Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by CardJoe, 22 Aug 2011.
^^ In Soviet Britain..
Well I must say that I'm slightly confused as to why a stockbroker living in central London can't find anywhere to buy PC games, would even contemplate using public transport for a 45 minute journey (to anywhere), and would give two sh**s about how much petrol it would cost to get somewhere (in door-to-door comfort) in about 15 minutes, when public transport would take 45.
I spent years working in & around the Square Mile & there were tons of places to buy games - because strangely enough, people who earn good money quite like spending it too. The West End & Oxford Street is only, what, 15-20 mins on the Central Line from Liverpool Street? (Tops). Also, if based in Canary Wharf, then try the shopping centre underneath it, down the escalators at Canada Square & head towards Waitrose - low & behold, game shop on the right.
It can't be that hard surely? Why all the trekking to the outer boroughs? I lived in zone two for several years and pretty much the only time I had to break the threshold of zone three was to either visit people or go to the airport & venture off to foreign parts.
Also slightly confused as to the link some people have between having cable and being rich. Cable is for the most part laid in densely populated areas, hence generally poorer areas like Whitechapel & Bethnal Green will have super-whizzy quick access available, while many of the more exclusive outer boroughs and outlying commuter hinterlands & their trophy homes will, for the large part, be ADSL. (Often right at the bottom end of it too).
Anyway, physical media will be sold for as long as there are people willing to buy it. For many people, as stated by Jens Uwe Intat and backed up by many here, the idea of being able to hold a tangible, physical object in their hand is attractive. It 'proves' ownership and is its own, ready made backup device.
Only game I have bought on media in the last ~3 years was black ops and that was only because I got it for ~$35 cheaper than steam had it for.
I then came home installed it on steam and the disc is collecting dust in a cupboard somewhere.
There seems to be a lot of fear that steam will disappear in the future and you won't have access to your games. While possible based on the amount of money valve make from the service I don't see it happening anytime soon.
I'd buy physical media for games that are AU$40+ I'm not spending large sums on something that steam may decide to stop hosting. AA Titles I get a physical disc, indie games or just games on sale, sure I'll DL from steam (even if it is 15+GB) might take 2 days, but $10 on sale on steam is better than the $50 you still pay retail
I have absolutely no preference. There are pros and cons of both ways and they make each other about equal to me.
I havn't had a dvd/cd-rom drive in my computer for almost 4 years now. I do have a external USB drive, but it's rarely powered on. I think that flash drives might overtake DVD in the next ~5 years, not because the medium is cheaper, but because the shipping costs will be almost nothing.
Don't worry I wasn't trying to have a go at you, I was just being a bit overly dramatic.
It's not that I don't use Steam, it's just that I do feel the convenience of physical media. In fact I own over 90 Steam games and have about 35 installed; checking my hard drive now the Steamapps folder takes up 192GB.
I love the smell of manuals in physical copies.
Not really, as a long standing Virgin customer, after trying to close my account when moving house; I was offered the 50Mb package at my new place for £23pm. That's only a little more than one of the few truly unlimited ADSL2+ offerings from BE (not including line rental, then adsl will cost more!), which would net me at the very best less than half the speed. Or perhaps, if you were referring to the games, then no, that's definitely not what I do! I was just highlighting the convenience of digital delivery - as there have been times when I've made plans for Friday night, only to have friends flake out on me, leaving me at home with nothing on TV...
Whoa, take it easy! I think you misunderstood what I was saying. They're not my friends, as I said, they're colleagues - if I'm at work sitting at my desk on the phone with a customer/client and persons xxx and yyy (one of whom is always the director above me) are busy revealing the whole plot of zzz rpg within earshot, it sometimes can't be avoided.
I don't just buy games so I can hole-up at home alone, there is also a social element in it for me, one of which is to be able to engage in a bit of water-cooler game-talk with my colleagues about such & such strategy or fight, or what I enjoyed or thought was implemented really well.
Being a few days behind, as has happened when ordering online - even if this is just because I get stuck not being able to pick up my delivery from the post/sorting office until the weekend, means that I've games at home which I've just never played, because I've either heard everything about it, or heard it was mediocre, or buggy, or otherwise not worth my time etc.
There are also times, when I'll buy a day-after-release-day game purely on recommendation from one of said colleagues, waiting a few days for delivery might just lead back to the above point.
Rich git view, really? I pay less for my internet connection than a bottom end BT ADSL capped connection + line rental, and perhaps £2-3 more per game in some cases which I can then enjoy actually playing with, and talking about to friends.
Id' even go so far as to say steam ultimately actually saves me money against the otherwise inevitable purchases if I were to stroll down Oxford Street or go on Amazon.
Haha, I'm no more a broker (of any sorts) than the 'Dark Avenger' commenting below you is actually Batman or Dexter. Nor, unfortunately, am I loaded. Yes, there are plenty of places near my office where I could buy a physical copy of a game, but none near my home, which is what the travel times stated were for - essentially my normal commute time + 10 minutes to get to a store.
