and subsequent "activation" for single player games or games with optional multiplayer when you bought it in a brick-and-mortar store

    Olivaw on
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  • Dangerou-DaveDangerou-Dave __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2009
    Nappuccino wrote: »
    digital dl is only cool if a) the game is not in print anymore or b) at a price much lower than the instore price considering you aren't buying a physical think you actually get to have

    See, I couldn't care less about owning a physical copy of the product, similar to my purchasing of music on itunes.

    There was a time when I was younger when I might have, but...yeah...

    As far as the 'it's only cool if it's a game that's not in print' thing...Why wouldn't you want more places to buy the games you want to play? Go buy it in a store if you want, but the fact that you can buy, install and play Fallout 3--all while sitting on your PC--is pretty fuckin' rad.

    Dangerou-Dave on
  • taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Nappuccino wrote: »
    digital dl is only cool if a) the game is not in print anymore or b) at a price much lower than the instore price considering you aren't buying a physical think you actually get to have
    if i have to choose between a digital copy w/ a pdf manual i can redownload anytime or a physical copy with a box i'll just throw away and a manual that'll just sit somewhere and take up space and discs that can be lost for the exact same price i'll go digital distro anytime. Unfortunately since i live in canada steams prices tend to 10$ higher than physical copies..so yeah fuck that.

    taliosfalcon on
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  • Dangerou-DaveDangerou-Dave __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2009
    Wow, I'm incredibly disappointed.

    The only reason I bought Supreme Commander tonight digitally is because I am going to have zero time for games over the next several days, and I wanted a quick new game to zombie-out on tonight.

    4gb into my download, my computer totally freezes up...which has actually never happened before (As in, not even ctrl alt del worked)

    After the restart, the download begins from 0%? Are you fucking serious? Here's to another four hours of waiting, I guess...

    Sorry to go all pissy-pants, but I'm under like, ulcer-inducing stress right now...and tonight was my only night to game before the next several days of working my ass off.

    Dangerou-Dave on
  • Dangerou-DaveDangerou-Dave __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2009
    Hm, I just noticed the original file is still on my desktop, too.
    dsdds.jpg



    The first file is like 4gigs out of 5 complete...and the second is the redux download that's only at 15% or so.

    Notice the complete lack of any sort of file/settings/tools menu on D2D's download client. I can't find any conceivable way for it to pick up where it left off on the file that's nearly completed.

    Dangerou-Dave on
  • exoplasmexoplasm Gainfully Employed Near Blizzard HQRegistered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I'm enjoying my steam purchases thus far.

    I'm wary of XBL purchases, though. And to some extent Steam.

    What happens when your account gets screwed up? My original XBL account disappeared into the Microsoft Abyss of No Recovery because I didn't log in for 3 months even though I paid for a whole year. If I had bought any digital downloads on that account I would be supremely bummed out.

    And what about steam? What if my account were to be banned or something because of a pissed off server admin in some game (may be a stretch, I dunno)? All the games I bought would be no longer available to me if that happened.

    Other than that I think digital downloads are better than boxed games. I mean besides collector editions when has a boxed copy been worth the trip to the store/mailbox? The only time I've bought one recently is because it was cheaper than steam (e.g. on amazon or gogamer).

    Also metered bandwidth is a crime against humanity.

    exoplasm on
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  • JandaruJandaru New ZealandRegistered User regular
    edited May 2009
    exoplasm wrote: »
    Other than that I think digital downloads are better than boxed games. I mean besides collector editions when has a boxed copy been worth the trip to the store/mailbox?
    It's still quicker than downloading. Even if I walk all the way to the store and back.

    Jandaru on
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  • EvilBadmanEvilBadman DO NOT TRUST THIS MAN Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    exoplasm wrote: »
    I'm enjoying my steam purchases thus far.

    I'm wary of XBL purchases, though. And to some extent Steam.

    What happens when your account gets screwed up? My original XBL account disappeared into the Microsoft Abyss of No Recovery because I didn't log in for 3 months even though I paid for a whole year. If I had bought any digital downloads on that account I would be supremely bummed out.

    And what about steam? What if my account were to be banned or something because of a pissed off server admin in some game (may be a stretch, I dunno)? All the games I bought would be no longer available to me if that happened.

    Other than that I think digital downloads are better than boxed games. I mean besides collector editions when has a boxed copy been worth the trip to the store/mailbox? The only time I've bought one recently is because it was cheaper than steam (e.g. on amazon or gogamer).

    Also metered bandwidth is a crime against humanity.

    XBL games are tied to the System ID and LIVE ID. One of these must be active to work. If you're offline on the original system the game was downloaded on/for, it still works.

    Also, no server admin can negate all your steam purchases.

    EvilBadman on
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  • UnbreakableVowUnbreakableVow Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I'm all about digital distribution on consoles.

