Portal Goes Free for PC and Mac, but You Have to Act Fast

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methuselah

Those complaining about Steam clearly aren't using it.

If they were, they wouldn't be complaining.

Crying over Steam back in 2005, yes.

Crying about Steam in 2011, no.

 

Get a clue.

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Keith E. Whisman

It's like that movie They Live! Put on these sunglasses and look at steam and you'll see it's a government/alien cover up. The aliens are here and they are trying to take over through steam. Steam is alien technology and like all alien technology it sucks. In this case we are the more advanced culture and have more advanced technology. I'm sure the aliens got here using steam based rockets. 

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Keith E. Whisman

we need portal and crysis on Android tablet.

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Anthony010

Steam only uses 22MB...for me at least. It's not bloatware. Steam is a game providing company...why would they make their program bloated... and it's not really bloatware if you have 4gb or more of memory in your system so what seems to be the problem? Steam connects gaming friends and communities and even allows you to go online during a game say if you die and you have to wait...It's not bloatware at all and it's kind of amazing that it's only taking 22MB of memory.

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MrHasselblad

The "comment" concerning how Microsoft's XBox360 could delete just one game is not entirely correct and accurate. Microsoft rarely voids out one game for their console. Also depending upon infractions that Microsoft has the ability to void out ones entire user account - although it is possible for any one user to have more than one account - most of the time just one account at a time can be banned on a small time basis; or even indefinately.

If an account gets banned the person whom had that account will no longer be able to play any game online - using that account; and in some cases may lose any downloaded content. I've seen people lose online access to an extremely large library of games.

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war59312

Ugh, just wish steam was not required.

Not going to install lame bloatware for 1 game I bet I won't play more than a few times anyways.

Oh well, thanks but no thanks. Screw steam, it sucks! Perhaps its because I am tired of uninstalling it on clients PCs. I have probably uninstalled the junk 10,000 times by now.

And yes of course I use a script to uninstall it.

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bling581

I've been using Steam for about a year now with dozens of titles and not a single problem. Even if there were a few quirks the benefits of Steam would greatly out weigh them. Their holiday sales are reason enough to download it despite how horrible you find it to be.

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Anthony010

whats the point of talking shit about something you dont even know anything about? Steam isnt bloatware...at all. It's the exact opposite. All steam does is provide people games and sometimes tries to get your attention to buy MORE games on steam...whats wrong with that?

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Holly Golightly

I am with you on Steam being bloatware... And indeed it is! Nobody should be force to launch another pointless client just to play a game. To be honest with you, we need more PC gamers like us. That see that clients are not neccessary! I really wish I could play Portal and other cool games without Steam. 

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Marthian

wow, bloatware. Honestly? it takes up 5 or so MB of space, takes up less than 64 or so MB of ram.

Haters gonna hate.

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war59312

Well I just tried to create a steam account and was going to install on a VM to prove to you it uses more than 64 MB of RAM.

But at last I can't even create an account. It errors out every single time.

And then it seems to have created my account anyways since if I reload the page it then says the user name is taken which meant it did create my account.

So then I tried to login and of course it won't. Bad password. Right! I just made the account and of course I know the correct password.

And now to even attempt to do a password recovery you have to install Steam. Wow!

What a shitty ass web site too. Figures!

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sallystudios

Believe it or not, this person also has trouble with online shopping and banking (esp. durin account creation) 

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Scatter

I'm running it on my PC now as I type this.  56mb of RAM. 

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Marthian

then go back to your consoles.

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thetechchild

LOL

At what point did anybody in this comment thread talk about consoles? We're talking about high-quality, convenient, and clean interfaces. Steam is obviously not one of them -- the website and registration process suck. Nobody said consoles were any better. (I certainly don't! The most modern console I own is the Nintendo GBA SP, and for good reason.)

Plus, 64MB of RAM and 5 MB download is pretty crap for something that does nothing except authentication and downloading what is essentially a list and a few pictures from the Internet.

