a stupid question about Steam

What’s the point of Steam, really? Suppose I were interested in picking up Portal 2. I have a choice, I can buy the retail version from Target or I could use Steam (which came pre-installed on DENT). Is the game full-featured in either case? Is there extra DRM in one and not the other? If I buy the retail disc, I can still install that on more than one PC, right? (I’m not going to game on anything other than PREFECT or DENT anyway).

9 thoughts on “a stupid question about Steam”

  1. Steam is a combination of game store (a la iTunes), messenger/social network, and DRM. If you buy a retail game that comes with Steam, like Portal 2, it will just install Steam along with the game.

    Games using Steam are purchase are tied to an account, which is both good and bad. You can use your Steam account on as many computers as you like (but only one can be logged in at a time). If you ever lose your disk, you can just re-download the game. Games with that use Steamworks have a bunch of friends features built in, like a button to join a friend’s multiplayer game. Steam needs to be running to play the games, but after registering a game on it you can put it in online mode, and never connect Steam to the internet again (ie 1 time activation).

    One huge downside with Steam is that in the case of a credit card/paypal/stolen game dispute, they’ll shut down your account until the issue is settled (not an issue if you only use offline mode).

    Personaly, I love Steam because of the great deals and friend features. If you want to play Portal (1 or 2), you’ll need to use Steam. I would highly recommend it. If you do decide to sign up, add me as a friend! http://steamcommunity.com/id/GraveTracer

  2. Yeah, at least you’re going in aware of Steam. I bought a retail copy of Supreme Commander 2, only to have it go “surprise! you need to install this other junk too!”. Then “oh, and you can’t play until these mandatory patches finish downloading for the next couple of hours.”

    Only then could I put Steam in offline mode so I could play the game. Once Steam sees an internet connection, it checks for updates to all of your games. Those downloads are now mandatory, even if you revert to offline mode before attempting to play any of those games.

    That said, I do love the ability to re-download a game on a new machine/reinstalled OS without needing to dig up the old disc.

  3. Just to clarify then, even if I buy the retail version of Portal 2 or the Orange Box at Target, I still need to use Steam to play the game?

  4. Oh, one other great feature of Steam is that some games bought through Steam are universal — you can download them and play them on either PC or Mac. No more worrying that your game investments will lock you into an OS.

    1. to be honest though I am unlikely to have more than 1 or 2 PCs at maximum which are game-worthy. I certainly cant afford a Mac that can play games too 🙂 So the universality of Steam is not really a bonus in my usage scenario.

      I just really want to know whether I can buy Portal 2 at Target or other retail store and play it without ever dealing with steam or not. If I do have to use steam anyway, i might as well buy the game from within steam. But if not, id rather not bother with it.

  5. Nope, if you buy Portal 2 anywhere for the PC, you’ll have to use steam. Once you get assimilated, you’ll begin to like it.

    1. so, no point in buying it from retail. Might as well download from Steam directly, right?

      anyone else like to share their Steam ID? might as well friend you all 🙂

  6. Portal 2 is $49.99 on Steam, 29.99 at Amazon. I’d definately order at Amazon, then you also have a box to display if you like to. I’d set up your Steam account before the game arrives anyways.

  7. just bought supreme comander 2 and cant play it unless i install this shity STeam witch just want to charge u to play buy sucking up 4 to 5 Gb to pkay for the very first time if they ever read this huh! use are useless and i know 12 other people that want to play this or other games with steal and they all disgusted with ur sevice thanks for wasting everyones time fucking useless

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