Jimquisition: Why PC Gaming Gets Away With It

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Why PC Gaming Gets Away With It

The Xbox One no longer enforces restrictions on used games, but the debate over console DRM is not over. One lingering question is this -- why are consoles criticized, but PC gets away with it?

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Man, do I miss the days when I could just pick up and play on my consoles without all the bullshit.

You gotta fight,
For your Right,
To Digitaaaaaaaaaaaaaal Management!

Also because a lot of gamers are horny adolescents: They can't wait to jump XXXbones.

So, basically, "PC is an open platform that needs the added security. Consoles are closed platforms that do not deserve any more security."

I'm still mad that retail PC games just come with Steam codes now. I remember being able to install... hell. Even Fallout 3 on multiple people's computers at once, and now everything is bolted to a single account instead. Fair enough, I guess, there's a demand for Steampowered games, but... yeah. I'm still annoyed about that.

I guess people like me installing Fallout 3 on multiple people's computers at once are sort of what justified that. Again, the openness of the PC platform dictates that gates have to be closed somewhere. The fact that you can just literally copy the files of old PC games over with absolutely no hassle at all really does make DRM a necessity, and since it is all circumvented eventually anyway, it makes making that DRM appealing in some way to buy into even more of a necessity. Steam's greatest achievement is that it has made people WANT games to use Steam; it has made people WANT a DRM-flavoured copy of their games. Huh.

Jimothy Sterling:
Why PC Gaming Gets Away With It

The Xbox One no longer enforces restrictions on used games, but the debate over console DRM is not over. One lingering question is this -- why are consoles criticized, but PC gets away with it?

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Competition is good for consumers?
*GASP*
HERESY
MONOPOLIES WILL BRING US FULLFILMENT AND ENLIGHTEN US ALL, STOP THIS CONFUSING NONSENSE ABOUT "CHOICE" AND "BENEFITTING THE CONSUMER".

Also: Jim, you wanna take part in one of the next "failcasts"?

Andy of Comix Inc:
So, basically, "PC is an open platform that needs the added security. Consoles are closed platforms that do not deserve any more security."

I'm still mad that retail PC games just come with Steam codes now. I remember being able to install... hell. Even Fallout 3 on multiple people's computers at once, and now everything is bolted to a single account instead. Fair enough, I guess, there's a demand for Steampowered games, but... yeah. I'm still annoyed about that.

Are you sur you can't just use your steam account elsewhere? I know it's added contrivance but you can still install from disk too with steam so you don't need to download it, so I'm pretty sure you can have it on someone else's computer.

Yeah, it astounds me that people are seeing PC Gaming as getting away with it.

Still, a good video Jim, even if I am baffled by it's apparent necessity.

canadamus_prime:
Man, do I miss the days when I could just pick up and play on my consoles without all the bullshit.

Hear, Hear. I miss the times of old SNES, where you would just pop in the cartridge and play. No loading times, no bullshit.

Jim, what is it with you and shrimps? They seem to pop up a lot in your videos.

I don't really post on The Escapist, but can I just say that Steam is an absolute rip off when it comes to new games. In fact over in Ireland Gamestop can undercut Steam with a physical retail copy of a PC game by €20 euro. I never understood the myth about Steam being this bastion of excellence and the main reason to own a PC.

Sure, it has those great sales and they are great, but if I want a game upon release I would have to wait up to a year before it becomes anyway affordable on Steam.

Honestly, with Steam. I really just don't get it. Someone enlighten me, please.

Not to mention that you can put together a gaming PC for the price of a console these days.

So consoles don't even have the lower price point to make them attractive.

Oh...I thought it was obvious too...I just assumed everyone decrying it was hired by Microsoft and had since plugged my ears to it. Oh well, thanks for clearing it up for the lemmings Jim.

LaochEire:
I don't really post on The Escapist, but can I just say that Steam is an absolute rip off when it comes to new games. In fact over in Ireland Gamestop can undercut Steam with a physical retail copy of a PC game by €20 euro. I never understood the myth about Steam being this bastion of excellence and the main reason to own a PC.

Sure, it has those great sales and they are great, but if I want a game upon release I would have to wait up to a year before it becomes anyway affordable on Steam.

Honestly, with Steam. I really just don't get it. Someone enlighten me, please.

