Jimquisition: Why PC Gaming Gets Away With It

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Irridium:

GAunderrated:

Irridium:

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.

Only on Steam. I primarily buy physical copies or from GoG because lol downloading modern games on my 80kb/s internet connection lol.

Though in GoG's case I don't need to update, which is nice.

Ah well in the case of physical copies yes you do need to update after installing.

I thought we were talking about digital downloads only.

ScrabbitRabbit:

That reminds me, actually; with The Witcher 2 you wouldn't even need to know how to do that. The game comes with a serial code that you can use to get a free DD copy of the game from GOG. Since the disc version is also DRM-free, it can be resold... so it's entirely possible to download your free GOG copy and then sell your disc.

Would that qualify as piracy? It's certainly a dick move.

Well, that's just the thing. You don't even need to use any such dick moves. If you really want to play a game without compensating the publisher, it's easier to do actually do the normal, old-fashioned piracy, than to invent some special elaborate reinvented "digital used game system".

Anyone on the PC who is still choosing to pay to publishers for games, is doing it out of the goodness of their heart while the alternative would be just as simple.

The PC model is growing so much right now, because instead of focusing on control, and trying to killing used games for the sake of killing them, they have consolidated themselves with the fact that some games will be played without rewarding them anyways, but at least all the money from PC gamers' pockets is ending up with the industry.

I personally think that if you have $120, then spending all $120 on two of the games on Steam, and then pirating the third one, is less morally aceptable, than buying one $60 console game and two $30 used games from Gamestop.

In both cases, you played three games, spent $120. The only difference is in how much of that money was sent to developers, and how much of it to a redundant disc-circulating business.

Andy of Comix Inc:
Oh. Actually, I'm thinking about more sharing between multiple people, not just installing on multiple computers.

You can actually do that, with single player/offline games at least.

A good friend of mine uses my Steam account to play games that I recommend that he's not interested enough in to pay for right out of the gate. It's actually really easy, just toss over the credentials and have them log in and download it, then go into offline mode as soon as it's done, and then you can both play whatever. The only issue with it is the validation emails that pop up occasionally, and that just requires forwarding a 6 digit code along within a few minutes.

Granted, it's not a perfect "anyone can play your games at any time" thing, but it's pretty close.

Machine Man 1992:

You mean beisdes prohibitive cost?

My PC upgrade cost less than a PS4. The only things kept from my old build are the optical drive and processor. When I upgrade those, it'll cost about the same as a Bone. I probably could do it cheaper, but these are the specs I want. Except the processor, a regrettable cost-saving measure to be able to afford to eat this month.

It used to be somewhat true that gaming PCs were more fiscally intensive. It really hasnt'been true for years, though.

Or the fact that some of us have an extensive console library already?

Kind of moot with no BC from either Sony or Microsoft this gen.

Or the unspoken guarantee that a game put in a console will work, every time?

The problem with an unspoken guarantee is that it's only worth the breath spent on it.

Now granted with the next gen

You mean, the one that was being discussed?

Yes, there's some validity there.

but until that time where I no longer have to carry around a sticky note with my system specs written down when I go shopping, I'm staying console.

Which is more than fair.

ScrabbitRabbit:

Would that qualify as piracy? It's certainly a dick move.

It's neither. They're making an offer you can freely take advantage of. I'm certain they calculated the risk before they did so.

Well if you're talking about used games I always like to point out that places like Gamestop started abandoning used PC games well before Steam became a big hit. Steam didn't kill PC gaming at retail, retail started abandoning PC in favour of console all on their own. PC gaming was on a pretty steep decline, and Valve/Steam stepped in to fill that void and along with other services like the Humble Indy Bundle and Good old Games completely resurrected it.

Personally I became a convert back when Empire: Total War was released. On release day I went to my local EB Games (Gamestop in Canada) to get it, and they didn't have it. Drove out to a further one, they also didn't have it and didn't know when they would. So I said **** em and bought it on Steam, haven't looked back since.

LaochEire:

Arcade Hero X:

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.

I understand so just an update on a few titles. Don't forget I'm talking about pre-order or brand new releases.

