TechSpot

Steam: Something Next-Gen Consoles Could Learn From The PC

By Julio Franco
Jun 20, 2013
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  1. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 1,685   +60

    Screw steam they are the reason I cant resell my games on ebay, go look at console pricing on ebay destroys steam
     
  2. Sanguineone

    Sanguineone TS Rookie

    I have to disagree on this. I can play most of the games on Steam when my ISP has an outage. The only ones I cannot are either those with an active multiplayer element, or ones that haven't updated recently. M$ was not trying to foster a marketplace where they could offer downloadable games at a discount - they were trying to control their IP as much as possible, to the extent of alienating a nice chunk of their fan base. Steam or a Steam-like marketplace is a viable business model for consoles, which are essentially specialized computers. It will only happen when M$, Sony, and Nintendo LET it happen. They won't until they abandon the idea that EVERY game should have insane profit margins. To use the example the author did - they're going to make SOME money on the on-sale games at $2.50/$10/$20, but until they decide that what they'll make is ENOUGH, they won't do it.
     
    psycros likes this.
  3. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,105   +1,522

    I on the other hand only consider purchasing a game, if I plan on keeping it. If I have any doubt about whether I want to keep a game, there is usually not enough motivation for purchasing.
     
  4. Heihachi1337

    Heihachi1337 TS Rookie Posts: 46   +11

    This website didn't give credit where credit is due for it either....
    The picture at the top of the article is from VGCats.com.
     
  5. Misagt

    Misagt TS Rookie Posts: 40   +10

    Steam is such a good example of buying a game a 2nd time. The fact is I just recently sold off my Original Xbox collection because I've now replaced most of the titles I liked with Steam copies. I've bought some of these games 2-3 times and now with steam I have them permanently in my collection low price with nostalgia s why I have over 300 games in my steam collection with it growing every year allow with great indie titles for a reasonable price. I'm fine with them being locked to my account I also don't care about selling my games never really have... just realized storing them isn't practical in a physical form hence selling off my xbox collection,.
     
  6. Puiu

    Puiu TS Maniac Posts: 1,075   +100

    Don't forget about PS3. Steam is on playstation network too.
     
  7. dennis777

    dennis777 TS Enthusiast Posts: 281   +32

    Great article.

    And for those who don't know steam:
    -Steam has an offline mode
    -You can play on Steam on a different PC after you verified it ONCE
    - their are some free games on Steam
    - No game sharing as the moment
     
  8. ReederOnTheRun

    ReederOnTheRun TS Booster Posts: 310   +62


    That's true, they do have some random DRM free games (usually arcade games), but the more popular games require connecting every time you want to play them. They even make you do this for Skyrim, a completely single player game. You could do an offline mode, but only if you plan for it ahead of time or don't mind messing with it's .cfg file. Even then, users report it lasts anywhere from two weeks to a month before they make you check in again.

    Again, same problem. All of those big title games that console players go nuts about would require a connection, unless you turned the whole entire Steam system offline ahead of time. And if your internet went out unexpectedly? Well instead of being limited to a day with your favorite games, you wouldn't be able to access them at all. If you remember, these were some of the exact complaints about the Xbox One. Steam is doing it right by staying away from the consoles.
     
  9. ReederOnTheRun

    ReederOnTheRun TS Booster Posts: 310   +62


    That's true, so if you are moving or something, you could set it up for offline mode and play single player games happily (assuming you remembered to update the game's files first). It does, however, only let you switch to offline mode if you are already online. And it makes you connect every time you play big title games like L4D2 and Skyrim. I actually had to edit steam.cfg one day to manually switch it to offline mode to play Skyrim (a pure single player game) when my internet died unexpectedly. I'm not sure how you would do this on a console though.

    The point is that a lot of the complaints about the Xbox One would also apply to Steam. It would be risky to go out on a limb like that right after DRM failed with the Xbox One. Console gamers just don't have an interest in it. The fact that they do have an offline mode would be a plus if you knew exactly when the internet would fail though.
     
  10. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,105   +1,522

    Here is a few that I play that I know do not even require Steam to play, but yet they were installed from within Steam's library. I don't think they are considered arcade games.
     
  11. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 981   +31

    A Microsoft employee posted a while back that Microsoft wanted to go the Steam way, tie games to an account, because this is what allows PC games to be priced so low. Looks like that won't happen now.
     
     
  12. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Posts: 727   +30

    I can verify that steams offline mode doesn't last and has to be activated in advance of you losing your net connection. It seems to me that any connection to the net on the particular device turns offline mode off so if you do turn the checkin off, don't connect to the net with anything. That's not incredibly useful.

