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Digital Game Download vs Physical CD

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04-10-2010, 12:17 AM
  #1
Birko19
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Digital Game Download vs Physical CD

Having built a new computer recently I'm enjoying the PC gaming world as we speak, I have bought Dragon Age with its expansion along with Fallout 3 + its expansions and Oblivion + expansions, all on CD's btw.

Now I want to get Mass Effect 1+2 but I'm having a hard time finding Mass Effect 1 anywhere, however that's not my concern, I also just found out that Mass Effect 1 has a 5 install limit which pisses me off, so I'm sort of leaning toward the digital copy, my question is how good is Steam compared to the Physical CD's? I heard there's no install limits for ME1 on Steam, but I want someone who can tell me the advantages and disadvantages of having one or the other.

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04-10-2010, 12:39 AM
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leova
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honestly, i feel much more comfortable with A PHYSICAL PIECE OF HARDWARE that I spent $50 on, than a little file on my PC, subject to god-knows-what PC issues I may have, corrupt HDs, etc...

not to mention with a physical CD you can install it at your buddy's house

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04-10-2010, 12:53 AM
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Belamorte
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Personally, I would never buy another game on CD/DVD unless there was absolutly no other way. In fact I think I would skip the game if it was not available digitally now. I have bought many games that I had originally purchased on CD a second time on Steam just so I dont have to have to worry about the CD anymore. Also, it automatically updates/patches the games for you if you choose to have that option on.

They have great sales as well and most games are on it. The Christmas and Thanksgiving sales were insane. I have also bought a few games that Steam does not carry through Stardock, but the selection is more limited, and D2D but I prefer Steam. I love that I dont need the CD in the computer, never having to worry about losing disks again and having games installed on many computers without carrying the disks around.

I have yet to hear a valid argument against using it. The only problem I could see is if someone had severe bandwith limits and wanted to dl large games or was on dialup.

My biggest issue is I spend way too much money because it is so easy to buy games, I have like 20 games I have never even installed.

Steam

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04-10-2010, 01:07 AM
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I grabbed ME1 off Steam for $5 during the last holiday sale.

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04-10-2010, 01:08 AM
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steam

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04-10-2010, 01:23 AM
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Towers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leova View Post
not to mention with a physical CD you can install it at your buddy's house
You can log onto your Steam Account or D2D account and install the games at your buddies house.

I buy games all the time and my friend downloads them off my D2D account.

I bought Fallout 3: GOTY on disc and have had nothing but issues.

I've bought tons and tons of games online and I have no ZERO issues. I can even go back and grab the games I bought 3 years ago and install them.



Direct2Drive is awesome.

http://www.direct2drive.com/

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04-10-2010, 01:31 AM
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Birko19
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Thanks guys, but my question is does the game act exactly the same way the CD does? Also do I need to be online to play the game?

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04-10-2010, 01:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birko19 View Post
Thanks guys, but my question is does the game act exactly the same way the CD does? Also do I need to be online to play the game?
It is NO different than having a disc. I can assure you. You get a key, it's 100% the same

As for DRM, tons of games have that. Both disc based and download based games.

Settlers 7 for instance, you NEED to be online to play campaign mode.

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04-10-2010, 01:40 AM
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Birko19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Towers View Post
It is NO different than having a disc. I can assure you. You get a key, it's 100% the same

As for DRM, tons of games have that. Both disc based and download based games.

Settlers 7 for instance, you NEED to be online to play campaign mode.
Well I'm hoping the Mass Effect DRM on Steam is a bit lighter, that whole 5 time install limit is retarded.

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04-10-2010, 01:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birko19 View Post
Well I'm hoping the Mass Effect DRM on Steam is a bit lighter, that whole 5 time install limit is retarded.
While I am an advocate of digital downloads I am against Steam.

I really suggest http://www.direct2drive.com/.

No programs. No install limits.

Just download the .zip file, install and go.

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04-10-2010, 01:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birko19 View Post
Thanks guys, but my question is does the game act exactly the same way the CD does? Also do I need to be online to play the game?

Yeah, to clarify the games are exactly the same as the store CD bought ones, and Steam has an offline mode that lets you play while not connected to the internet. But, like the poster previous said some of the newer games, mostly/only Ubisoft recent games I think (Settlers7, Silent Hunter5 and AC2) require you to be online all the time no matter if you buy through Steam or through a conventional retail store.

It will say in the description on the Steam link if there is install limits.

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04-10-2010, 01:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Towers View Post
While I am an advocate of digital downloads I am against Steam.

I really suggest http://www.direct2drive.com/.

No programs. No install limits.

Just download the .zip file, install and go.
While I have bought a few through D2D, Steam would be my first choice. I dont find the program intrusive at all and I like that it patches my games automatically.

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04-10-2010, 01:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birko19 View Post
Thanks guys, but my question is does the game act exactly the same way the CD does? Also do I need to be online to play the game?
Not ALWAYS do they act the same way as the poster above would indicate. Most of the time they do act just the same however.

Personally I don't trust my games digitally with anyone other than GOG.com. I have bought from steam but only on their semi annual ridiculous sales.