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Holly Golightly

I am glad to know I am not on the minority when I say Steam is by far the worst choice for PC Gamers. But gaming on PCs is far better than gaming on consoles for sure. LOL, I said it before, and I'll say it again. Steam is equal to AT&T in terms of quality of service. Best to avoid them. Xbox Live on Windows 8 is definitely the dream right now.

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PDX-1337

Steam is the BEST choice for PC Gamers.

This is why they are the #1 platform for on-line game sales and delivery, and why they have millions of loyal customers. You never have to worry about finding or keeping safe your CDs or DVDs or game keys, it is all in one place, you can install Steam on all your computers, and patches happen automatically.

Got a new computer? No problem, install Steam and sha-zam, all of your games are there, ready to be installed, with the latest versions, un-like disks that then need to be patched.

I love it, I will never buy another game on disk, I have even been buying games on Steam I already owned on disk, just so they would now be on Steam.

It's ok if it is not for you, but once you try it, and actually start building up your game library within it, it is sooo great.

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Holly Golightly

I have already tried Steam. I have also downloaded games long before I tried Steam. I hate buying disks and installing them. But I use programs that don't always launch a client like Steam requires every game to. So I use Game Comrade instead. I do not have to automatically log in my user name and password. Game Comrade allows me to launch the client whenever I feel like, and I can download as many times on as many computers as I feel like, and play offline. Steam always logs online. No software should ever require an internet connection... Or a buggy "off-line mode" because some games do not use the internet at all... Yet Steam forces all gamers to have an internet connection just to be able to play every month.

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Scatter

So what makes Steam so terrible to you?  It's an application that you can easily remove from your startup so that it only starts and runs when you want to play a Steam game and you can simply right click and exit it when you're done playing.  It's not like it's annoying and won't let you exit it.  It doesn't take a lot of system resources to run.  It hasn't crashed or caused any Pc problems for me.  As far as I can see it only lets me play the games that I want to play. 

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fourfinger

why all the hate over steam, it is better than craptastic live, but hey go ahead and play on your relic the 360 vrmlbasic

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Marthian

I think they are just trolls saying Steam sucks. Steam only takes up about 5mb or so of HDD space, that's barely any for a PC gamer. Even the 64 or so MB of ram is nothing these days considering 8gb costs $50. There's such a thing as offline play, and I find it rather convenient to have all my games in one location. Even asides from having to run steam to play a game, if your feeling up to it (not really worth it.) you can just look for some crack, honestly, its not rocket science.

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vrmlbasic

Portal 1 _is_ a relic already.  So is the HL2 Source Engine.  Why would I use bleeding-edge PCs to play an old game with dated graphics when my 360 version works just as well?  The 360 might even be more power-efficient for this task.

Portal was free for my 360 anyhow--it was the added bonus in the Orange Box, a $15 new value.

Xbox Live provides me with multiple ways to buy the game, one of which is an actual physical copy, and a much easier method of playing online with my friends, many of whom lack the massive internet connection and semi-modern PCs requisite for Steam. (Not so much luddites as those who can't justify 500-1000 dollars for a gaming PC when the 360 is dirt cheap and "good enough".)

My internet connection gets around 3.5MB (yes, MegaBytes, I'm simplifying) downstream and yet I've still had issues with Steam.  Not to mention that I don't always have access to that internet connection, and refuse to deal again with the Steam "offline mode" which only works if you are clairvoyant.

The old saying "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch" applies here; the game might not cost any money, but it does require me to install Steam, which is a cost, and a huge one to someone like me.

I'm still playing through all of the updated & bonus-feature endowed games on GOG, I don't have time for Steam anyhow.

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Scatter

Why would you play an old game on your bleeding edge PC?  How about because its still a great game?  How about because there's still a lot of people out there that haven't played it yet and I'm sure that they hope that if you download and like Portal you might purchase Portal 2.