Company of Heroes 2
Steam 49.99
GS 39.97

Rome Total War 2
Steam 54.99
GS 44.97

Skyrim Legendary Edition
Steam 39.99
GS 29.97

Bioshock Infinite
Steam 49.99
GS 34.97

Total savings from shopping at GS over Steam €45.08. That's a massive difference.

I swear as soon as I go and try to get more examples the bloody site goes down.

Edit to say I will update the post with more when GS website decides to co-operate.

No offense but cherry picking a few examples does not mean it is a global example.

Also steam is the referenced used most often but they have huge steam sales which trounce retailers a few times a year (summer, spring, fall, winter sales). Otherwise it is usually steam's competition that have the better deals such as GoG, GMG, and amazon.

The key to shopping correctly with PC is using all the competition to find good deals. When you are mutually exclusive to retailers who all agree on a set price you don't have to compete with much so the prices never vary drastically.

I got Bioshock Infinite for 34 bucks ON RELEASE from GMG which matches the deal you just posted today, several months later.

Edit: disregard my post I didn't know you were talking about pre-ordering. Pre-ordering is for fools so I have nothing to contribute to this conversation.

You forgot to mention that PC used games were barely ever a thing even prior to digital services like Steam. Back in the day, you'd see Console used games, but maybe - maybe - a tiny used PC gaming section with literal garbage in it, half of which wouldn't work. PC games in the used gaming market were so tiny, barely present, that when we saw something like Steam and it didn't allow resale of those digital games - we didn't notice a difference, because for all intents and purposes there was none. We'd never really had a PC used game market of any note prior, to the extent that in most stores it wasn't there at all. Steam changed nothing in regard to used games.

As someone who has never gamed on a PC, I do appreciate this dollop of knowledge. Thanks.

i new a video store that rented computer games

Sona video...
It 3 shelfs worth.. and... mostly no one used it lol. (great store .. they have a neo geo section.. a 3d0.. a turbo graphics.. you should saw it.. sigh).

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.

Unfortunately like others have said it's a region thing most of the times. The publishers get to set their prices depending on the users location. Here in Australia the price of a new game on Steam will still cost the $80-$90 of the retail copy, although the price does tend to fall quicker. And some games have ridiculous price differences compared to the US. COD: Modern Warfare 2 is $89.99 (US price $19.99), Dead Space 2 is $69.99 (US price $19.99) and Medal of Honor is $69.99 (US price $19.99).

I recommend having a look at www.steamprices.com, which lets you compare the pricing in different regions, whenever the prices seem suspiciously high.

Magog1:
i new a video store that rented computer games

Sona video...
It 3 shelfs worth.. and... mostly no one used it lol. (great store .. they have a neo geo section.. a 3d0.. a turbo graphics.. you should saw it.. sigh).

Back in the days before stores started axing their PC gaming sections entirely eh?

I've seen used PC game racks (tiny things that were always a mess) rarely over the years prior to Steam, but never enough to be of note. Now a rental service for PC games? That's about unheard of, and it's amazing you came across it at all, and given how some of the PC games worked back then I'm surprised it worked at all . . . though, given you said no one used it, it may not have worked at all, or not very well.

Sounds like it would have been a neat place to see though.

Heh. Steam is working hard to fix that but remember steam has more problems than you might realize. COnsider that games can be zoned for international regions and it would cause them no end of legal problems if someone bought a game or version of a game that was not allowed in their locality through steam.

There's also the fact that your steam purchases are only as secure as your steam account. The thing is, PC gives you like the ultimate level of backwards compatibility. Seriously thanks to Gog i can get games from 1985 running on my pc and with the right emulator you have access to entire console libraries. You don't get more backwards compatible than a PC.

COnsoles are basically removing backward compatibility so they can pretty much sell you the same stuff again. Granted not all digital distribution channels are equal. There's Origin. We shall speak no more of that. Steam is DRm but it's DRM that art least operates quietly and when it does pop up it usually pops up with something good. Gog has no DRM so yeah...there are options and options.

GAunderrated:

LaochEire:

Arcade Hero X:

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.

I understand so just an update on a few titles. Don't forget I'm talking about pre-order or brand new releases.

Company of Heroes 2
Steam 49.99
GS 39.97

Rome Total War 2
Steam 54.99
GS 44.97

Skyrim Legendary Edition
Steam 39.99
GS 29.97

Bioshock Infinite
Steam 49.99
GS 34.97

Total savings from shopping at GS over Steam €45.08. That's a massive difference.