Steam is really for people who don't buy on release anyway I find. No one I know does. We're all old and decrepit and don't have the time in our lives to play games on day 1 or even WEEK 1. :P

Also Skyrim was going for cheaper on the PC than the consoles on day one. That was a thing. :)
Got it for 20 quid.

So it really depends on the pressure from the publisher/developer, they decide for steam, not the other way around, then when steam is given the go ahead for a pricecut/sale, they tend to do it.

I was hoping he would make a video about it. I gave up on explaining it on forums. Now I can just link to this video.

Andy of Comix Inc:
So, basically, "PC is an open platform that needs the added security. Consoles are closed platforms that do not deserve any more security."

I'm still mad that retail PC games just come with Steam codes now. I remember being able to install... hell. Even Fallout 3 on multiple people's computers at once, and now everything is bolted to a single account instead. Fair enough, I guess, there's a demand for Steampowered games, but... yeah. I'm still annoyed about that.

I guess people like me installing Fallout 3 on multiple people's computers at once are sort of what justified that. Again, the openness of the PC platform dictates that gates have to be closed somewhere. The fact that you can just literally copy the files of old PC games over with absolutely no hassle at all really does make DRM a necessity, and since it is all circumvented eventually anyway, it makes making that DRM appealing in some way to buy into even more of a necessity. Steam's greatest achievement is that it has made people WANT games to use Steam; it has made people WANT a DRM-flavoured copy of their games. Huh.

As a supporter of Steam (maybe even a fan), I do agree that Steam exclusivity is bad for us, and that the retail option should remain. Sadly, it seems that publishers won't release a game on the PC without some anti-piracy measure, and Steam seems to be the most consumer-friendly that they'll accept.

mike1921:

Andy of Comix Inc:
I'm still mad that retail PC games just come with Steam codes now. I remember being able to install... hell. Even Fallout 3 on multiple people's computers at once, and now everything is bolted to a single account instead. Fair enough, I guess, there's a demand for Steampowered games, but... yeah. I'm still annoyed about that.

Are you sur you can't just use your steam account elsewhere? I know it's added contrivance but you can still install from disk too with steam so you don't need to download it, so I'm pretty sure you can have it on someone else's computer.

Oh. Actually, I'm thinking about more sharing between multiple people, not just installing on multiple computers.

You know Jim, I used to not like you when you got started.

Now I've been following you through this whole XBone thing. Thanks for showing the people who didn't get it, why they should be pissed (though there were no shortage of angry people) I mean that in earnest, I misjudged you, and I feel that was in err on my part.

Thank god for you Jim, keep fighting the good fight.

Now I'm gonna go through your video back log...

Captcha: miles to go - damned right captcha... damned right...

LaochEire:
I don't really post on The Escapist, but can I just say that Steam is an absolute rip off when it comes to new games. In fact over in Ireland Gamestop can undercut Steam with a physical retail copy of a PC game by €20 euro. I never understood the myth about Steam being this bastion of excellence and the main reason to own a PC.

Sure, it has those great sales and they are great, but if I want a game upon release I would have to wait up to a year before it becomes anyway affordable on Steam.

Honestly, with Steam. I really just don't get it. Someone enlighten me, please.

Dunno. Maybe it's different on the other side of the Atlantic. In my case, the only games I can count on seeing in store on release day are those made by Blizzard and those with the words "of Duty" in the title. Amazon takes a week to get stuff shipped over here, so if I want something on release day, digital is my only option.

canadamus_prime:
Man, do I miss the days when I could just pick up and play on my consoles without all the bullshit.

Me to, I REALLY miss backwards compatability... I also have no experience with gaming PC's so I found this vid quit informative, thanks Jim.

canadamus_prime:
Man, do I miss the days when I could just pick up and play on my consoles without all the bullshit.

I've just stopped buying games that don't allow for that.
I think one of the better pure console experiences nowadays is PS Vita with it's cartridges.

Andy of Comix Inc:

mike1921:

Andy of Comix Inc:
I'm still mad that retail PC games just come with Steam codes now. I remember being able to install... hell. Even Fallout 3 on multiple people's computers at once, and now everything is bolted to a single account instead. Fair enough, I guess, there's a demand for Steampowered games, but... yeah. I'm still annoyed about that.

Are you sur you can't just use your steam account elsewhere? I know it's added contrivance but you can still install from disk too with steam so you don't need to download it, so I'm pretty sure you can have it on someone else's computer.

