Tech Stocking Stuffers: 18 awesome gifts under $50

Microsoft updates Games For Windows Live

By Jos · 28 replies
Aug 7, 2009
  1. Microsoft quietly updated its Games for Windows Live service to version 3.0 today. The biggest new feature, according to the company, is how users can now access the marketplace to buy content while playing any supported title and have it download and install in the background. The feature should help streamline digital distribution on PCs and follows a growing trend of generating additional revenue through post-release game content – Valve offers a similar feature on Steam and even Apple is supporting it for iPhone apps.

    Read the whole story
  2. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,680   +762

    Playing Fallout 3 for the last few months I've had to suffer with this gawd-awful Windows Live client. One of the worst clients I've ever seen, especially compared to how smooth Steam is. Maybe these updates will fix it to the point where I don't feel like I want to chuck my PC out the window sometimes.
  3. I don't know about a lot of people, but I for one use a computer that's not even hooked up to the internet to play games and I refuse to hook up any console to the Internet. If they start making games that require "Gametags" and an Internet connection to play I'll just keep playing classic games. I don't mind paying for games but as it stands the cost is to high and requireing Internet for an offline game is pure crap. The war on piracy is going to far and for no reason, it's not going to stop nothing, people we'll just make a fake server, or simply remove it from the game. we've all seen it before. all there trying to do is mess up the Used game market so every buddy has to pay $50+ for a game that are year's old, and you can't get nothing back if you bought a lemon of a game. The only way this sounds good is UNLESS they make it so I can return a game 30days after I buy it if i don't like it. then I'd support it. At that point I chould get all $50 back for something that sucked rather then a $5~20 trade in value.

    One last time so If any gaming company is reading this:
    If you make it so I can't trade my games you better be willing to have them returned UP-TO 30DAY's later, for a full refound!
  4. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,680   +762

    Well guest, you're in for a big disappointment and relegated to playing Solitaire forever if that's your stance. Online verification is the way it's going to be pretty much for every game now - and won't be long before you see it on console's too. You can thank the rampant theft of games for this.

    As far as getting a full refund after playing a game for 30 days - that's a joke, right? If you can't figure out whether you like a game in 4 or less hours of play or not, there's something wrong. With your full refund in 30 days suggestion, you're basically telling developers, "I want you to make games for me to play for free."

    Lastly, as far as re-selling or loaning - it's unfortunate. Like a good book, I'd like to share it with friends, but again - you can thank the rampant stealing for this.

    I don't blame the developers for going down this road and know full well that when I buy a game, it's for me only (unless someone wants to come over to the house and play), and what I'm paying for is "x" amount of entertainment. That's why I don't buy until a game has been fully reviewed and I know it's going to be worth my investment.
  5. "rampant theft of games"

    It's just a line to hide behind well they destory the trading/used game market.

    The only people I know that copy games are 1) Disabled and living on SSI and can't afford them. 2) Kids who are to young to work and have parents that want work with them at all to get it, and 3) A bunch of Lan gamers that already own 10+ copies and can't find copies of old lan games to buy any more.

    I don't know a single person that can afford or has the meens to buy games that don't.
  6. I think you both have the wrong idea, selling is an old business module that needs to just go away.

    Artistes, musicians and writers make way more money when they develop there own stuff and give it out and ask for donations. most people will donate a good amount of money in hopes of seeing more of the stuff we love. I'm willing to donate way more then I'm willing to pay sense I know it's going to the people that are making it and not dozens of middle men.

    Quite living in the past and think of the beauty of a open world. Where everybody can afford the media they want and support the artiest in a meaningful way!
    As an artist you get closer to your fans and get all the money your work is really worth, not what some CEO thinks you should get.
  7. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,680   +762

    Well that may be your personal experience with whomever you associate with, guest (and frankly, I find it near impossible to believe that you've never met anyone who hasn't illegally downloaded a game). But it is a well documented fact - I mean WELL documented, that literally tens of millions of illegal game downloads have occurred through the Bit Torrent sites over the last decade. The hottest games like Crysis and Spore have had well over a million illegal downloads EACH just within a month of their release.