I swear as soon as I go and try to get more examples the bloody site goes down.

Edit to say I will update the post with more when GS website decides to co-operate.

No offense but cherry picking a few examples does not mean it is a global example.

Also steam is the referenced used most often but they have huge steam sales which trounce retailers a few times a year (summer, spring, fall, winter sales). Otherwise it is usually steam's competition that have the better deals such as GoG, GMG, and amazon.

The key to shopping correctly with PC is using all the competition to find good deals. When you are mutually exclusive to retailers who all agree on a set price you don't have to compete with much so the prices never vary drastically.

I got Bioshock Infinite for 34 bucks ON RELEASE from GMG which matches the deal you just posted today, several months later.

Edit: disregard my post I didn't know you were talking about pre-ordering. Pre-ordering is for fools so I have nothing to contribute to this conversation.

I don't think you read that correctly. I'm referencing Steam, not PC digital distribution as a whole. Secondly, I'm referring to my situation and why I hardly buy from steam.

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.

Come over here, then. Steam undercuts retail by $10-$20, and prices fall fast.

You're living in the wrong place.

EDIT: Your above post says "GS Skyrim LE: 29.97"

Here, EBGames sells Skyrim (standard edition) for $60 still.

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.

To be fair you CAN still do that. You just have to trust your account to those people. You have to sign in to Steam on that machine, have it remember your credentials, then download and install the game. Then put Steam in offline mode and there you go.
In fact, you could even change your password right after that and tell them "if you ever go out of offline mode then the games won't work but otherwise you're golden."

LaochEire:

GAunderrated:

LaochEire:

I understand so just an update on a few titles. Don't forget I'm talking about pre-order or brand new releases.

Company of Heroes 2
Steam 49.99
GS 39.97

Rome Total War 2
Steam 54.99
GS 44.97

Skyrim Legendary Edition
Steam 39.99
GS 29.97

Bioshock Infinite
Steam 49.99
GS 34.97

Total savings from shopping at GS over Steam €45.08. That's a massive difference.

I swear as soon as I go and try to get more examples the bloody site goes down.

Edit to say I will update the post with more when GS website decides to co-operate.

No offense but cherry picking a few examples does not mean it is a global example.

Also steam is the referenced used most often but they have huge steam sales which trounce retailers a few times a year (summer, spring, fall, winter sales). Otherwise it is usually steam's competition that have the better deals such as GoG, GMG, and amazon.

The key to shopping correctly with PC is using all the competition to find good deals. When you are mutually exclusive to retailers who all agree on a set price you don't have to compete with much so the prices never vary drastically.

I got Bioshock Infinite for 34 bucks ON RELEASE from GMG which matches the deal you just posted today, several months later.

Edit: disregard my post I didn't know you were talking about pre-ordering. Pre-ordering is for fools so I have nothing to contribute to this conversation.

I don't think you read that correctly. I'm referencing Steam, not PC digital distribution as a whole. Secondly, I'm referring to my situation and why I hardly buy from steam.

Fair enough but if you just are looking for sales only on steam and not using the entire PC market, you are missing out on some great deals. Nothing wrong with it I just think its a waste

GAunderrated:

LaochEire:

GAunderrated:

No offense but cherry picking a few examples does not mean it is a global example.

Also steam is the referenced used most often but they have huge steam sales which trounce retailers a few times a year (summer, spring, fall, winter sales). Otherwise it is usually steam's competition that have the better deals such as GoG, GMG, and amazon.

The key to shopping correctly with PC is using all the competition to find good deals. When you are mutually exclusive to retailers who all agree on a set price you don't have to compete with much so the prices never vary drastically.

I got Bioshock Infinite for 34 bucks ON RELEASE from GMG which matches the deal you just posted today, several months later.

Edit: disregard my post I didn't know you were talking about pre-ordering. Pre-ordering is for fools so I have nothing to contribute to this conversation.

I don't think you read that correctly. I'm referencing Steam, not PC digital distribution as a whole. Secondly, I'm referring to my situation and why I hardly buy from steam.

