Sunday, July 15, 2012

Finally Steam has a competitor: Amazon

The growth of Amazon's digital download games department has produced the first serious competitor to Steam. Amazon's retail clout cannot be ignored and they generally offer some great bargains. Amazon's Summer sale for example undercuts Steam on many games.

I love Steam and it is my gaming platform of choice but competition between suppliers can only be good for us customers so lets have more of it. Amazon don't have their own PC client so many of their games even register on Steam - giving the best of both worlds.

I wish they would just hurry up and extend this service to those of us who live outside the US. I know it is possible to fake a US address but it feels a bit dodgy.


Stabs said...

I still find things like Steam a bit intrusive. I don't like programs that colonise my system tray, call home on my bandwidth and try to sneak into my list of startup applications.

If the Amazon one is less intrusive I'll probably gratefully kiss Steam bye for ever when it crosses the pond.

mbp said...

"If the Amazon one is less intrusive" .. .that depends on the game. Amazon don't seem to have their own drm so they just sell you whatever the gave dev provides. Sometimes its Steam sometimes its a stand alone client.

By the way you can turn off the "run on startup" feature of Steam - it will automatically load wheneve ryou try to run a Steam game.

Azuriel said...

The thing about Amazon is that their interface is horrible by comparison to Steam. I mean, it's great if you are looking for one specific item, but it is otherwise a chore to browse all that whitespace and advertising.

It is interesting running into people that don't like Steam. I have had it on my system(s) for 8 years, and quite honestly I have no desire to purchase non-Steam PC games anymore. Non-intrusive in-game chat, stats tracker, easy screenshots, auto-patching, slick interface, cloud saves, and outrageous deals on a daily/weekly basis.

It is good to have competition, although I am not sure Steam needed it; it was already good.

mbp said...

@Azuriel I love Steam and I agree they are far from evil but I do think a bit of healthy competition will help to keep them on their toes.

I have to agree with you about Amazon's interface. Every time I go back to the site everything seems to have changed places and I can never find what I was looking at previously.

Cap'n John said...

Although I use and like Steam I have one gripe with it. It's that when I attempt to install a boxed game via the included DVD, if the game utilizes Steam as its multiplayer client it installs the game via download rather than the DVD. Even though I'm running the installation program on the DVD, it defaults to a Steam download & install which often takes the better part of an afternoon.

mbp said...

@Cap'n John it makes you wonder why they include a CD in the box at all. All you really need is the CD key.

Thankfully I have a good broadband connection these days so downloads rarely take more than half an hour but I remember back in Half Life 2 days I was working from a 56k modem.

Half Life 2 was the first Steam game and I was not impressed whenever I tried to run the game and had to wait an hour or more to download the latest patch before I could play. There were a lot of patches too in the early days.

Anonymous said...

It's rather unfortunate that so many movies and games made in the US take that extra month or so to meander over the pond and get released in the UK.

Must be frustrating sometimes.

mbp said...

@1000Damage, the best justification I have seen for it is the delays involved in translating games for all the European markets but that doesn't explain why the English language version is also delayed.