Monday, August 20, 2012

Early thoughts on Ubisofts new UplayPC service

I signed up to Ubisoft's new Steam lookalike game download service in order to avail of some of  the sweet launch offers (From dust €1, Driver San Fran €1).
The good:
+ Well, it does actually work. You buy a game through the client, download it and run it from within the client.
+ You can use Paypal to pay for your games  Hurray!
+ Ubisoft finally seem to grasp the reality of the PC games download market. There is none of the old extended download service nonsense( where you had to pay extra just to be allowed re-download your own games)
+It has an offline mode and it works! Need to be online to download game of course and for first run.
+ Surprisingly realistic pricing. Older titles are selling for €10 and their launch sale had some serious bargains.
+has achievements and friends and chat and other stuff you expect from a game client.

The bad:
- After buying a game it took more than an hour to show up in my games library. Perhaps this was server overload due to the launch sale but it was pretty confusing.
- Downloading was slow (about 1/3 of the speed I regularly get from Steam) and prone to losing it's place. I had a couple of restarts.
- You can't play one game while downloading another. Major annoyance

- You can still buy Uplay games from Steam but they use a different incompatible version of Uplay. You can't launch Steam bought games from within normal Uplay and vice versa. This is another confusing nuisance.
- Some of the email communication I got after the purchase seems to refer to Ubisofts old "Ubishop" service. It talks about the dreaded extended download service.
- Only sells Ubisoft games at present (and a fairly limited selection at that).

Overall first impression:A step in the right direction but needs work.I love Steam but I am delighted  to see Valve get some healthy competition to keep them on their toes. This new service from Ubisoft has a lot of catching up to do (EA's Origin is already more polished) but remember how awful Steam was when it came out first.

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