If you don't like the game or don't want to play the game here's an idea, don't download it. 

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Marthian

what on earth are you doing on MaximumPC? are you just trolling? Because that's what it sounds like. Where do you pull out Live takes LESS bandwidth than a PC? Installing Steam isn't really that BIG of a hassle, you make it sound like it takes a crapload of space on your computer. Also, considering that a gaming PC is still a PC, which doesn't cost a lot, and doesn't have some corporate overlord forcing licensing fees on those that want to develop for said platform, you are usually getting a better deal on purchasing software for said platform.

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vrmlbasic

Continuing the trend, I have to ask what you are doing on MaximumPC as you, frankly, sound like a cretin.  You haven't managed to parse a single thing I've stated, or perhaps I am not giving you proper credit: you could just be sadly cherry-picking and rewording what I said to accomplish, well, something?  All I know is that it is petty, and not a cogent argument.

I think the only way to describe this behavior, in addition to cretin, is an ignorant fanboy.  Your illogical "defense" of Steam--persecution of those who don't share your faith in it--is eerily similar to that of an Apple fan.

For sake of agument, I'll refute your misstatements:

1) "Where do you pull out Live takes LESS bandwidth than a PC?" -- I never said that, you're pulling that out of thin air. The comparison was never made, you simply inferred it.  Were the comparison to be made, it should be patently obvious that Steam requires more bandwidth as one has to download every game off of Steam.  My issues with Steam stem from excruciatingly slow downloads due to issues on Steam's end.  I mentioned my above-average internet speed only to illustrate that the fault for this lies with Steam, not with my ISP.

2.) "considering that a gaming PC is still a PC, which doesn't cost a lot" -- The first part of this is pointless, and the whole statement is a fallacy.  A PC may be cheap, but there isn't a PC which offers the convenience for my associates that the 360 affords at the same price point.  Maximum PC ran an article about building a sub $400 pc.  Such a PC not only costs more than a 360 but also does not appear to perform as well.

3.) "doesn't have some corporate overlord forcing licensing fees on those that want to develop for said platform, you are usually getting a better deal on purchasing software for said platform." -- Perhaps the developers aren't under the corporate thumb, but the consumers are.  Valve is an obvious corporate overlord forcing licensing fees on the consumer to in essence rent games from them.

Out of curiosity, when you typed your suggestion for dealing with the woes of Steam's DRM--downloading illegal cracks--did you realize that something was wrong with that?  You even admit that Steam is a hassle.  Why should I be roped into inconvenience, at my own expense? 

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Holly Golightly

Whoa vrmlbasic... What the hell? Talk about agree to disagree!

Steam is definitely a hassle, but in no way is the Xbox360 better than a PC. I mean, the graphics on the Xbox360 are soooo 2005. PC Gamers enjoy the latest, and often greatest gaming hardware out there. No red rings, low storage, or monthly membership fees. While a majority of us MaximumPC readers game on the PC, we have the luxury to game with the latest technology. I mean tessellation from DirectX-11, PhysX, 32x anti-aliasing, anisotropic filtering, plus insane resolutions that go beyond the 1080p standard... Which most console games are still not a truly native 1920x1080, while PC Gamers go beyond that with a resolution most console gamers can not even pronounce. WQXGA 2560x1600!!! Best part about a PC is the ability to multi-task... Something no console can handle today.

I hate Steam just like you do, but educated consumers know the competition. GOG is totally DRM-free. No bloatware or anything stupid you find on consoles or on Steam. Gamers Gate is a great site to buy any digital game out there. If digital downloads are not your thing, you can always go to MicroCenter, Best Buy, Target, GameStop or J&R World... However, due note that digital downloads are the future for consoles and PCs alike. With that said, Steam is NOT the only digital storefront to PC games. There is soo much competition out there, but most people simply just don't know. They are not educated about the competition.