Fair enough but if you just are looking for sales only on steam and not using the entire PC market, you are missing out on some great deals. Nothing wrong with it I just think its a waste

I have over 100 games on Steam all bought during the sales. I'm just saying if I want to go out and buy COH 2, or any new game released I cannot get it on Steam because the price is anywhere between 10-20 euro in difference. Sometimes I don't feel like waiting 6 months to a 1 year to play a game I badly want to play.

I find it funny people say Gamestop undercuts Steam when most PC titles aren't ever sold at my local gamestops, outside of a very few AAA titles, there isn't a PC gaming section at all in any of the three gamestops near me. And, usually, the prices are that 59.99 new release price, which does drop, but doesn't ever seem to drop any faster than the Steam equivalents, and a random Steam sale consistently blows any rare price difference of the water when it happens, and Steam sales seem to happen quite a lot.

Even when my local gamestops do carry those AAA titles, there's never a rack for them, they're always hidden behind the counter - you have to ask for them specifically. There is no actual PC gaming section at any of my three local gamestops.

Zachary Amaranth:

I know, I know, GOG, Amazon, etc, but many titles require Steamworks to operate, so I think that falls flat. I mean, I like GOG, but it shouldn't be a method to excuse the fact that we have a monopolistic platform on PC as well.

Only in the realm of legal fiction.

I think it's an important factor to take it into account, that even though Valve might have a formal monopoly on controlling acces to certain titles, in practice, if their audience chooses to go around that monopoly, then unlike consoles, all that Valve can do is... shake their fists in the general direction of Sweden, and feel really mad about it.

I mean, sure, you can make arguments about how used sales are morally different from piracy either by the virtue of following legal alloances or by different commercial effects, but te end result is, that PC gaming has a rather popular established culture where in effect, most forms of playing a game without paying for it, (from lending to used sales), are serverd by piracy, even for those who otherwise also buy games.

I've got just one addendum to this video:

PC DOESN'T get away with it. Simple as that. The reason why the DRM stuff on PC is like it is today is twofold: 1) Competition yadda yadda. Watch the video about that one. 2) Back when it was introduced, people had an alternative. The CONSOLES. They could (and did, oh boy, did they) vote with their wallets, leaving those that genuinely didn't care about DRM behind. Those left behind were fought over by the varous storefronts, and that's why the environment on PC is so (relatively) healthy today. If there hadn't been an alternative, PC wouldn't have been allowed to do that. Period.

I can't even begin to tell you how much I wish I could do mods on my games. Seeing what people have done to games like Oblivion and Skyrim is incredible.

I used to use things like Game Genies, Gamesharks, and Action Replays, but modern systems pretty much block them, meaning I can't screw around with the games code like I used to.

All that being said, I REALLY wish we could get PC prices... or at least all that free DLC. Microsoft are total scrooges.

LaochEire:

GAunderrated:

LaochEire:

I don't think you read that correctly. I'm referencing Steam, not PC digital distribution as a whole. Secondly, I'm referring to my situation and why I hardly buy from steam.

Fair enough but if you just are looking for sales only on steam and not using the entire PC market, you are missing out on some great deals. Nothing wrong with it I just think its a waste

I have over 100 games on Steam all bought during the sales. I'm just saying if I want to go out and buy COH 2, or any new game released I cannot get it on Steam because the price is anywhere between 10-20 euro in difference. Sometimes I don't feel like waiting 6 months to a 1 year to play a game I badly want to play.

On release I got Bioshock Infinite for 34 bucks from Green Man Gaming which had a steam activation code. Again you are free to purchase it where you want but you are missing out on great deals but not checking out all your options. :)

I think an important point here is that PC's do not have DRM. Yes, Steam, Origin, and many games themselves have DRM, but the actual PC doesn't. You can buy tons of games with no DRM. The level of DRM on PC is able to change based on the market - it's not dictated by a single source company like Microsoft or Sony. If a publisher decides to drop a DRM system, it's gone.

Mr Cwtchy:
This video is basically one big, slobbery blowjob for PC gaming. Shouldn't have expected anything less from The Escapist I suppose, but it certainly does remind me why I stopped watching the Jimquisition.

If you're going to claim that DRM is bad, or that abandoning used games is bad(like people have been doing here for the longest time, mostly against consoles of course), you'd better fucking be consistent about it. The surrounding circumstances, like all that crap about community features, modding and everything else is disconnected and not relevant to the discussion.

