When I was in college, I remembered watching two ladies strolling around campus. Judging by their engrossing conversations, I assumed they knew each other. One of them, a lady with beautiful blonde hair walked alongside her friend with less than impressive red hair. In fact, the blonde was more attractive in every way. As I looked at the red-head I asked myself, “Why couldn’t she just do what her friend is doing?” Strangely enough, I find myself asking that same question about games. “Why couldn’t other consoles just do what Steam is doing?”
In an age where media is rapidly being consolidated into the internet, naturally, games will follow suit. In fact, it already has. Steam is a service where consumers digitally own video games through a cloud library. Although, because of current internet accessibility, big console manufactures won’t easily concede to that. The funny thing is that the publishers are somewhat grasping online distribution as seen by EA forcing you to use Origin for Battlefield 3 (Which if you ever used EA’s download manager… AGHHH!!!).
But whether anyone likes it or not, Steam is far too successful to be overlooked. The inclusion of the infamous Steam sale, a trading system, and very comprehensive and easy-to-use interface all equate to a service worth emulation. Physical media isn’t necessarily dead, but it’s lumbering around the retirement home, asking the male nurses to wipe its ass. Even though they won’t fully commit, Microsoft and Sony have been releasing a lot of their library on their marketplaces. Even OnLive has been gathering some Steam (Sorry for the bad pun, couldn’t help myself). Frankly, it’s only a matter of time.
So to put it as bluntly as possible, Steam is feakin awesome and digital games will have an even more significant presence in the next generation of consoles. And on an unrelated note, where the fuck is Half Life 3!?