Do you know why consoles are cheaper? Because they are meant for kids. Mommy and daddy do not want to spend $2,000 on a toy that their child will eventually shove in their closet. It is time the console gamers grow up! The reason why the consoles are going up on price ($600 PS3s) is because consoles try too hard to be like PCs. Consoles stand in an upright position... Like a PC. They come with interchangeable faceplates (Xbox360) to replicate that personal feel a PC gives you. There are bluetooth-connectable and have accessories like keyboards and webcams... Heck, there was an option to have Linux as the OS. Indeed, freakishly similar to PCs, eh? Heck man, all consoles now come with extra cooling accessories for better performance. Just like a PC. Too bad you can not overclock a console though. Consoles now have online connectivity. Something PCs have been doing for decades. DLC? Yeah, they were called MODs and Expansion Packs... They used to be for free on the PC... And still are, but not for consoles.

Steam Fanboys are by far worse than Apple Fanboys no doubt... But die-hard console fans are equally as ignorant.

See it for what it is. You get what you pay for. While you game on the same $400 console for 10+ years (remember the 10 year plan?) PC gamers, including the Steam Fans will clearly enjoy a far more superior gaming experience. Not that there is anything wrong with gaming decade-old graphics... But PCs have emulators that can suit your needs. For free may I add! You can still be a PC Gamer, and never use Steam. For as long as we have EA making games like Battlefield 3... We should be fine. But yeah, the future is Windows 8 running XboxLive. While Steam is soo 2008, and Xbox soo 2005. Anyhow, all we want to do is just game freely.

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iceman08

please, put together a $250 PC with bluray, wi-fi, 1080p, ability to run games at a playable framerate, online gaming, etc. You know why I like consoles? I can buy it and not have to worry about upgrading it. I don't have to worry about my hardware settings. I also don't have to worry about whether I can create a match with my friends. PC may be superior, but I'm more concerned with convenience and needs. I don't have the money currently to build even a $667 PC, as I'm a college student who has to put the money to tuition and other things a college guy is concerned about. Do I enjoy gaming on my laptop when I can find a game that runs on it? definitely. But as I said, consoles give me ease of use. As for the 10 year lifespan, a PC can definitely be superior 10 years from now as compared to a console, but how many upgrades and how much money invested into it will it take? The average 2005 PC probably performs about the same as a 2005 Xbox 360 or PS3, and it will still be the same 10 years from now unless I dump more money into said PC, thus making it modernized and an unfair comparison. Emulators? Show me an emulator that can run Ace Combat 4, 5, and Zero without stuttering (PS2). WQXA? the average(please note this word) gamer will most likely play on 1080p or 1920x1200. Can't remember my source on that one though, maybe Tom's Hardware. Multitasking? I am playing a video game, no need to multitask; takes away my concentration. Again, PC has the latest tech, no disagreement there. But for what a console is, it still has some impact. But then again, I'm on a PC site, so I should expect people to hate on anything that can't be upgraded.

As a person once said, a gamer is a gamer no matter the system 

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Holly Golightly

Sure, if you do not mind gaming with the same graphics for 10 years. Although most people I know upgrade their computers every 3 to 5 years. There was once a time consoles were upgraded every 4 years. It seems their planned lifespans are getting longer, and longer. I can only imagine how much longer the next console lifespan will be... 15 years? 20 years? Consoles already slow down the entire gaming industry. For example, most consoles can not produce 720p graphics at 60 frames. So guess what, as a result, everyone else is stuck with an outdated gaming experience. Part of the reason why we are on MaximumPC is because we love technology. We always look for the next advancement in technology. Yet, we are forced to play games with graphics that date as far back as 2005. So yes, while your console may only cost $600, and my PC may cost $2,000... My PC can do more things than your console can ever dream of. I am talking about WUXGA (1920x1200) at 60 frames per second no problem. Finally developers are taking note to this, and are now beginning to shift their focus back to PCs. 