    Complain and be upset all you want - it is this level of theft that has caused the evolution of online game verification to go the way it has.
  8. Ok so a million people out of millions grab a copy off the net, but what I want to know is how many BUY the game a few weeks later or a couple months later, and out of the ones that don't how many of them really have the money to buy it for the asking price? How many live in other countries were the game isn't available? How many are kids that can't buy them? how many people play more than an hour and decide they don't like it? you can't rent PC games, quite a few companies don't offer demo versions, and reviews are worthless 90% of the time 10mins of game play is worth 100,000words and screen shots.

    I only buy games I know I like, play demos of ones I don't know if I like, and don't mess with any game that doesn't offer a good demo. Like Sacred 2 you can let other people install it and they can play up to level 10 without needing to buy a key. In this case you HAVE to have downloaded, bummed, or copied the game somehow in order to demo it. I'd wager the loss they really take on from piracy in gaming is more like 1/100th or even less of what they claim is there proposed loss.

    After reading the other guest post I agree I think they should take their DRAM crap off their games and just put a donation button on their site. then I'd wager even the most of the extreme "Pirates" types would start giving up some money for their copies.
  9. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,680   +762

    "After reading the other guest post I agree I think they should take their DRAM crap off their games and just put a donation button on their site. then I'd wager even the most of the extreme "Pirates" types would start giving up some money for their copies."

    Nope - that doesn't happen either. Two examples: "World of Goo" game came out late last year and the cost was a lousy ten bucks. After receiving rave reviews, guess how many illegal downloads? Over a million. People wouldn't even pony up ten bucks for a great game.

    Second example: Radiohead released "In Rainbows" in 2007 online for donation only first before releasing on CD. Pay for what you thought it was worth is all they asked. 1/3 of the people who downloaded it paid nothing, and the average donation over the other 2/3 was 4 bucks. This is one of the top bands in the world with one of the most highly anticipated releases and people wouldn't even pay enough to cover their recording costs. It was only when the CD came out that they made a buck on it.

    Fact of the matter is, people steal because they can. I've heard all of the lame "the game wasn't worth it," "I wasn't going to buy it anyway," "the companies are ripping me off," etc., b.s. excuses ad nauseum. And that's all they are is excuses. The most weak attempts at trying to explain away why a person would steal.

    So now the companies are doing what they need to circumvent that, it's the was it's going to be, everyone saw it coming with all the theft going on and now you either deal with it or you don't play. Just that simple.
  10. How's it simple? you act as if any of this will stop piracy, sorry to tell you this but better companies have tried and failed at online and server said key stuff can anybody say Autodesk? adobe? Windows? Apple? as long as there is content that isn't free there will be piracy plain and simple. you don't even slow them down you just make their work that much more rewarding.

    All this dose is **** over the average user nothing more.
    Wake up and smell the lies, unless .... your one of the people paid to post the big brother knows best comments on these sites. statistics are a fun game of lies and decent you can make anything appear out of nothing.
  11. As an FYI: $8/album donation is the real numbers and incase your to dense

    If you ever been to a live show with good non-label music they charge $5-10 for their CDs they make them self's with cover art and all.

    The artist them self's are lucky to make $1 off every $20 CD you buy, yeah you see more money but its ALL going to the middle man.

    I don't know if I can post links here but have a read:
  12. Radiohead's donate-what-you-want downloadable album "In Rainbows" has received an average $8/album donation, bringing in $10 million in one week with 1.2 million downloads.

    $10 million sounds like a lot of money to me in a week... what do you consider good money?
  13. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,680   +762

    "you act as if any of this will stop piracy, sorry to tell you this but better companies have tried and failed at online"

    One word - Steam. And now it looks like Windows Live is following that same model.

