Steam Rocks!

14 10 2008

So anyone who is a fan of software centralization will agree with me on this one… STEAM ROCKS.

For any of you who don’t know Steam is a digital distribution, digital rights management, multiplayer and communications platform developed by Valve Corporation who are the awesome brains behind the best gaming experience in the world…. the Half-life series.

Steam is used to distribute and manage (sometimes exclusively) a wide range of games and related media entirely over the Internet, stretching from one-man independent efforts to some of the world’s most popular games. Steam is set apart from its peers in terms of functionality primarily by its residency in the system tray, and the desktop tasks that the client software performs.

As of 2008-10-01, over 450 games are available on Steam, and as of 2008-10-10, there are over 16 million active user accounts.

The Steam Community also allows you to keep track of when your friends are on-line, what they are playing and (if it’s an online game) which server they are on. I’ve been an advocate of Steam for many years now but it only just recently struck me how useful it is.

I’d just bought a new laptop. I installed Steam and then left it to do its thing. 4 hours later Steam had installed over 70% o the games I had on my old PC. AWESOME!

Of course this type of software centralisation is not to everyones taste as the on-line store takes away the physical aspect of buying a game. I have no issue with this, but people like my housemate (who i have debated this with a lot) like the feeling of buying a game… getting home and opening the box and reading the manual while it installs… and i can see where he’s coming from.. however i value software centralisation as a better solution as you never have to worry about losing a game CD/DVD or losing the manual which has the game activation key in it.

Bottom line – Steam is a very versitile tool and I’ll definatly continue using it in the future.

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One response

16 11 2008

Agreed. I lost all my HL CDs when moving house, but because of Steam, that wasn’t an issue. Though honestly when Steam first came out, the software was new and kinda buggy (not forgetting the additional overhead/lag of running such games on an external platform, a lot of pple hated it). Forunately, things were sort of ironed out and yea, it’s great today. I guess, non-broadband subscribers will be disadvantaged though, but nowadays broadband is pretty fast and running games on Steam doesn’t incur too much overhead with today’s computers.

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