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MS on PC Gaming

Microsoft: "Perception," Not Us, is PC Gaming's Big Problem on Kotaku is a Q&A with Kevin Unangst, senior global director for Windows Gaming at Microsoft (thanks Mike Martinez). The conversation is about the state of PC gaming in which the interviewer expresses the opinion that Games for Windows initiatives are part of the problem. Kevin disagrees, and puts up a vigorous defense of Games for Windows, Vista, DirectX 10, and offers familiar explanations for declining NPD game sales figures, citing MMOG subscriptions, casual games, and sales over services like Steam as gaming revenue streams not tracked by the NPD. The article's conclusion is the source of its headline, telling those seeking a decline that these are not the droids they are looking for:

Does Unangst see any barriers that prevent or limit some users from gaming on PCs? "The biggest barrier to PC gaming is the perception that there is a barrier," he says. "I mean that very seriously."

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89. Re: No subject Apr 25, 2008, 11:59 Prez
 
Blah blah Blah Riley Putz said something? Blah Blah Blah The blithering idiot speaks!!! Right on cue the moron responds, as if I care what he has to say!

Just so you know, jackass, I didn't even bother to read your post. I'm glad to have wasted your time that you otherwise could have spent playing with yourself. Or maybe you can type with one hand?
 
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88. Re: No subject Apr 25, 2008, 10:40 MacD
 
"If you're one of the biggest companies in the world, it makes sense not to gamble anymore."

Actually, it doesn't. When you're that big, you can easily eat your losses on a gamble. Startups gamble because they must, because that's the only way to make money and break into the big leagues. Midsize companies should be conservative and build up their company. Large companies however need new revenue streams, they need to grow to keep up shareprices, and that should involve gambling on new things.

 
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87. Re: No subject Apr 25, 2008, 10:33 MacD
 
The Witcher, Sins of a Solkar Empire, STALKER and soon Spore. And that's just games I like, noit the whole hoard of games other people like on the pc.

The thing is, consoles never used to be direct conmpetition to pc's. That only happened when consoles added pc features, like different configurations, HDD's, online, VoIP.

What pc's should focus on is the HUGE installbase...but one can only compete there when one recognises the fact that to enter that arena, one must have a very scalable engine. Valve, Stardock and Blizzard realised that, and that's what's getting them huge sales numbers.

 
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86. Re: No subject Apr 25, 2008, 09:34 >U
 
I don't really care what others think about my choices and my expenditures;
You need to add hypocrisy to your long list of faults including stupidity. You obviously do care because not only did you post them in a public forum, but you have spent additional posts replying to me trying to defend them.

Logically it would stand to reason, therefore, others might do the same and thus there might be some credence to the theory that Digital Distribution numbers may actually be much more significant than others suggest.
No, logically it doesn't stand to reason. Just because you're an atypical idiot with unusually high Internet bandwidth and unconventional purchasing habits doesn't mean most other people are the same. Logically it stands to reason that PC game sales through digital distribution aren't significant compared to retail for the very reason that if any company would be in a position to abandon retail distribution of its own games, it would be Valve. Yet, five years into Steam Valve still uses retail distribution for its own games even going so far as to surrender a cut of its profits to EA to do so. Derek Smart's own substantiation of that position further bolsters it because he has used digital distribution for his own games for years. So, he would know the predominate means that his customers purchase his games.

I might have failed math, (I don't remember, since I've been out of school since 1989)
You need to go back to school then because you still fail at math (and rational thinking, etc.) now.

First of all, ET:QW is not 6 GB, it's 5
The retail version of the game is closer to 6GB than 5. The collector's edition (which I have) is larger still.

as I am at work and am getting paid for this
If you are stupid enough to make your idiotic posts to this forum on your company's time, then you deserve the eventual consequences that will follow. Of course such recklessness and stupidity from you is no surprise since you show the same by ignoring the similar risks and consequences of purchasing subscribing to games using Steam.

So go cast your petty insults to someone your own age or someone who gives a shit about your nonsensical, lunatic ravings.
You obviously cared enough about them to respond, hypocrite.