    I'm not paid by anyone, nor am I affiliated with any software group to say these things. I'm just an avid gamer, music and movie lover. Been watching for years while millions of illegal downloads have occurred - even by my own friends and family members (who could easily afford these items) and with complete indifference. As an IT professional, I knew sooner or later it was going to come back to bite them in the *** and warned them all. And that time apparently is now. Like I said, simple as that.
  14. I don't really want to get in the middle of your guy'ss argument but... ah Steam... is really easy to get around....
  15. Yeah... but with steam there's no reason to just last month they were giving you all things Half-life2 + bio shock + Fortterss for like $30 you just have to wait for the right deal and you can really get a lot for a little.
  16. H-ll yeah if MS makes a Halo bundle and added a few extra games on top of it and charged $30 they got my vote
  17. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,680   +762

    "Radiohead's donate-what-you-want downloadable album "In Rainbows" has received an average $8/album donation, bringing in $10 million in one week with 1.2 million downloads. $10 million sounds like a lot of money to me in a week... what do you consider good money? "

    Post the link to show those stats, dude. Otherwise, I'm not listening.

    Secondly, $10 million is nothing considering what it costs to produce an album. That's what they pay just in snacks for the band while recording an album.

    Lastly, how about signing up for an account and being something other than a "guest" so we can follow your posts at TechSpot. Then we can all see if you're just full of crap or really know what you're talking about.
  18. Darkshadoe

    Darkshadoe TS Guru Posts: 571   +113

    "Post the link to show those stats, dude. Otherwise, I'm not listening."- TomSEA

    "Secondly, $10 million is nothing considering what it costs to produce an album. That's what they pay just in snacks for the band while recording an album." - TomSEA

    "What the band got was an average of $8 per album sold, bringing estimates of profit to about $10 million." -

    "Accounting profit is the difference between price and the costs of bringing to market whatever it is that is accounted as an enterprise (whether by harvest, extraction, manufacture, or purchase) in terms of the component costs of delivered goods and/or services and any operating or other expenses." - Wikipedia

    In layman's terms Tom..They made 10 million AFTER they bought those snacks
  19. BrownPaper

    BrownPaper TS Rookie Posts: 407

    If the companies truly made games uncrackable, then people who pirate will just stop playing games. They won't pay for it. If you are poor and cannot afford it, you find something else to do that does not cost money. Just because you stop the pirates, does not mean revenue and profits will increase.

    Kill the interest in games and kiss the industry goodbye.
  20. Yeah i agree Tom. I download because I can. I can pay easily but choose not to. I mean waste gas to go to a store when I can just download zippy split for free. Yeah those are lame arguments for why they download for free. I don't know what the answer is. I think if things were cheaper and easy. Like you all the games you want for a cheap price. yeah OK.. That'll never happen... So FREE for me.. yippee
  21. Lame to be poor eh? I agree if you have the money you better damn well and pay if you're going to get it. But I also recognize all the people who work the low-pay jobs so the rest of us can have a nicer day don't really get paid enough to really eat good along buy over priced media. I've heard the argument "If they can't afford it they shouldn't have it." but that's not a very good view for a country that prides itself on having a high quality of life for all its citizens.
    You work minimum wage: $7.25 $290 a week some were around $1,160m/o
    -15% tax
    -$500mo for rent (1bed room apartment)
    -$100 for utilities and Internet
    -$100 for car insurance
    -$60 gas
    =$226 for food, essentials and entertainment.

    I don't know about the rest of you but I have a decent diet, cook all my own food, and don't eat hardly any junk food and my food bill comes out to around $3.50 a meal 3xA day = $315 that's not counting toilet paper , hygiene, cleaning supplies...etc at the end of the month you pretty much have a roof over your head and 2 meals a day.
    Even if you have 2people in a 1br:
    -$500 for rent
    -$120 for utilities and Internet
    -$200 for insurance
    -$120 in gas
    -$300(600) each for a barley acceptable diet.
    -$100 for everything else toilet paper, soap, tooth paste....etc
    = $ 332 / 2 = $166 each
    Not bad right? $166 each as long as you don't have any debt from medical, for the fact you can't afford to have insurance, your gas bill is really $60/mo I know a lot of people that have to drive 1:30hr to work each day to work it cost them closer to $150/mo, or $80+ for a cell phone, or car maintenance can set you back a couple hundred in fluids and filters every few months. $100 for car insurance is going pretty low to most people I know pay $125~200. In the winter any place your getting a apartment for $500 you'll likely need to add +30% for heating.