But I'm also good with my media. I think I've truly scratched beyond usefulness 1 CD in over 10 years of PC gaming and I backup all my important discs on HD.

Steam itself is a type of DRM but since you can't find ME1 retail it might be your only option. Most gamers say Steam is okay because it's less annoying than other forms of DRM. That's just not an acceptable arguement to me but whatever floats your boat. I don't think people should just accept it because there are worse things out there.

I would say stick to boxed games for the most part and use steam only when required. Nothing will ever replace the feeling for me of cracking open a new box with a nice printed manual. Some of my favorite gaming items are my old full size Diablo manuals.

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04-10-2010, 01:58 AM
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the only time i have done a digital download instead of the CD was for Windows 7 when i could save an extra 10 dollars, i got it for a deal of 30 (sometimes its awesome to be a student)!

Didnt matter though since MS offered a way to put it on a cd yourself.

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04-10-2010, 02:37 AM
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yeah steam is a great program and valve is only moving in a good direction with it. they just keep making it better. valve has been nothing, but amazing for pc gamers and is probably the best thing going for pc gaming right now, i like steam, i like their games, i'm going to continue to support both. to me it's the best method of buying and playing games for pc.

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04-10-2010, 02:42 AM
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It certainly is nice to have the option. Honestly, I hate bothering with CD's, and downloading is generally easier than going to the store (it may not be faster in some cases, but easier).

D2D/steam do have their drawbacks, like needing to be online to download, but if you're buying PC games, you generally have 24/7 internet access anyway.

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04-10-2010, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SniperHF View Post
Not ALWAYS do they act the same way as the poster above would indicate. Most of the time they do act just the same however.
Not saying you're wrong but I'm just wondering how they're different. I haven't encountered anything weird yet.

Aside from not having a physical manual I mean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Defgarden View Post
D2D/steam do have their drawbacks, like needing to be online to download, but if you're buying PC games, you generally have 24/7 internet access anyway.
If you have a good internet connection it shouldn't be an issue. I had Bad Company 2 downloaded in 20 minutes and installed in 5/10 minutes. That's a lot faster than going out to Gamestop. Dragon Age took me 1 hour to download and 20 to install. That hour wasn't bad because I got to preload it the day before.

Not to mention aside from Futureshop/Bestbuy I've noticed that the selection of PC games is dwindling.

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04-10-2010, 11:10 AM
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Frankie Spankie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 19nazzy View Post
I grabbed ME1 off Steam for $5 during the last holiday sale.
I did too, I still haven't even played it yet either.

I'm still not a big fan of steam but use it anyway. It's mainly because of the friends system in it and it's the only way to play Valve games so I don't really have a choice.

You can download them as many times as you like which is convenient and you never have to swap out discs in the drive which is what always drove me nuts when it came to PC gaming in the past. I don't know if they fixed it since I haven't tried it in years but when I tried playing games in offline mode, it wouldn't let me saying "this game is not available right now" which drove me nuts. I almost threw my computer out the window at that joke.

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04-10-2010, 04:05 PM
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Belamorte
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Towers View Post
Not saying you're wrong but I'm just wondering how they're different. I haven't encountered anything weird yet.

Aside from not having a physical manual I mean.





Not to mention aside from Futureshop/Bestbuy I've noticed that the selection of PC games is dwindling.

Ya, I have 119 games on my Steam account and have not had an issue with any game. And you are totally right, finding PC games at traditional retail outlets is becoming more and more limited.

I guess it kinda sucks not having the physical manual, but it seems all the games lately just have a just token manual anyhow unlike 5 or 10 years ago when manuals were large with much information.

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04-12-2010, 12:03 AM
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Birko19
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Well it's safe to say that purchasing from Steam has been a failure so far, I enter my credit card info all correct and it keeps declining, I know it's not my credit card cause I have enough balance and I even phoned my credit card company to make sure everything is ok.

I emailed Steam support and they said something about their fraud system so I sent them some of this information manually as they requested, not impressed so far.

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04-12-2010, 02:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birko19 View Post
Well it's safe to say that purchasing from Steam has been a failure so far, I enter my credit card info all correct and it keeps declining, I know it's not my credit card cause I have enough balance and I even phoned my credit card company to make sure everything is ok.

I emailed Steam support and they said something about their fraud system so I sent them some of this information manually as they requested, not impressed so far.
*cough*Paypal*cough*

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04-12-2010, 02:45 AM
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Birko19
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Originally Posted by Towers View Post
*cough*Paypal*cough*
What difference does it make, it's the same crap.

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04-12-2010, 03:03 AM
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digital download is a nice option, and i've used it from time to time ...but in the end i always prefer to have a hard copy with the box and everything.

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04-12-2010, 08:06 AM
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Francesa
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Digital.

One thing of note though, when Lich King came out they didn't have digital game download for several weeks. It was all DVD They'll probably do the same with Cataclysm.

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04-12-2010, 08:30 AM
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Jill Sandwich
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I might not be in the same boat as you fellows, because I quit PC gaming a couple years ago, but I prefer having discs and boxes on my shelves. The only games I like having digitally are little puzzle games like Droplitz.

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