I would much rather have an intelligent conversation with someone
You might, but you're not capable of providing your half of such a conversation.

This comment was edited on Apr 25, 10:21.
 
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85. Re: No subject Apr 25, 2008, 09:04 InBlack
 
I wouldn't get too worked up over U<, he seems to be suffering from some form of paranoid schizhophrenia. Apparently it affects 1% of the world population on average.

In regards to the prices of digital downloads vs retail distribution. I live in Europe. I also happen to work within a book publishing company that has its own chain of retail multimedia and book stores. I can tell you with certianty that 80 out of 100 retail stores in Europe are significantly more (as in 30% or more) expensive than any digital distribution scheme, including Steam. Its a matter of competition as well as agreements on price setting. Because of the relatively weak dollar, and the strong Euro the prices of retail games in Europe are too high, so the solution is to pay in USD over digital distributors like Steam.

 
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84. Re: No subject Apr 24, 2008, 16:05 Prez
 
You are such a simple-minded,pathetic loser that its understandable that you are incapable of understanding motivations beyond those infantile ones of your own. I don't really care what others think about my choices and my expenditures; I was posting by buying habits as an example that at least one hardcore PC gamer (me) uses predominantly digital distribution as his preferred method of getting games. Logically it would stand to reason, therefore, others might do the same and thus there might be some credence to the theory that Digital Distribution numbers may actually be much more significant than others suggest. This is called adding to the discussion. I point that out because someone as obsessed and stupid as you can't understand that, since you're only goal is anti-Valve diatribes and general trolling.

I might have failed math, (I don't remember, since I've been out of school since 1989), but you definitely aren't smart enough to have passed any sort of reading comprehension. You are as stupid as you are picky. First of all, ET:QW is not 6 GB, it's 5. Secondly, I walked away from my computer at about 12:45 AM after watching about 10 minutes of downloading at about 1 MB/s (it was kind of cathartic). When I came back at 1:45 AM, the game was not only fully downloaded, it was decrypted and ready to go. {EDIT: The 800KB/s average was just something I noticed on the Games page of Steam - I just assumed my download slowed some from the 1mb/sec I saw in the beginning.} So at the most, the game by my estimation couldn't have taken much longer than my stated 45-48 minutes. Maybe it took an hour - I know it didn't take any longer, because I was playing at 1:55 AM WITH NO PROBLEMS (how is that possible- Steam is the spawn of SATAN!?!). Why I am even taking the time to explain this to you is a bit of a mystery, as you are a worthless turd and not really worth explaining anything to, but as I am at work and am getting paid for this (not that you would know anything about that, living in you mom's basement and all), I figure what the hell.

So go cast your petty insults to someone your own age or someone who gives a shit about your nonsensical, lunatic ravings. I would much rather have an intelligent conversation with someone with with a higher intelligence than an idiot savant like yourself.


This comment was edited on Apr 24, 17:48.
 
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83. Re: No subject Apr 24, 2008, 13:01 >U
 
Wow, once again I am insulted by <U/Riley Putz for simply my choice of distribution.
It wasn't just your choice of distribution. I also insulted you for your stupidity. But, if that wasn't enough for you, I can insult you for other reasons as well.

I have no need for validation of my choices
And, yet you announced them to this public forum for that very purpose. Or, did you do it because you are an egotistical attention whore who likes to brag about his possessions and expenditures in public?

The download took more like 48 minutes, so yeah - I exaggerated. My average download speed was 800KB/s.
Well I see you are a well-rounded idiot because you also fail at math. Downloading 6GB of data even at the atypically high, sustained rate of 800KBytes/sec would still take over 2 hours (131 minutes), and that doesn't count the time necessary for Steam to decrypt and install the files once they are downloaded.

This comment was edited on Apr 24, 13:14.
 
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82. Re: No subject Apr 24, 2008, 12:38 Prez
 
Wow, once again I am insulted by <U/Riley Putz for simply my choice of distribution. I am shocked. You can call me whatever you want asswipe; I guarantee I am a happier, more secure, and more stable person than you; thus I have no need for validation of my choices, least of which by complete imbeciles like you. So piss off and STFU, cretin.