    I challenge everybody who reads this to apply that money to your eating habits and what you consider a quality of life fit for the working class that are the reason you have all cool services you have here.

    Prices are apx-based on living in central America in farm and industrial cities.
  22. Darkshadoe

    Darkshadoe TS Guru Posts: 571   +113

    I believe Jay Leno once said, and I paraphrase "Why don't you never see PSYCHIC WINS LOTTERY as a newspaper headline?"

    Personally, I have never seen the headline "Major software company closes due to rampant downloading"

    Software companies are hypocrites. They whine and cry about illegal downloading yet they pad the numbers to gain our sympathy? People like TomSEA keep spouting off that stealing is stealing no matter what the reason. Guess is lying. Software companies and business' in general do it on a daily basis. If a company can make a billion dollars without stealing, lying and taking advantage of its customers then god bless them they deserve every penny they earned. Turn-about is fair play.
  23. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,680   +762

    That link on the Radiohead sales is inaccurate. Here's what really happened: "Citing a source close to the band, reported that by the day of its online release, the album had sold 1.2 million copies. The claim, however, has been dismissed by band manager Bryce Edge as "exaggerated". According to an Internet survey conducted by Record of the Day, about one-third of people who downloaded the album paid nothing, with the average price paid being £4."

    Bottom line, tens of thousands of people walked away with that music for free, or "donated" considerably less than what normal retail pricing would be.

    You people should take a step back and look at how you're trying to explain away your theft. "I can't afford it," and the "companies are lying." Seriously those are the most lame and weakest of excuses. Again, you steal because of the ease through Bit Torrents and the anonymity the internet provides.

    I have no doubt if the tables were turned and this was YOUR product being stolen by the hundreds of thousands, you'd be screaming bloody murder about it. But because it's some faceless company and your own feeling of personal entitlement, you not only steal at will, but feel obligated to throw up pathetic excuses for it. Really pathetic.

    I'm just glad the computer gaming industry has survived this and welcome the steps they're taking to stem the near unbelievable amount of stealing going on.
  24. Tom really get your head out of your as and see that at $8 average is still a lot better money for an artist then the tiny amount they see from each CD sold

    money they get from a CD $<1
    Money they got from Dls even with all the people that didn't pay $5~7

    More people make money off the CD but there a bunch of half wits that are thieves them self's.

    1/4 people paid ok well so what you as the person making it made more money.
    As an artist I don't care if 4/5 people steel my art as long as people that like it give me enough to get by I'm happy. I'd rather be less famous and make just as much then be more famous make the same and pay for a CEO and his lackeys to live a life style they shouldn't have off my work.
  25. Darkshadoe

    Darkshadoe TS Guru Posts: 571   +113

    1. It was given away for donations so how can it be stolen?? They probably made new fans and still made money with that stategy or maybe they were tired of the RIAA and record companies stealing 9/10ths of their earnings. Also please post your link as you have asked others to do.

    2. Now this was funny. Basically your saying its ok for a software company to do whatever they want but when its done to them in the form of downloading and the such, they are the victim? That is like the italian mafia crying that the russian mafia is stealing from them. Its not just the software industry but all big corporations. You are correct that stealing is wrong but again, so is lying. It doesn't matter if its a big game company or an individual who programs just for fun. Its just as "pathetic" for software companies to tell outright lies just to gain sympathy as it is for people to rationalize downloading illegally.

    3. Yes the gaming industry has survived for 30+ years. If illegal downloading was as bad as they and you say, this wouldn't be the case. They aren't complaining because they are all on the verge of bankruptcy, They are complaining because the they want to soak the customer for every penny they can get by way of lying, cheating and stealing. If they cant make that extra 5 cents by selling a product, SUE...and THAT IS WHAT IS PATHETIC.
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