    However, you can often just browse to the steam folder and run the games exe directly anyway. I have over 200 steam games, some bought full price and others bought on sale or in huge collections. It's like Pokemon. Gotta catch em all. Like the tomb raider collection. I have never completed one tomb raider game. I get to lvl 3 of each one (when it starts to get challenging/annoying) and quit. So why did I buy the entire collection of which I haven't fired up a single game? Crazy lol
     
  13. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 1,685   +60

    Steam makes games cost more because I cannot buy used games on ebay.
     
  14. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,286   +232


    I didn't see a "/s" on that, so I have to assume you are serious? Steam actually drops prices, not raises them, for quite a few reasons. There is no physical media to copy, therefore harder to physically pirate - bonus to the publisher, more guaranteed revenue in their pockets. No physical media means no associated costs and overhead, which you actually see in price drops (after launch of course), and those price drops can be dramatic (and MUCH less than you see in physical media). There are also fewer middle-men in the food chain for digital delivery, which allows developers and publishers to typically recoup larger percentages of their products, which also means they can easily drop prices and/or do massive discount sales.

    Games cost more because games cost more. Development times have mushroomed, complexity of games keeps increasing, the level of staffing and credited personnel for development and support keeps growing... I can absolutely guarantee you that your game prices would not drop a penny if you could still buy them used on ebay. In fact, the exact opposite might happen! Console game prices keep creeping up, and stay high even used for a loooong time after launch. Care to guess what a major factor for that higher pricing is? Maybe not getting a single dime on a title after it gets sold the first time, even if it's resold 20 times? Keep in mind, that's 20 sales that were lost to the publisher/developer, and put right in the pockets of the resellers and/or corporate game sale/trade outlets. There's been quite a few estimations that game reselling costs console publishers far more than piracy ever does (but it's hard to quantify, since piracy figures are total guess work in most cases). You better believe those increased costs get passed down the line to consumers, eventually.
     
    psycros likes this.
  15. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 1,685   +60

    I used to sell cd keys of my old games on ebay and buy cd keys. They used cost waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay less on ebay. Its not a hypothetical, its a fact, its the past it happened. Steam and origin shut down the old CHEAP prices.

    I should be able to resell my games idc about their sales I own the damn game its my right. Why do you think xbox one reversed their used game policy?

    If steam wasn't so damn greedy I could resell my games the way god intended.

    All they really need is a button by your game that says release game from account. You click it and now you can resell your game. The cd key can now be bound to a new account. Simple, easy and will never happen because steam wants to make money. They are the biggest gaming scam ever. They raped our right to resell games.

    In the past you simply removed your email and added a new email to the game key. Most of the time people didn't even care if you did that and went off the honor system, which is pretty crazy.

    And greedy a holes like origin saw this and jumped on board! Xbox one tried the same thing but people wouldn't have it.
     
  16. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,105   +1,522

    Thats funny! "The way God intended" I might stop laughing sometime tomorrow. God intended for us all to play games, and then resale them when we are finished. The whole concept of that statement is as loony, as any loony toons I've ever watched.

    Games never were designed (especially by God) to be resold, thats just where consumers took them.
     
  17. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,286   +232


    I understand that you used to be able to do that. And I get what you are saying, Steam and Origin have ruined your ability to completely cut out any revenue to the developers and publishers by purchasing/selling secondhand games. What you are missing in my comment is that used game sales only drive up the costs of the initial game launches, to compensate for the lack of sales that represents. The more actual sales made, and the fewer transactions that cut out the producers of the games, the better it is for pricing.

    Consider that if I added up my entire Steam library, and what I paid for it (sales and specials ahoy!), then compared that with what I would have paid at a retail outlet and factored in what I might have gotten to sell the games back, I still come out ahead with Steam. AND I still own the games, free to play them again whenever I choose!

    Still, I think there is potential for your desires to come around soon. Steam is already playing around with sharing games, maybe they'll get to the actual trading or selling scenario? Imagine, if you could eventually resell the game directly through Steam?
     
  18. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 1,685   +60

    @cliffc duh, way over your head? cant believe you took that seriously ;)

    Vrmithrax
    It boggles my mind how angry people get when the exact same thing happens to consoles, but somehow pc steam users lack the ability to recognize their used game reselling rights have been taken away.

    Well that is due to the fact that most people are oblivious to the fact that they could resell their used games on ebay.

    No you do not come out ahead, if I could I would resale 90% of my steam library, at the moment I can't sell any of them. Sales special don't occur when a game is new. Either do low used game prices like on ebay.

    I like being able to sell games I do not like and buy games I do like, atm I am stuck with a bunch of games I hate. In the past I could sell them for money and then buy other games that if I liked I would not resale. Resulting in a inventory of games that I actually play. Crazy?

    Imagine if they never took away my ability to resell my games? The old gaming markets did spectacular before steam type platforms stole our ability to resell games. I don't know exactly why.