The download took more like 48 minutes, so yeah - I exaggerated. My average download speed was 800KB/s. Dipshit.


This comment was edited on Apr 24, 12:46.
 
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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81. Re: No subject Apr 24, 2008, 12:00 >U
 
some of the music is now DRM-free, but it's not enough
Even some music without DRM beats Steam et al's everything with DRM. Plus all of iTunes music can be legally converted by the customer into DRM-free form by burning it to CD.

and high prices
High is relative. It's not high compared to retail offerings of new music releases. Yes, the prices should be lower, but the music industry would be charging even more if it could get away with it, and it has tried multiple times to force Apple and the others to raise prices.

Your comparison is flawed
Not on the basis on which I made it which is that unrestricted MP3 sales at Amazon, Wal-Mart, and other digital music distributors didn't occur until enough music consumers revolted and shunned the DRM-laden offerings. So, on that basis it is true. No, I'm am not saying that the music industry's digitial offerings are ideal for consumers. They are simply better than what is available for consumers of PC games.

This comment was edited on Apr 24, 12:07.
 
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80. Re: No subject Apr 24, 2008, 11:48 Ecthelion
 
Because just like their music and video counterparts, they deliver DRM-infested crap at higher prices and more usage restrictions compared to retail offerings. If most game consumers weren't such sycophantic sheep, they would be shunning Steam and its ilk in droves just like music and video consumers did to similar services. It's the only way to force them to change and start offering fewer or no restrictions and better prices. MP3 music sales wouldn't have happened if music consumers had been willing to take DRM in the ass like PC gamers have been.
iTunes is still the most popular music digital delivery system, and it's infested with DRM (some of the music is now DRM-free, but it's not enough) and high prices. Your comparison is flawed.

 
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79. Re: No subject Apr 24, 2008, 11:01 >U
 
I don't understand the general hostility towards Valve and other direct download services in general
Because just like their music and video counterparts, they deliver DRM-infested crap at higher prices and more usage restrictions compared to retail offerings. If most game consumers weren't such sycophantic sheep, they would be shunning Steam and its ilk in droves just like music and video consumers did to similar services. It's the only way to force them to change and start offering fewer or no restrictions and better prices. MP3 music sales wouldn't have happened if music consumers had been willing to take DRM in the ass like PC gamers have been.

I really don't common guys these are people who will in all probablity end up saving the PC as a gaming platform.
If PC games must become tenuous, DRM-infested "subscriptions" like Steam's offerings to be tenable in the market and no longer real, permanent products that can be collected and played in virtual perpetuity at the customer's sole choosing, then commercial PC gaming should die. Then maybe open-source PC games will finally get the broad support and attention they deserve.

This comment was edited on Apr 24, 12:30.
 
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78. Re: No subject Apr 24, 2008, 10:49 nin
 
>U wow you seem to have a real beef with Steam

That would be understatement of the year! He's supposed to be taking his medication, but he keeps forgetting...

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77. Re: No subject Apr 24, 2008, 10:44 InBlack
 
>U wow you seem to have a real beef with Steam, I have bought a number of games over Steam and have had no problems. Sure they have a broad code of conduct but that doesn't bother me much, Im not sure why they would terminate and delete all my games unless I was caught cheating, in which case i WOULD deserve it. If this was something that they did and practiced on a regular basis they would be out of business real quick.

I don't understand the general hostility towards Valve and other direct download services in general, I really don't common guys these are people who will in all probablity end up saving the PC as a gaming platform. WTF?

 
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76. Re: No subject Apr 24, 2008, 10:22 >U
 
Do you pay $34 for a title on Steam for the reasons you mentioned or buy it at Best Buy for $29 and deal with a more intrusive and Draconian DRM scheme?
Steam is far more intrusive and Draconian than most if not all physical media DRM systems. It's more intrusive because Steam tracks each user while it is running regardless of the game or whether the game is running in single-player mode or not. Some Steam games have more detailed tracking than others, but regardless of the game, the Steam client itself tracks usage so long as it is running and online. None of the major physical media DRM protections like Safedisc and SecuROM are as invasive in that regard.

