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Superfly
08-15-05, 04:16 PM
Games-on-demand services now offering full versions of Age of Empires, Rise of Nations, Zoo Tycoon, and more.

Exent Technologies today announced that it has secured worldwide rights to digitally distribute Microsoft Game Studios products over its network of Games-on-Demand services, which includes Comcast Games on Demand, Yahoo! Games, and Atari on Demand.

Exent's Games-on-Demand services charge gamers a monthly subscription fee to rent from a rotating selection of full-version titles. Installments of the Age of Empires, Age of Mythology, Dungeon Siege, Mechwarrior, Rise of Nations, and Zoo Tycoon series are included in the deal.

Industry analysts have long held up digital distribution of games as the next big thing, a model of getting games into customers' hands that lowers overhead while bypassing the concerns and costs of obtaining retail shelf space. The idea is gaining traction, as Valve's Steam service allows for the direct download of new releases like Half-Life 2, while Nintendo will offer a number of retro titles on demand for its upcoming Revolution console.

While this agreement marks the first time Microsoft PC titles will be available through digital distribution worldwide, the company has previous experience in the field with its Xbox Live Arcade service, which allows gamers to download simpler titles like Dig-Dug or Bejeweled directly onto their Xboxes for $10-$15 a game.

http://www.gamespot.com/news/2005/08/15/news_6131050.html

aAv7
08-15-05, 04:20 PM
:thumbdwn:

I like my box and instructions.

Superfly
08-15-05, 04:22 PM
me too.

Subtestube
08-15-05, 04:36 PM
Mmmm.. they better have some way to reinstall the game should you need to format your PC. I do still, and always will, prefer a physical product. It means that there's no chance that it isn't yours.

toxikneedle
08-15-05, 04:42 PM
*cough* steam *cough*

Although Gabe used to work for Microsoft.

Bad_Boy
08-15-05, 05:13 PM
*cough* steam *cough*

Although Gabe used to work for Microsoft.
qft, first thing i thought of was steam.

aAv7
08-15-05, 05:18 PM
I just don't like the fact they're slowly taking away the little bit of interaction you get with buying games.

Nothing compares to waking the day a game you've been waiting months, if not years for *cough Hl2 cough* to come out....rush to the store (after taking the day off) and pushing your way through the shrapnel of children to the shelf and grabbing your copy, then paying and with butterflies of excitement, doing 80mph in a 30 zone to get home to play it.

Waking and it sitting on the hard drive is convient...but not eventful or memorable. Some of the stories of me buying the games are as memorable as the games themselves.

toxikneedle
08-15-05, 06:22 PM
I just don't like the fact they're slowly taking away the little bit of interaction you get with buying games.

Nothing compares to waking the day a game you've been waiting months, if not years for *cough Hl2 cough* to come out....rush to the store (after taking the day off) and pushing your way through the shrapnel of children to the shelf and grabbing your copy, then paying and with butterflies of excitement, doing 80mph in a 30 zone to get home to play it.

Waking and it sitting on the hard drive is convient...but not eventful or memorable. Some of the stories of me buying the games are as memorable as the games themselves.
I've waited for HL2 since E3 2003 (when it was announced) and the day it came out on steam was a much better experience/feeling for me than going to the store. Waiting for midnight and getting that last piece preloaded and unlocked. Then seeing combine in City 17. It was amazing...

In fact, recently I've been anticipating BF2's release for a long time. I was a hardcore BF1942 player and remembering those fun times of 42 when it just came out made me crazy for BF2. So day of BF2's release I called all stores, Eb, gamestop, Best Buy, etc. No one has it. EB got it later in the day. Anyways when I finally got it, I didn't feel that way at all. Steam>Stores.

Subtestube
08-15-05, 10:32 PM
Oh - the other problem I have with e-distribution is the lack of re-sale. If I buy a product, I like the fact that I can sell it to someone else who maybe couldn't afford it new some time down the road, and thereby have not spent as much on it in the first place (in effect). Unless digidistributed games are actually cheaper than their physical counterparts, there's still no real alternative in my mind.