Your little whinefest about people criticising Valve and Steam was amusing, apparently expecting them to be held to the same standards of everyone else is out of order. They get far less flak when they pull the same shit as companies like EA than they should. Your own 'criticism' of the issues with PC gaming were as half-assed as remotely possible.

In short, as usual you're talking bullshit, and honestly I'd rather I hadn't wasted my time watching one guy's verbal lapdance for the PC.

I think you are missing the point. PC can get away with those restrictions due to the plusses you get with PC gaming. They may not be directly tied together, but when you add up the plusses and minuses it comes out as an overall positive for many consumers. Consoles would not be able to get away with those practices because if they implement them, why would anyone get a console? Used games and lack of DRM are pretty much the two main plusses consoles have over a PC. Once you get rid of those plusses and add in negatives (he explicitly stated this, guess you missed it) then all you are left with is negatives. It would literally kill the consoles. I stated this same exact thing to XBox fanboys who defended Microsoft's now former tactics. They all slobbered over it like it was supposed to be the future, and I explained how I can do everything Microsoft showed in their press conferences right now on a PC (or will be able to soon since Kinect is coming to the PC) while having a mostly open platform with competing digital distribution, dedicated servers ran by the community, mods, multiple programs for communication, tons and tons of peripherals that can take tons of different forms, free multiplayer, and on and on and on. It was amazing how clueless many console fans are when it comes to PC's. Heck, I have been switching between TV and games or even split screen between the two for about 5 years, yet XBox fanboys creamed themselves when they saw it. The only unique thing was the Kinect interface, yet that will be coming to PC too.

Anyway, to sum it up, you missed the point. PC can get away with it because PC gaming offers a wide array of benefits to the consumer not seen on consoles. Consoles simply cannot implement those same strategies because they just don't have enough benefits over PC gaming once you implement those restrictions. I know what you are getting at, and that is DRM is not needed on PC either. Yet PC gamers are willing to put up with those restrictions due to the tons of benefits that comes with PC gaming. The same could not be said with console gaming.

Jim, I enjoyed this video immensely.

I was wondering what kind of role you believe that really poor average internet speeds play in hindering the establishment of the digital market in all its glory? I was just mentioning this in another thread but take Uncharted 3 for example. It is 40 GBs in size and nearly took an entire day of downloading just to get it into my console. Not only that, but because it was 40GB and my console was a 75GB model, I had to delete nearly all of my content just to get it on there (it actually needed 15GB more space than 40GB just to get there). The 500GB hard drives are better, but with a ps3 game being 40GB I'd assume that next gen games could become 3 times that file size without much trouble. This was a significant hassel and is even still burdensome with Steam on titles that are in the 10GB range.

I posit, and you may correct me if I'm wrong, that enough HDD space and fast enough download times (coupled with the reasonable business practices you mentioned) are the biggest problem facing the full adoption of digital downloads these days. With uncharted I could have gone to a store and been back within 30 minutes and probably would have had a cheaper price tag than the PSN's pricing. I also wouldn't have had to delete other content to run it. The problem now isn't just that there's little or no benefit to it. It's that the time consumed is an outright negative.

To be fair the biggest thing that made digital downloads to viable on the PC is that for many years games have been 100% stored locally with disks just acting as a kind of physical "You can use this on infinite PCs at once" kind of physical DRM. PC gamers never really tended to share games. Installing was always a pain if you took a game to a friends house. Hell the entire LAN party community was built around the idea that you take your whole system because it's yours.

And that's the big thing here. Steam may manage and lock down who uses your games but it gives you a hell of a lot of freedom with what you can do with them yourself. Mods and free community content through Steam workshop are actively encouraged. There is infrastructure for a community to flourish without a cut being taken from everything.

There is a LOT of free content on the PC. That's why we laugh at 15 map packs and horse armor and that's why many 'pay to win' games tend not to become staples.

Zachary Amaranth:
I mean, I like GOG, but it shouldn't be a method to excuse the fact that we have a monopolistic platform on PC as well.

Exactly. GOG shouldn't be used as an excuse for Steam, it should used as a large hammer to beat Valve around the head with.