Steam is also more draconian in its DRM because of the way that it is enforced. First, games on Steam are only authorized for play on a single Steam account whereas traditional games with physical media-based DRM can be played on all PC's and under all user accounts on which the customer installs the game. So, the game can be used on shared PC's by more than one person without paying for multiple copies of the game that Steam requires. Yes, the login information for a Steam account could be shared with someone else to allow them to play the game on a shared PC, but such sharing of Steam account information is forbidden by Valve's policies, and that prohibition is not just an idle threat. Valve enforces the Steam Subscriber Agreement ( http://www.steampowered.com/v/index.php?area=subscriber_agreement ) and its broad code of conduct ( http://www.steampowered.com/v/index.php?area=online_conduct ) with zero tolerance and will unilaterally terminate all of a user's Steam accounts and games for damn near any reason and without compensation and even usually without notice. See https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?p_faqid=368 . So even if a customer spent thousands of dollars buying subscribing to Steam games he would permanently lose the ability to play all of them even offline if Valve decided to terminate his account for any reason or decided to stop offering a game. That's much more draconian than any other DRM system on PC games because most of the other DRM systems can't permanently disable the customer's game after purchase and none of the others can permanently disable all of the customer's other games as well which use the same DRM system like Steam can.

This comment was edited on Apr 24, 14:29.
 
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75. Re: No subject Apr 24, 2008, 10:02 >U
 
I like that annoying copy protection is replaced by a company who has actual customer support.
Valve has customer support?! LOL! Good one. You should call Valve up and tell it that. It would get a real kick out of your stupidity. Oh wait, you can't because Valve doesn't even have telephone customer support. Now that's real customer support!

but I have yet to be inconvenienced by any of them, so I can't really complain, now can I?
If you play with snakes long enough, you will eventually get bitten. It's the nature of the beast. You might actually want to read the Steam subscriber agreement and Valve's other draconian policies regardling the use of Steam so you will know what you are in for when they bite you in the ass.

. The other day, I got an itch to play ET:QW, and I went ahead and bought it via Steam. 45 minutes later, without leaving the house (it was late), I was playing online.
There's no fucking way you downloaded 6GB of game data AND decrypted it in 45 minutes on a home Internet connection in the U.S. Then again that's not the first gross exaggeration you've ever made about Steam.

Physical media has gotten to be more of a bane than a boon for me, so I am rather pleased not having a disc to fool around with or a box and manual to discard.
Wow, your stupidity is endless today. The retail version of ET:QW has no copy-protection whatsoever and only a basic CD key check for multiplayer. If you don't want to keep the game's disc or box, simply throw them away. Then, the game will be just like Steam's version except the game won't be infested with Steam's DRM, and you won't have to also run Steam just to play the game online or offline.

This comment was edited on Apr 24, 10:39.
 
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74. Re: No subject Apr 24, 2008, 08:55  dsmart 
 
I expected to take a lot more flak than I have so far for all the digital downloads.

uhm why would you take flak for your choice of delivery medium? This is not about boxed vs digital because that argument is moot. Gamers - like consumers - should do what they find pleasing to them. If you prefer to use Steam instead of a boxed game, there's nothing wrong with that.

But yeah, I'm a Steam junkie. I like that annoying copy protection is replaced by a company who has actual customer support. I trust Valve alot more than I trust some shady dudes in Russia, no offense...

I like having one program keep all of my games up to date for me, and a service that doesn't make me hunt for key codes or passwords to re-download games when I re-format or upgrade my hard drive; all I need is my Steam login and I can play all of the 30+ games I have in my account. I can play my games on any computer because the game is attached to my account, not my PC. Other than price, which IS an issue, I really can't fault Steam for anything. People have brought up legitimate concerns about Steam, but I have yet to be inconvenienced by any of them, so I can't really complain, now can I?