Rakeesh
08-15-05, 10:53 PM
qft, first thing i thought of was steam.

Exactly. Thats gay. Imagine if you had to run one steam like program for every game you have installed. I would be using up about 250MB of ram right there.

Riptide
08-15-05, 11:16 PM
You guys don't have to download your games more than once with steam. It lets you make a backup of your game files for future reinstalls. So it's not like you're being totally denied physical media there. In fact it lets you create files that are made to fit on either CDR or DVDR.

superklye
08-15-05, 11:26 PM
I've waited for HL2 since E3 2003 (when it was announced) and the day it came out on steam was a much better experience/feeling for me than going to the store. Waiting for midnight and getting that last piece preloaded and unlocked. Then seeing combine in City 17. It was amazing...
I couldn't agree more. I had tears in my eyes when I got off the train and threw my first styrofoam cup at a combine in the station, resulting in the severe beating of me.

Some people are the kind that only eat produce from family/privately owned and operated farms and will only eat free-range meats...well, I'm the kind of person that will only buy a game in the store to get the little box, the instruction manual and the CD/DVD to boot.

PikachuMan
08-16-05, 12:07 AM
Imagine if you had to run one steam like program for every game you have installed. I would be using up about 250MB of ram right there.

Not to mention each one of those services is pretty much guaranteed to install some heavy DRM for those games, lord knows the conflicts that could result.


Exent's Games-on-Demand services charge gamers a monthly subscription fee to rent from a rotating selection of full-version titles. Installments of the Age of Empires, Age of Mythology, Dungeon Siege, Mechwarrior, Rise of Nations, and Zoo Tycoon series are included in the deal.

Why is this news at all? I know Yahoo! Games (http://gamesondemand.yahoo.com/play) has been doing the exact same thing for years now, including all of those titles and more.

crainger
08-16-05, 12:21 AM
You guys don't have to download your games more than once with steam. It lets you make a backup of your game files for future reinstalls. So it's not like you're being totally denied physical media there. In fact it lets you create files that are made to fit on either CDR or DVDR.

Don't take away their reason to whinge for pages on end :p

|MaguS|
08-16-05, 05:00 AM
Sweet! My respect for MS has just jumped up! I love the DD!

GamerGuyX
08-16-05, 05:05 AM
I don't see the big deal. Direct2Drive (http://www.direct2drive.com/staticpage.aspx?topic=about) has been out for awhile now.

Greg
08-16-05, 05:23 AM
I thought I wanted to download games, but then I realized, I just want cheap games, and I want them now!

Unfortunately my first experience with downloaded product wasn't good. Half Life 2 wasn't cheap, and I had to wait a year for it :O

ST:DS9
08-16-05, 08:38 AM
Why would you have all those "Steam" like apps running at the same time? Its not like you would be playing multiple games at the same time. Just start the "Steam" like program when you want to play a game that uses it, then end it when you are done. Steam starts and ends when I tell it to. I have steam installed right now, but it is not running right now because I have not told it to run, so it is not taking any memory at all. I would do the same with any other "Steam" like service.

I have seen alot of gamers complain that Steam loads automatically when Windows starts up. Guess they are to lazy to figure out how to get it not to load automattically, so they just keep on complaining on how much memory it takes. Well, if you are a PC gamer, then it is your responsibility to learn how to use the software you are using to the fullest. This is not consoles, it takes brains and learning to use a computer.

superklye
08-16-05, 09:09 AM
Good post, ST. I couldn't agree more. There's a little checkbox that allows you to disable to Windows Startup. It really isn't that hard...