    Sony pretty much has DRM right as far as this goes. Microsoft kinda has it right (sorta). Wii? I'm not even sure.

    To compare:

    Microsoft
    - I can buy a game on a console and anyone can play it on that console, on any Gamertag, offline or not.
    - However, if you buy something on your old system and then the system shits out (as 360s are prone to do sometimes), you can only play it on that Gamertag online.
    - This is, unless, you do a DRM transfer.
    - But you can only do one DRM transfer a year.
    - I've had three 360s within one year before.

    It's really not a problem if you don't have insanely bad luck with the consoles themselves.


    Sony
    - If I buy something on a console, anyone can play it on that console, on any PSN ID, online or off.
    - If my PS3 shit out, I could log into my account on my new PS3 and download it again, and I can continue playing it on any PSN ID, online or off.
    - You can activate your account on up to five consoles.

    The only problem with Sony's really is that it's easier to exploit and give free things to your friend. But then again, every friend you give things to is one less system for you to activate an account on if you have bad luck with consoles.

    UnbreakableVow on
  • GMaster7GMaster7 Goggles Paesano Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Love Digital Distribution. LOVE it. I know that a lot of people here mention that it's important to them to own a physical copy, but with Steam, for example, your account always has the products tied to it, so... I would have a problem with it if purchases were tied to a computer, but since it's account-based, I think it's rad. I love it. It's slick, it's easy, it saves space, and I'm a sucker for downloadables. I love being connected to the rest of the community.

    I'm thrilled with the way the new Battle.net works, too. I probably won't be throwing away my old boxed Blizzard games, but the ability to tie them to my account and download them whenever I want is great for revisiting old games when I get that itch without digging them out or having to keep them close at hand.

    Really hoping that consoles get serious about downloadables - Sony's impressing me most with their recent Patapon 2 downloadable-only test and rumors of an all-downloads PSP2, but I love WiiWare and XBLA, too.

    GMaster7 on
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  • CherrnCherrn Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I pretty much stopped giving a shit about physical copies the moment the standard changed to shitty DVD cases with no actual content within.

    That said, digital distribution has its own problems. I do love Steam and GoG, but I really don't want to have to go to 3 different other services because they each have one game I want. The entire point, to me, is to keep all your games in one place, and have them ready at the click of a button. If it isn't convenient, there is little point.

    I also hate all this "number of activations" nonsense. I have an account on Adventure Shop, which is a pretty good site, but each link you receive can only be used 3 times. You can just mail them to get some more, but there must be another way to do it.

    Cherrn on
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  • Lucky CynicLucky Cynic Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I much prefer digital distribution that does NOT have a program. Steam is just irritating. I really prefer stuff like Greenhouse. A website, you log in, buy something and download. No need to have elaborate programs that never actually uninstall and have to be running 24/7 in order to play your games. :|

    Lucky Cynic on
  • VistiVisti Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I've had a dedicated production machine for a number of years. It's streamlined to do what it does and that is music production. But I have to admit, I've installed a couple of games on it over the years. Now, for it to not be distracting, I've not had internet on it. At all. My only powerful desktop computer. Now for kicks and because it needs a good reformatting I plugged a cable into it and started exploring online gaming and digital distribution.

    Holy fuck.

    I've been missing out.

    Visti on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • FightTestFightTest Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I'll take digital distribution over a hard copy every time provided I'm allowed to download it whenever I want.

    I find driving 30 minutes to the nearest electronics/game store a giant hassle (and who even knows if they'll have what I want). I have no interest in displaying my collection of games on a shelf. Hard copies just end up in a clumsy pile in a nook below my computer desk until I get sick of looking at shit I haven't touched in years and throw them away.

    Hard copies are definitely on the way out. I imagine something like what NIN/Radiohead did will occur where most people just pay for the digital version but you can pay extra and have a hard copy shipped to you if you're a collector.

    FightTest on
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  • Dangerou-DaveDangerou-Dave __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2009
    Not to bump a somewhat old thread, but I wanted to ask if anyone knows of a sort of list of all the sites available to buy PC game downloads. I only really know of GOG, Steam and Direct 2 Drive...oh, and Greenhouse, but it caters toward smaller indie games.

    I ask because different sites have drastically different selections and run different deals on different games.

    It's a pretty big disparity too.

    The Titan Quest expansion pack is $20 on Steam right now...but on D2D, you can get Titan Quest + the expansion for the same price.

    Dangerou-Dave on
  • LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Sorry to be a bit of a shill, but I write a weekly post for Rock Paper Shotgun, called the Bargain Bucket. You can see them here.

    It has a run down of all the best deals each weekend, across all of the DD places. Might be a good place to start.