As for Blu-Rays... Why would I want to waste any money on blu-rays when the future is all about digital downloads. Yes, there are now digital copies that go up to 1080p. The downloads are cheaper than blu-rays, and I help save the environment by using zero plastic. I think all of todays current consoles are made out of 100% cheap plastic that somehow bring forth red rings (Xbox360) and yellow lights (PS3) and black screens (3DS) of death. Once you game on a PC with Direct X-11 with all of the setting maxed out, you can never go back to the old way of gaming. Plus, consoles are for children... Why would you want to play on something designed for kids? We are grown ups here... Although some people act like kids here. I am a college student too, and I do not have money to buy PCs, consoles, and HDTVs. I do everything on 1 location. My pc! I watch TV on it, play games on it, and listen to music on it. No console can serve the purpose of all 3 while multi-tasking on my term paper.

As for emulators, I am pretty sure some PCs are perfectly capable of handling Ace Combat. The PS2 emulators are not optimized, but with a powerful enough system, it surely can handle it. A system with 4 way CrossFire-X Radeon HD 6990 (which each card has 2 GPUs) works more like the power of 8 graphic cards providing a grand total of 20.4 teraflops. I am sure with video cards like these connected with an overclocked 8 core CPU and 32GB of RAM and some wicked SSDs, you will be future proofed by about 15 years and still beat the next generation of consoles no problem. My only fear is how slow the next generation of consoles will push back the gaming industry. Because if it is anything like this current generation. You can double the life span of the pc specs I mentioned to 30 years. To be honest with you, I really feel the future of gaming will have no consoles. Where people game on their computers or tablets because tablets upgrade very rapidly, and PCs are ready to upgrade anytime, anywhere... While consoles are a closed system. Or a locked platform as I like to say.

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iceman08

I'm bored and lazy and writing a term paper, so I'm only going to nitpick two things: MaxPC is not a love of all things tech; that's what MaxTech is for. MaxPC is a love of all things PC.

 

And if consoles are for children, then I'll be forever young.

 

Edit: I lied, sorry. PCs haven't been able to optimize even N64 emulators, for nostalgia value. I can name a few games that PJ64, NEmu, Mupen cannot emulate for the life of them. and if it takes 4 6990s, an OC'ed 8 core, and 32gb to run such emulators, that's a problem. 

 

I never mentioned $2k for a PC, as I know people can happily put allong at $700 (desktop). I know there's the misconception that people have to spend huge amounts to have a "good" gaming experience, when we know the opposite is true.

 

Lastly, this is turning into "my such-n-such can do better than your such-n-such". I already conceded PCs have better tech. Most consolefreaks wouldn't admit even that

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Coldrage

Agreed.

I've always wanted to try portal.

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vrmlbasic

Oh, it's a free item to get more people into Steam.  No thanks, I'm fine with my Xbox 360 version.  According to the MPC article recommendations on this article, Portal has been offered as a freebie before.

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/triumph_portal_goes_free_until_may_24

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Marthian

If you didn't read the whole article, it's because they are using it in learning environments. And what's wrong with getting people into Steam? Besides, odds are those that want Portal already have it at this point.

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vrmlbasic

If people want to get into Steam, that's their prerogative.  I don't want anything to do with Steam again, and so I'll abstain.  I clicked on the article as I don't have Portal for the PC, hoping against hope that Steam wouldn't be required.  As expected, Steam is indeed a requisite, a cost, for this "free" game and it is a cost too high for me to pay.

It's just who I am: I'd rather own than rent.  I'll rent before I buy, as is generally sensible, but I don't want to rent without the option to buy, which is the only choice afforded by Steam.

