Steam, The Next Generation Console 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!?

Semblance's picture

Not sure why you think of video games when you see beautiful women, but you have a fair point. Microsoft is too busy catering to the Kinect instead of its hardcore fans too add features that make Steam great.

MrDudeMan's picture

I sort of see both sides here. I think Microsoft and Sony did the right thing by not using a steam based system, there are plenty of people that do not connect their xbox's to the internet, if microsoft used a steam system they would be segregating a percent of the market (in this case the casual part of the market, which as we all know has turned out to be a huge deciding factor in console developments). But I also see the value of a steam network, I think DVD's in general should be done away with, they are an inferior way of storing data in comparison to solely relying on a hard drive, and it is fucking stupid when the laser stops working and you have to buy a new system (PS2 experience here). Lastly, I like purchasing a physical copy of a game. I like looking at the cover and game manual art (though as time passes on these get more and more bland and boring), I also have a bandwith cap thats annoyingly low. Honestly I would prefer something like what SC2 does, have a DVD but make it a one time use only, after I install it, I shouldn't need it ever again. 

brodyitis's picture

Steam is a superior service in every way.

MarioDragon's picture

@Brodyitis not quite. Say Steam's servers die one day due to an earthquake or some really weird crazy natural disaster, or some other weird event that causes them to erase themselves, or you get the bad luck of the draw and someone manages to get into your account and forever keep it since you'll never get your password back and they change everything keeping you from getting it back.

Then there's the fact that you have to be online to download the games to play in the first place.

Personally I think Steam is amazing, but I can see why people would want discs over digital download. I don't consider Steam DRM, since I can play while being offline (even though games like Arkham Asylum are stupid with their DRM, but that's not Steam's fault) but nothing really beats owning the disc, and I mean OWNING the disc, none of this Ubisoft/Blizzard be-online-at-all-times garbage.

But other than that, as long as Steam and Valve don't randomly disappear in the middle of the night (which probably won't happen, I know) Steam is great. You don't have 500 boxes of games stacked up in the corner, you don't have scratched disks, and you don't have to sort through 500 game keys to get the right one.

Politically Incorrect's picture

@MarioDragon brings up a really good point. That feeling of owning a disc is a popular opinion keeping from a complete digital move. The reason why I speculate about the digital move is because what happened to the music industry. Physical CD's have been in a tail spin since I-tunes, and most people (speaking broadly) don't really care about the physical disc but they want to enjoy the content.

And that fear about fail severs is defiantly a real one. That's something a think (Hope) they will address in Steam. I know they have backup severs but I want something more certain. 

explicit_baron's picture

I really like Steam but, I really like owning physical copies of games. Also with PC gaming there is always a need to upgrade to play better and better games, I personally like consoles more due to the fact that no upgrading is necessary even if they are inferior to PCs.

Benjamin Weeks's picture

I say that Steam is a much better service than Xbox or PSN. On Steam they have sales everyday and when it comes to holidays like X-mas they have great sales. And in my experience they have a much better customer service then Xbox and PSN. But that is just what i think. 

Create New Account or Log in to comment