Edge
08-16-05, 09:37 AM
I personally hate the idea of digital distribution. For one, games are ironically MORE expensive from what I've seen when digitally distributed, or at the very least you can't get any type of deal for them. For example, a few months after HL2 was released, the Collector's Edition was down to $40 at some places (and even as low as $30 at once point). The REGULAR, game-only edition on Steam is still $50. With digital distribution, there's no finding deals, no reduced prices...you either pay what it's listed for, or you don't get it at all. Also, having a physical copy of the game you can install anywhere, without an internet connection or needing to "authorize" the game, is something I think all of us have started to take for granted. Also, for those of us that are stuck with crappy internet connections (like myself), it would take a full day or more to get a game that could otherwise be bought in a store that's a 5 minute drive from where I work.

Digital content distribution does have it's advantages...but I'd hate to see games go that route exclusively.

Rakeesh
08-16-05, 10:00 AM
Why would you have all those "Steam" like apps running at the same time? Its not like you would be playing multiple games at the same time. Just start the "Steam" like program when you want to play a game that uses it, then end it when you are done. Steam starts and ends when I tell it to. I have steam installed right now, but it is not running right now because I have not told it to run, so it is not taking any memory at all. I would do the same with any other "Steam" like service.

I have seen alot of gamers complain that Steam loads automatically when Windows starts up. Guess they are to lazy to figure out how to get it not to load automattically, so they just keep on complaining on how much memory it takes. Well, if you are a PC gamer, then it is your responsibility to learn how to use the software you are using to the fullest. This is not consoles, it takes brains and learning to use a computer.

This entire post is moot until valve includes an auto-terminate feature, and makes it so that the third party mods don't require steam to be started first before they can actually run (try double clicking an NS icon while steam isn't running, and watch what happens) and that one update for one game doesn't require an entire platform update that you have to get even if you don't play that particular game. They intentionally designed the steam sh!t so that it would be an inconvenience to not be running 24/7 (their entire distribution model is built upon that, thus why it defaults to start with windows, and thus why there is no auto-terminate feature,) so again, your post is moot.

supra
08-16-05, 10:02 AM
Also, having a physical copy of the game you can install anywhere, without an internet connection or needing to "authorize" the game, is something I think all of us have started to take for granted.

couldnt agree more. When I bought HL2 (I was still on 56k sadly), i was so frustrated because it took forever to update steam, decrypt, update game. ugh!

I almost couldnt be bothered playing after it had finished updating.

Zelda_fan
08-16-05, 10:12 AM
I hate DD. I like the Box, manual, artwork, etc that comes with the game. I don't care if it is $15 more for the box, i will buy the box.

edit
and I will never again buy a game that uses something like steam to authenticate it.

Subtestube
08-16-05, 03:10 PM
Also, having a physical copy of the game you can install anywhere, without an internet connection or needing to "authorize" the game, is something I think all of us have started to take for granted.

Pretty much what I was saying in my less coherent first post.

LurkerLito
08-16-05, 06:57 PM
I'm with Edge on this one. HL2 will be the first and only PC game I download and buy via Digital distribution. I loved the idea that as soon as it was available I could play it but overall games costs MORE. I thought the whole idea of Digital Distribution was to get stuff faster and cheaper but that is not the case, you only get it faster (if you have a fast connection). Right now you can go to a store and buy HL2 for $29.99 I see it on sale every couple of weeks, but if you go through steam your are still paying full retail. That is just wrong. With the exception of a few games I rarely if every buy on the release day, I wait till the first or second price drop. With DD there never is a price drop so you actually end up always paying more.

DD has some nice points to it, but as a consumer I think everyone should avoid it. It is consumer unfriendly especially when dealing with costs. The lack of physical media is ok by me but why the hell should I have to pay the same price as a store bought version when their costs are lowered. IMHO since there is no physical media included with these DD it should automatically have a $10 discount. So $49.95 MSRP in a store on release day should be $39.95 via DD. DD should also price match a user's local store's price. So when a local store has a sale and is starting to sell games at 50% off msrp the DD should do the same.