Oh. Actually, I'm thinking about more sharing between multiple people, not just installing on multiple computers.

Well yeah, you aren't really supposed to do that. Never were. There just wasn't really anything stopping people until authentication came into play.

LaochEire:
I don't really post on The Escapist, but can I just say that Steam is an absolute rip off when it comes to new games. In fact over in Ireland Gamestop can undercut Steam with a physical retail copy of a PC game by €20 euro. I never understood the myth about Steam being this bastion of excellence and the main reason to own a PC.

Sure, it has those great sales and they are great, but if I want a game upon release I would have to wait up to a year before it becomes anyway affordable on Steam.

Honestly, with Steam. I really just don't get it. Someone enlighten me, please.

Here man I live in Ireland too and your a bit wide of the mark really. I have seen copies of terraria go for €25 quid in GS while it's standard price on steam is €9.99 also GS matches the price for most new releases.......except COD which is €10 cheaper than steam for some reason. GS Ireland really can't give a fuck about PC games and as an ex employee I can attest to that I mean there is literally a 1x1 foot spinning shelf thing in my local GS for PC games and most other stores the PC games are hidden away from view while the Steam vouchers are right in your face as you walk in.

LaochEire:
I don't really post on The Escapist, but can I just say that Steam is an absolute rip off when it comes to new games. In fact over in Ireland Gamestop can undercut Steam with a physical retail copy of a PC game by €20 euro. I never understood the myth about Steam being this bastion of excellence and the main reason to own a PC.

Sure, it has those great sales and they are great, but if I want a game upon release I would have to wait up to a year before it becomes anyway affordable on Steam.

Honestly, with Steam. I really just don't get it. Someone enlighten me, please.

Not sure if thats a Republic of Ireland thing, sometimes you can pick up a retail copy of a game cheaper than Steam in the UK. It depends but usually the prices are much of a muchness, they float between the £25-35 at places like Amazon and the same on Steam. Steam titles are often £5 cheaper if you pre-order, you can see them jump from £30 to £5 after release.

Forget the game specialist retail chains though, they don't even bother stocking PC games most the time. Sometimes they will get a copy if you pre-order, then they demand a deposit for the privilege. So instead of making it cheaper by pre-ordering I have to hand cash over before I even get the game.

Ah, now there's a good Jim, at least I have a handy reference for when this argument pops up again.

Man these consoles are becoming tricky things now. Console gamers are running out of excuses to not go PC.

LaochEire:
Honestly, with Steam. I really just don't get it. Someone enlighten me, please.

You didn't mention which titles, specifically. Or your geographic location. But to those you can probably blame the publisher. If they have a console release for the same game, Gamestop tightens the vices on their nutbags and won't allow them to undercut their prices, regardless of what platform that version is for.

Also, Steam is still somehow obligated to screw over Australian consumers, I tried researching why and I still don't get it, but a friend in another country may be able to purchase the game in their location and "gift" you the code. That's a thing. (Stupid but yeah....)

canadamus_prime:
Man, do I miss the days when I could just pick up and play on my consoles without all the bullshit.

Yeah, that's why I've moved back to playing on the PC. At least I can get the benefits of PC gaming along with the bullshit, where now with consoles it's the bullshit of PC gaming without any of the benefits.

How I play PS2 games: Put disk in tray, play.

How I play PS3/360 games: Update console, put disk in tray, update game, play.

How I play PC games: Install/download it, update it, faff about to get it to work (not always needed, though), play.

Andy of Comix Inc:

mike1921:

Andy of Comix Inc:
I'm still mad that retail PC games just come with Steam codes now. I remember being able to install... hell. Even Fallout 3 on multiple people's computers at once, and now everything is bolted to a single account instead. Fair enough, I guess, there's a demand for Steampowered games, but... yeah. I'm still annoyed about that.

Are you sur you can't just use your steam account elsewhere? I know it's added contrivance but you can still install from disk too with steam so you don't need to download it, so I'm pretty sure you can have it on someone else's computer.

Oh. Actually, I'm thinking about more sharing between multiple people, not just installing on multiple computers.

Rumors are that steam are developing that feature. I'm glad because then my family can play my games from my steam account. If they do this, I'm not even considering a console anymore. Too much of a waste. The only thing handicapping my PC exclusivity is not being able to share/play with my family.