    LewieP on
  • Dangerou-DaveDangerou-Dave __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2009
    LewieP wrote: »
    Sorry to be a bit of a shill, but I write a weekly post for Rock Paper Shotgun, called the Bargain Bucket. You can see them here.

    It has a run down of all the best deals each weekend, across all of the DD places. Might be a good place to start.

    No that helped a lot, thanks. I visited and am already finding new sites. Just found Stardock's service.

    Digital distribution is the bee's fuckin' knees. So many sales...

    Dangerou-Dave on
  • capable heartcapable heart Registered User regular
    edited September 2021
    deleted

    capable heart on
  • Dangerou-DaveDangerou-Dave __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2009
    Ah, Steam has it labeled "Titan Quest" but I see now after clicking on it it's Titan Quest Gold (with the expansion).

    Also, buying Dark Messiah Might and Magic at the moment. All I can say is it was 10$, and I can't pass off chopping up some goblins for the price of lunch.

    I keep going back and forth on Neverwinter Nights 2, Sacred 2 (Big Diablo/clone fan), Titan Quest (Played a lot of this, but it just seems so soulless sometimes) and X3. Price is a big factor, otherwise I'd buy some newer games like the Witcher or Demigod in a heartbeat.
    I really should have picked up Mount and Blade when it was 40% off last weekend...

    Dangerou-Dave on
  • SmurphSmurph Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I got Half Life 2 for Christmas when it came out. The box came with Counter Strike: Source as well, which was awesome. I register them both with steam so I can use it to find CS servers. Then I don't play the games for many years while computers get replaced and hard drives get formatted and discs probably get lost. A while ago I reinstall Steam because people on this forum talk about it often and voila: my 4 year old games are sitting there ready to download. Blew my mind.

    Smurph on
  • EvanderEvander Disappointed Father Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    As far as I can tell, one of the biggest thing going for digital distribution is the hot ass deals. Weekend Sales, play-for-free-periods and 3-day-price-drops abound. It's great. I'm debating picking up Mount and Blade (as seen in the pic) for seven bucks as I type--and Left4Dead was marked down ridiculously cheap last week on Steam.

    That's nothing compared to the deals that you can find on physical media, though. DigiDistro also means the end of clearance sales, since there is no such thing as overstock.



    There are definitely convenience benefits to DigiDistro, but there are also serious downsides for consumers in the form of less control over the market and the removal of resale value, among others.

    Evander on
  • DisDis Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Physical Media is still cheaper than Digital Media.
    If digital distro wants more of my money they need to learn to price match.

    US$39.99 for L4D on STEAM
    vs
    US$26.99 on Amazon

    Dis on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I mostly agree. Buying all your gamea DD is moe expensive than buying all your games retail. However, buying moat of your games retail, and then getting weekend specials, and other special offers is the best way to get the most for your money.

    LewieP on
  • vrstvrst Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I hate digital distribution. I buy all my games retail because it's faster, more reliable, often cheaper, I don't have to be online to play them AND I get the physical copy.

    vrst on
  • Tooter-FishTooter-Fish Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Direct2Drive fan here, I like to actually be able to play my games when my internet connection is down.

    Tooter-Fish on
  • capable heartcapable heart Registered User regular
    edited September 2021
    deleted

    capable heart on
  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I love being able to get crunked up, open Steam, find an awesome looking game, buy it, download it while I watch a movie, and then play it an hour later.

    Robman on
  • Tooter-FishTooter-Fish Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Direct2Drive fan here, I like to actually be able to play my games when my internet connection is down.

    Steam does this, too. The only time you have to go online with Steam is when you download (and hence, activate) a particular game.

    Plus with Steam, unlike D2D, you get unlimited re-downloads and re-installs. And you don't have to wait for special patches (edit: usually).

    Hmm, maybe I need to dig deeper into the settings. I usually play MMOs but when my internet goes down I usually take that time to play some of my single player games but Steam games won't start for me w/o an internet connection.

    Tooter-Fish on
  • LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    The best scenario is getting retail games which can be registered on Steam, but don't need to be, and cost less than the Steam price. I love doing that.

    LewieP on
  • zilozilo Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    FightTest wrote: »
    Hard copies are definitely on the way out. I imagine something like what NIN/Radiohead did will occur where most people just pay for the digital version but you can pay extra and have a hard copy shipped to you if you're a collector.

    Stardock does this. It's pretty neat.

    So I can't get into how or where I got this information so believe me or not, but retail sales dwarf digital sales by a huge, huge margin that hasn't varied much over the past few years. The top games on Steam sell maybe a few thousand copies a month, versus hundreds of thousands at retail. Keep that in mind when prophesying the downfall of B&M software sales.

    As far as the industry is concerned, it's a compelling business model that is a long, long way from catching on. I sure love it though. I haven't bought a game in a box for ages.

    zilo on
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