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Holly Golightly

Well said vrmlbasic!!! I could not have said it better myself!!!!!!! With Steam, you do not own the game because you have to run a client. So basically, Steam users only pay for the license to play on their client. Nobody is a winner on Steam. It is sad that some just don't see the truth. What is worst is that Steam even runs their DRM onto games that do not use DRM at all. It is like Steam became the AT&T of PC gaming. Talk about crappy. I am just super excited about Windows 8 having Xbox Live. Just think of all the potential. PC Gaming will grow in epic proportions. While there may always be Steam, they are stuck in a marketing myopia... Steam is no better than OnLive. But with Games for Windows Live, Xbox Live, GOG, Direct 2 Drive, Game Comrade, and Origins... The gamers win. I do not know why the Steam fanboys are soo sensitive.

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Hg Dragon

What the heck are you talking about? You "own" a game from Steam just as much as you "own" a game from Xbox/Games for WindowsLive, or Origin, or Wal-Mart.

What is it about Steam that is "renting" as opposed to "owning?"

Or is it because you're "VAC Banned" from cheating/hacking in a game?

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vrmlbasic

Not so, Walmart's corporate caprice can't deprive me of any and all legal methods of playing the game that I bought a physical copy of, nor can a sudden loss of internet service.  Valve can deprive me of my purchase at any time, for any reason, and while they have not yet done so, they have deprived me of service when my internet connection went down.  That is unacceptable, and as I am not clairvoyant I cannot use the Offline Mode to get around this.

You seem to have missed the internet arguments and minor schism that has occured concerning how the overbearing DRM of Steam/Origin/Blizzard have turned "purchases" into rentals.

I slso do not believe that a purchase from Steam is offered the same legal considerations as a purchase from a store.  I know that I do not have to sign a contract from a store that effectively states that my purchase is a rental of unlimited duration, as I sadly do with Steam.

I'll continue to buy my DRM-free games that aren't contingent upon Internet access to play, and enjoy the ability to make that choice while it lasts.

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poee

You should read the EULAs from the software you say is "owned" and not "rented" -- there is no salient difference between them and those from Steam. You are merely licensing the use of the software. If you think that buying from other vendors besides Steam allows you "ownership" of that software, you are simply misinformed. Read the EULAs and weep.

Some day, when younger people raised on computers are willing and able to run for office, Congress will have members who understand software and how it should reasonably relate to patent, copyright, and property law. Then we can potentially change this sorry state of affairs.

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Houndf

The only difference between what you get in a Steam purchase and in a Walmart purchase is in-store purchases get you: CDs, case, manual, and such. In both cases you are buying a license to play the game. Steam could void your steam account or the publisher of your game could void your XBOX game. So no, Walmart can't deprive you from playing your game, but the publisher could. So if you look at it that way, you are renting however you buy.

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Holly Golightly

That is completly false Houndf! Look at GOG. Completely free of any and all DRM. I buy the game, and I may play anywhere at anytime... Regardless if I have a broadband connection or not. Steam, you still need a broadband connection... Much like OnLive. You still need to log in to a client of some sort... But not with GOG, Origins, Direct 2 Drive, or Game Comrade as well as Gamer's Gate and Amazon Games Download.

If Steam revokes your account ALL of your games go with it. At least with Xbox Live, it is just that one particular game that gets voided. So all in all, the consumer wins again. It just Steam has a way with brainwashing customers like Apple does. These people will always advocate for them no what happens... But it is they, who looks like the bigger fool.

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Houndf

 

I didn't even mention DRM. I was simply implying that owning a game on an XBOX was no less renting than it was on Steam. You'll find patriots everywhere and all, more than likely, making fools of themselves.

 

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Marthian

Since WHEN was Steam requiring Internet to play their games? Also, DRM's a bullshit arguement considering it's barely intrusive at all compared to other DRMs.

The only time they'd take your copy away is if you were doing stuff against the TOS on it, which is to say probably never.

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bling581

Sweetness! One game that I've always wanted to try but never got around to it. I got a bit crazy during Steam's July 4th sale and still haven't touched half of those games.

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