LaochEire:
I don't really post on The Escapist, but can I just say that Steam is an absolute rip off when it comes to new games. In fact over in Ireland Gamestop can undercut Steam with a physical retail copy of a PC game by €20 euro. I never understood the myth about Steam being this bastion of excellence and the main reason to own a PC.

Sure, it has those great sales and they are great, but if I want a game upon release I would have to wait up to a year before it becomes anyway affordable on Steam.

Honestly, with Steam. I really just don't get it. Someone enlighten me, please.

Personally, I don't buy most of my games on release. I just wait for sales, and get it for much cheaper than in any store in my country. It usually takes about half a year for a AAA game to get a sale, but I'm usually in no rush to get a game. If I do want to get a game on day 1, I might preorder physical a special edition, unless Steam has a much better offer.

Many countries don't have PC games at the low prices that you described - especially on day 1. Here in Israel, games usually cost x1.5 of their US price.

LaochEire:
I don't really post on The Escapist, but can I just say that Steam is an absolute rip off when it comes to new games. In fact over in Ireland Gamestop can undercut Steam with a physical retail copy of a PC game by €20 euro. I never understood the myth about Steam being this bastion of excellence and the main reason to own a PC.

Sure, it has those great sales and they are great, but if I want a game upon release I would have to wait up to a year before it becomes anyway affordable on Steam.

Honestly, with Steam. I really just don't get it. Someone enlighten me, please.

It's my understanding that publishers require that they set the prices in various regions as part of their distribution contract with Valve.

It had something to do with trade tariffs when it came to physical copies, but the publishers require the prices stay jacked up despite the lack of international shipping costs because... reasons

Geez. It had to take Jim of all people to make folks fucking get it.

On that note, I don't think PC will ever take over videogame playing, but if consoles continue to do what Microsoft is doing it will be even more marginalized then before.

Especially when you have to consider that even though everyone has a computer, not everyone has a computer good enough to do any sort of heavy gaming.
For instance, I have a 7 year old laptop. Yes a laptop.
It can handle Mass Effect 1 and 2, Skyrim, Oblivion, and TF2. With the exception of TF2, I have to put all the other games at the lowest possible settings in terms of loading and graphics.
For me, that is perfectly fine. All I care about is the game I paid for works.
However for PC gaming enthusiasts on the Escapist this would be unacceptable, and this is where the problem is.
With a console all I have to do is buy the damn thing, put the CD in, and play the game, and I would be guaranteed an above average visual experience and decent gameplay.

However for a lot of people, yes, they have a computer, but think about how many people have OLD PC's. Desktops that are a whooping 9 years old, and are still present because as far as the owner is concerned- it gets it's daily jobs done.
Compared to here, they would have to spend quite a bit of money replacing their system, and updating it to something on par with a professional gaming PC.
And don't talk to me about "It's cheap to build your own PC" yeah it is, but it will be a real headache for anyone who isn't well versed in the inner workings of a PC.

Call me ignorant, call me dumb, I will not deny that I can hardly follow this GDDDR5 whatever the fuck it's called AX1000 I don't know what the fuck I'm saying nonsense. All I know is that computers have RAM, CPU, video cards, motherboard, and a graphics card. That's fucking it.

Like hell I'm going to try my hand at building a PC, when I don't even know which is what, and how much does it matter. Not only that I like to be knowledgeable about the things I buy. How do I know the person recommending all of this to me saying it makes good components for PC gaming is lying out of their ass just to get me to buy those components?
That's what the average consumer will think.
Which again is why they simply BUY an expensive PC, or go with a console that you don't have to worry about that.

LaochEire:
I don't really post on The Escapist, but can I just say that Steam is an absolute rip off when it comes to new games. In fact over in Ireland Gamestop can undercut Steam with a physical retail copy of a PC game by €20 euro. I never understood the myth about Steam being this bastion of excellence and the main reason to own a PC.

Sure, it has those great sales and they are great, but if I want a game upon release I would have to wait up to a year before it becomes anyway affordable on Steam.

Honestly, with Steam. I really just don't get it. Someone enlighten me, please.

I honestly guess it's just the region you are in. Which really sucks.
I literally got Skyrim last year for $30.00 on Steam during their sales as opposed to $60.00 at retail.

PunkRex:

canadamus_prime:
Man, do I miss the days when I could just pick up and play on my consoles without all the bullshit.