GAunderrated:

On release I got Bioshock Infinite for 34 bucks from Green Man Gaming which had a steam activation code. Again you are free to purchase it where you want but you are missing out on great deals but not checking out all your options. :)

Well, judging from the front page, GMG is still more expensive than GS. For Americans, Steam or other sites like GMG may be cheaper, but over here the prices do not equate to value. You're not wrong. I'm not saying what you're saying is incorrect, my argument is Steam (and others) are great, but not for all of us.

I do most of my gaming on PS3 these days. Most games drop on Amazon UK to under €30 after 3-4months after release. Plus, there are other issue that turned me off PC gaming, but that's for another thread.

grumpymooselion:
There is no actual PC gaming section at any of my three local gamestops.

And this is the reason that Digital Distribution took off on the PC. With retailers basicall abandoning PC gaming there was no other legal alternative for PC gamers to get their games. A lot of us were dragged kicking and screaming into it and some of us still prefer to buy physical copies where possible... but the fact remains, PC gamers latched onto digital distribution because all our local games retailers were offering, if anthing at all, maybe 10 different AAA titles, a Warcraft III Battlechest and a stack of shitty $5 "value" games that wouldn't even make the cut on a phone these days. PC games went from half the shelf space to a few shelves to a musty box behind the toilet in the space of a few years... Any wonder that digital distribution worked?

Whoracle:
I've got just one addendum to this video:

PC DOESN'T get away with it. Simple as that. The reason why the DRM stuff on PC is like it is today is twofold: 1) Competition yadda yadda. Watch the video about that one. 2) Back when it was introduced, people had an alternative. The CONSOLES. They could (and did, oh boy, did they) vote with their wallets, leaving those that genuinely didn't care about DRM behind. Those left behind were fought over by the varous storefronts, and that's why the environment on PC is so (relatively) healthy today. If there hadn't been an alternative, PC wouldn't have been allowed to do that. Period.

I think that is the point. The reason people go to consoles is so they don't have to deal with DRM and they can sell their games. Get rid of that, and what do you have left? A locked down PC with all the bull and none of the benefits. Hence why consoles simply cannot do it.

As for the PC, the market downturn was greatly exaggerated. This is due to one fact, digital distribution. The sales reports simply had no way to count digital downloads. They still don't, but at least now they estimate. Back when DD was first ramping up, places like NPD reported PC gaming was losing revenue. The simply fact was, PC gaming wasn't. The money was just shifting from physical store sales to DD. Once they started taking those into account (still not well done or completely accurate but better than nothing) you started seeing the PC gaming industry look like it was making some sort of massive comeback. The fact is, PC gaming was not dying and is now thriving better than ever thanks to many of the things mentioned in Jim's video.

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 think it may be a regional thing. Here in the United States, day one releases on Steam will either be identical in price to that of game stop, or even up to $10 cheaper.

Lightknight:
The 500GB hard drives are better

Because Sony didn't piss about with purpose built enclosures and proprietary firmware, a PS3 can handle up to a 750Gb 2.5" HDD... and the reason the 1Gb and larger 2.5" HDDs couldn't be used is that the extra platter(s) the used for storage made the drive unit too large to fit into the case (unless you wanted to go with some fucked up case mod). Hopefully the console manufacturers didn't cheap on on the mobos for their new consoles so there'll be no maximum HDD size (most computers can't run an HDD larger than 3Tb)... and also that, for Xbone owners, MS will ditch all the prioprietary bollocks.

As for game price on Digital Distro... forget serious reductions outside of sales, especially if you live outside the US. Publishers are far too busy handjobbing retailers to allow digital distro to have an advantage on price... and of course, they're more than happy to pocket the mark up that keeps retail price competitive.

Valkrex:
I think it may be a regional thing.

It's very much a regional thing.

Here's the real kicker with Steam for Australians... not only do with we get hit with prices that look as bad as those of retail... but that $89.99 they're asking for Call of Penis: Modern Cockfighter is in US dollars. Back when the dollarydoo was in the toilet instead of the greenback that meant a '$90 game' could set you back upward of AU$110-115... which is a shit price for a PC game, even by Australian standards.

Don't even have the decency to rob us in our own bloody money.

edit: and before someone starts pissing and moaning about Australians pissing and moaning about game prices, this is just an example. The Kiwis, amongst others, have it as bad or worse than we do for game prices.

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