Ultimately though, the point I was trying to make is that for me, the simplicity of *click**click**click* *cliiiiiiiick* *download* for a Londoner with cable or ADSL2+ was far more appealing than trekking any amount of distance, be it 5 minutes away or an hour to get a physical copy.
Your comment about cable is appreciated though, I see from this thread it's perceived as an unobtainable luxury, whereas you're quite right in pointing out it's a faster, yet equivalent priced alternative to ADSL where available, and nothing more.
I have 400gb in Steam games... but I still buy physical copies. Last month I bought Crysis 2 and NFS Shift2 from Amazon with 40% discount. I love that super delivery thing. I dont remember the last time I went to a pcgames/pc's stores...
What about ISOs you've ripped of your games? How about games from GOG.com?
They're both electronically stored and accessible on your own terms at all times.
You don't sound bitter and jealous at all, what a perfectly normal, well thought out and reasoned response you have going there, good job!
GOG is certainly the standout here - a digital distributor that doesn't lock your purchases down and doesn't have the ability to disable your games collection. Sadly (aside from DotEmu and specialist distributors like GamersFront) they are an exception.
ISOs aren't the same though, assuming you mean a copy of previously purchased content. They will be subject to the same controls as the physical media. Specifically if the game in question employed any form of online activation, then you're back to square one in terms of control.
It is this point that has me puzzled about those arguing in favour of digital distribution in this thread. Yes it can be a lot cheaper but it isn't - even on release, games can typically cheaper from the likes of Amazon or Play.com and given the significant cost savings of digital (no CD/manual to manufacture, no inventory, storage, transport and damaged returns costs, no retailer margins) it is a disgrace to see digital copies being priced as high as they are - and a damning indictment on anyone supporting such high-handed behaviour by buying anyway.
And before people jump in with "Steam sales - woot!" comments, may I point out that those 70-90% discounts are still profitable for Valve, which means you're being overcharged by at least that amount. In addition, such sales tend to be for older games - whose physical copies (if still available) are also heavily discounted, and not for just a single weekend.
The topic of digital vs physical is not a new one here - previous Bit-Tech articles (like Digi distribution destroys old pricing models or The Downside to Digital Distribution) have covered similar points. Until digital pricing reflects the savings made by producers and until more stores follow GOG's example in treating purchasers as customers and not digital slaves, then physical media will continue to have a role.
That's what "no CD" patches and cracks are for.
It means I can do what I want when I want with my stuff. I don't care if they claim I don't "own" the game.
I do agree with you though on the subject of the cost of digital distributed games. They really do need to be less than boxed copies. However, about the Steam sales, it seems like you see it as a problem that even with big discounts it's still profitable, isn't that the point in their Steam Distribution side of their business?
When Steam do sales like that, they have a deal with the developers to discount the games, it's not them simply dropping their profit margin right down. Valve take about 30% of selling price of a game on Steam, I'd imagine it'd be the same in the sales, so a game that's say £3 at 70% off will me making valve roughly £1 and the developers £2. Don't forget, a digital copy of a game costs nothing to produce, it's just a copy. There's no box or pressed disc or anything that incurs third party costs except for Valve's margin, and then what it costs Valve for their infrastructure and bandwith.
Which implies that you've lost nothing by using digital instead of physical?
It's a lot cheaper to distribute digital games, true - but the price of producing a physical game is low to start with (it's about £1-2 to the home).
There is a FUP (or at least there was last I checked), and I have been contacted on two occasions for breaching it. They even capped my peak time speeds. Never even checked to see if they got lifted. Couldn't even play games during the day. Now I am usually in work in the day so can't really say for sure.
It isn't that sales exist or that they are profitable - that applies with most other online (and offline) retailers. It when you see massive discounts (70-90%) being applied, which shows how great a profit is being made with normal prices.
How the developer or distributor shares that profit is secondary in my view (though Amazon charges about 17% to marketplace vendors for listing, order and payment processing, making Steam's 30% for essentially the same looking poor value) but having pricing set at levels few physical retailers would charge is taking the mick.
If the physical copies require online activation then yes, without cracks they're as perishable as DRMed digital versions.
Postage alone would be nearly as much, and you have other costs with physical media - warehousing and other storage, inventory management in ordering new pressings when stocks run low and dealing with damaged returns, plus retailer margins which can be much higher (over 50% with high street stores according to a 1C Publishing interview).
I buy whatever is cheaper but prefer a download if I can get one. But I am lucky to live in a Virgin Media cabled area and have 50MB.
If my situation was different I'm sure I would buy more physical copies.
The problem we have is that broadband is just not up to scratch in every area, so until it is, physical media will need to continue and have a presence. The high street retailer though, I think has their days numbered due to pricing.
I still buy physical copies... if it integrates into Steam.
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