Me to, I REALLY miss backwards compatability... I also have no experience with gaming PC's so I found this vid quit informative, thanks Jim.

That is one of the better parts of PC, I can install and play games from 10+ years ago on my system without having to do much.

I don't have my PS2 around the house but want to play GTA:SA? Download the PC version and get playing within 5 minutes!

Gaming PCs seem scary as hell when you first get them and get into them (I was terrified the first time I had to pop the case open to deal with something inside) but once you get the hang of it it's not all that badf.

LaochEire:
-snip-

I think the video articulates many reasons as to why Steam (and other services) are so good. I've never seen a Steam title undercut by one in the store that isn't on some sort of pre-agreed deal, or as part of a trade-in (how ironic) deal. The worst I ever see is that the prices are always on par for week one releases. And, aside from major titles (most notably the CoD titles), Steam will drop prices quickly or put them into a sale quickly.

But, as Jim said, if you don't like Steam, then just use GoG or GMG. That's the beauty of PC gaming. One machine, many services competing for your money.

Irridium:

canadamus_prime:
Man, do I miss the days when I could just pick up and play on my consoles without all the bullshit.

Yeah, that's why I've moved back to playing on the PC. At least I can get the benefits of PC gaming along with the bullshit, where now with consoles it's the bullshit of PC gaming without any of the benefits.

How I play PS2 games: Put disk in tray, play.

How I play PS3/360 games: Update console, put disk in tray, update game, play.

How I play PC games: Install/download it, update it, faff about to get it to work (not always needed, though), play.

Small nit pick on the PC side, when you install/download it does the update for you. You don't download a game than it updates, it does the update while downloading/installing.

The whole need to tweak a PC for a game is very rare in my case. I can only think of 2 games I had to personally tweak to get it to run. I believe that is because I NEVER buy games on launch so by the time I pick it up for cheap, all the problems are ironed out.

Really only the loyal customers who buy day 1 or week 1 are the ones who get screwed with buggy games and crap.

I agree totally with Jim. I always do PC gaming over console if I have a choice, and I agree it has miles to go, it's still a lot more convenient than console gaming. For one, I can easily pick up my laptop and take it anywhere if I want to game. Sure, it's not as powerful as my PC, but my Steam account's on both and it's easy to use. I can't lug around a console and a television if I want to game. And all the other things Jim mentioned.

I get where people are coming from otherwise, too. In the basest sense, we're crying out that DRM is evil, and yet we accept it so easily when it comes to PC. Jim explained everything well, but I do get that it is, on a level, hypocritical.

But why Jim were you so hostile? Usually I adore you, and yes you're normally hostile but generally that anger is well deserved. This time even I felt slightly offended, though I agree with you completely. You were kinda patronizing.

Hooray for the pc master race.

People rag on steam and valve? Didn't know that.

I'm still rather worried what would happen if valve where to ever go bankrupt, having most of my games vanish one day is a scary idea that keeps me up at night.

My big issue with Steam is that you don't own your game. That's why I love GOG.com. That's my biggest problem with Steam.

As for the Used Game bit? I wish people would bring up more about how Used Games are beneficial to the consumer not just for allowing a cheaper version of the game, but also encouraging devs and publishers to create new content for a game AFTER its release so people are less likely to sell the game back (making it a part of the used market if it was sold back). and giving more content to the user. Seems good for us. Yes, some games just cut content from the game originally and make it day 1 DLC, but we should stop buying from anyone who does such *coughCapcomcough* until they stop. Or work at pushing laws that bans such in our country (fat chance with the US being controlled by corporations). But even then, most DLC is created after the game's development with new content in mind.

For someone who's been playing video games for as long as I have (for about as long as they've been around) I hope you kids appreciate the irony...actually, absurdity, that PC gaming has become the bastion of hope for gamers that want less extra bs with their gaming.

Yea, Jim shouldn't have had to make this video. But I'm glad he did because, if you look at the game forum, some people still seem confused on the subject.
Ever since my family started buying computers with color screens, I've always had a gaming pc in my home. I like consoles but I tend to skip a generation here and there. This upcoming one might be skipable. Even the console I would've gone with added a fee for playing online. So even if I do end up getting a ps4 down the road (they better have a bunch of mind blowingly amazing exclusives; far better than what they had this gen), I'm still going to get all my online multiplayer games for the pc.

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