    Maybe because back then I would not hesitate to buy a new game because I had the ebay parachute. Or I could simply trade a friend.... idk why exactly but it worked and worked well, people loved it, they ended up with a product they wanted.

    Steam type platforms are the death of my pc gaming. When this rig dies maybe I can find somewhere to sell my steam\origin account when I switch to a console.
     
  19. TheBigFatClown

    TheBigFatClown TS Booster Posts: 453   +150


    Ummm, back in the day when you could sell your used games....you were paying $50 a whack. There was a good reason to resell the games you bought. Because you paid an outrages price for them. I paid $2.49 for SW:KOTOR 1, $2.49 for SW KOTOR 2, $2.49 for Jade Empire, $6 and change for BF:BC2, $2.49 for Limbo, $9.99 for PainKiller:Black Edition, $3.90 for PainKiller:Overdose, and I could go on but I think the point is made. At these prices, if you are patient, who gives a damn if you can resell the games or not? Seriously? People pay $9.00 to see a new movie at the theatre that last 2 hours. At Steam sales prices if you get 2 hours of enjoyment out of a game purchase you got your money's worth. Even if you can't resell the game. Now, if Microsoft wants to sell AAA titles at $2.49 then I will gladly give up my right to re-sell the game. If they think their games are made of solid ******* GOLD by selling at very high prices and then limiting people's rights to resell the game, as they have already seen, that ain't gonna fly wit da gamers.
    If Microsoft wants to succeed then they need to look around and learn from people who are succeeding. People like Valve. That's common sense.
     
    psycros and cliffordcooley like this.
  20. ReederOnTheRun

    ReederOnTheRun TS Booster Posts: 310   +62

  21. akashaheart

    akashaheart TS Rookie

    I agree I am always looking for a deal anyway and sometimes it is spurr of the moment situation . I will be talking to other people who are talking about a game and if it sounds good to me or I watch a trailer and decide ooo that would be neat to try and if it is at a good price I will buy it . Just a few weeks ago I bought the F.E.A.R. series for 3.00 and Alan Wake series for 4.00 with all dlc's and that was a great deal . But to find good deals on xbox I have to scour around for it and I might find a good deal once a month
     
  22. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 1,685   +60

    I'd rather have 1 game I like then ten I NEVER PLAY AND CAN NEVER SELL\TRADE. Everyone likes different games, we can no longer adapt each person collection to their own taste.

    The used game ebay price depended on how long after the game was released and its popularity. Exactly like they are now with console games on ebay. So yeah if you wanna check prices.

    Why do people have so much gay love with steam that they can't see its the exact same thing xbox one was trying to do?
     
  23. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 3,473   +622

    Interjection: Selling CD keys on ebay was only possible because the video game market didn't adapt quickly enough to the presence of eBay. You were essentially thieving - multiple keys could be used at the same time on a lot of games, as they didn't have online-checking.

    Slowly but surely, the video game companies caught on to this, and stopped it with another form of DRM. As before, slowly the market will change. But, give it time - look at the outdated music/video market.
     
    Burty117 likes this.
  24. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,510   +314

    Well no, in my steam library, I'll point out some high profile games that do work offline just fine.
    Crysis
    BioShock (1&2)
    Dishonored
    Elder Scrolls Oblivion
    All the Half-Lifes
    Mass Effect
    Left4Dead (1&2)
    Portal (1&2)
    Team Fortress 2
    Test Drive Unlimited
    Total War: Shogun 2
    GRID 2
    Unreal Tournament (every single one ever released on steam)

    Shall I continue? Moral of the story is, its actually much harder to find a game on steam that requires an internet connection than does not, hell even Multiplayer only games like TF2 and Borderlands can be played offline!
     
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  25. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 1,685   +60

    You never had cd keys that could be used at the same time unless its single player, you can still play single player mode on multiple consoles without drm. Only 3% of polled people on amazon said they would buy xboxone over ps4 in light of the new policies you are defending on pc. Going to your friends house and playing single player super mario bros on his console is not thieving. Selling your single player game online is not thieving. I agree with you that single player cd keys without drm is like pirating. The lack of a need for a physical copy lets people spam their cd key. Easily adverted with a one time activation required before you can install the game. I play multiplayer games so I never thought of that. I would say ebay should ban the sale of single player cd keys on ebay but gaming companies can easily add a one time internet activation. And if your on ebay you have the internet.


    Old multiplayer pc game ebay buying note:
    Most cd keys were tied to a email address, you could change the email address your game was tied too when you sold a game, changing it to the buyers email address. And all are tied to a email address now. It would be even simpler to let people give their game to another account in todays market.

    p.s. steam is a one time activation drm for many single player games thats fine but whats not fine is they took away my ability to go into my game account and change my game linked email address so I can sell my game to someone else, or like they have their gift sytem just give it to someone else. at the very very least they need to implement this for multiplayer games
     


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