That right there is Value Added Service that you're paying Steam for. So, as I said before, you get what you pay for. Do you pay $34 for a title on Steam for the reasons you mentioned or buy it at Best Buy for $29 and deal with a more intrusive and Draconian DRM scheme?

For me, since I like to have the game boxes, the choice is a no-brainer since my purchase has nothing to do with how much money I spend. Its my hobby, so the expenditure is irrelevant as long as I can afford it. I suspect that most gamers are the same way.

One of the biggest arguments for digital distro was always "it will save the end-user money." I'm not going to pay for "robust" features like IM and MySpace pages out of the cost of game purchases. Maybe that's why digital sales are not all that fantastic??? I paid $30 for SoaSE at Best Buy, and it's $45 from StarDock. If bandwidth is so cheap, if they aren't giving you a box, a disc, a manual, where is that money going?

Again, thats the VAS argument all over again. The price of the digital distribution has nothing to do with bandwidth in the general scheme of things. Why? because e.g. the cut that Steam takes from each sale already takes into account what their VAS (which includes the bandwidth costs) is worth.

Even with a 70/30 split (which its not, since Steam's deals are on a case by case basis and have no standard format AFAIK) in which Valve gets 30%, they already know how much money they're making.

Further, when you factor that the COG on a typical boxed PC game is about $2.50 and with the retailer getting upwards of 25-50% off the MSRP, you can easily see why the price of the game varies between boxed and DD. So, if you like Steams VAS and don't care about boxes or waiting for price drops, then you should have no problem paying premium for said VAS.

 
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Game developers are just human beings who happen to make games for a living. If you want to hold us up to higher standards of conduct, then go ahead
...but don't be surprised if we don't uphold them
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73. Re: No subject Apr 24, 2008, 08:39 InBlack
 
I agree with Dsmart that the PC Gaming scene is on the decline, but unlike him I think that this is only temporary. As long as PC's exist, people will make games for them and I, along with Prez here I think, believe that the future of PC gaming is via digital distribution, either through Steam or similar services. Right now those numbers are small, but just like with the music industry those numbers will rise. Sure they will never reach the huge numbers of console game sales, but I imagine with a good number of ports being done for the PC already and with the relatively "cheap" option of porting for the PC we will eventually get some decent PC ports. A game is a game, if its good on the console, I imagine it will probably be good on the PC.

 
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72. Re: No subject Apr 23, 2008, 23:35 Prez
 
Fair enough. On the majority of games, I would wait for a sale. But some games, like Sins, I would buy if they were $100, so the difference of $5 is pretty insignificant to me.

I am sorry I'm a "bad consumer" - I generally just buy what I want, when I want, regardless of how it'll affect my "consumer cred". There are just some games I have to have NOW, you know?
 
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71. Re: No subject Apr 23, 2008, 23:31 PHJF
 
Best Buy has tended to drop the price of PC games $10 within their first couple release weeks; I've picked up a lot of $50 at $40.

If someone would rather wait until the games they buy go on sale, that's fine. But I like to support developers' efforts and send a message that there is still a demand for PC games, and I do that by buying great games when they're released.

That's noble and all, but you're being a bad consumer. You're supposed to buy the lowest priced item to foster competition. I understand some products are "day one" purchases (how many of you are getting GTA IV asap?), but while SoaSE is good and all I found the couple weeks waiting for a sale at Best Buy easy enough to manage.

Plus, the REGULAR price at Best Buy is $40, cheaper than downloading it from StarDock.
 
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70. Re: No subject Apr 23, 2008, 23:05 Prez
 
Again, price is an issue. But didn't the Best Buy sale happen weeks after the release of SoSE? I bought it day one. I had it on my hard drive the instant it was available. I didn't have to wait for Best Buy to get it in. For a game like Sins, that was a big plus for me since I had been wanting it desperately for months.

If someone would rather wait until the games they buy go on sale, that's fine. But I like to support developers' efforts and send a message that there is still a demand for PC games, and I do that by buying great games when they're released.

It's like Assassins Creed. At this point, the promise of the concept is unrealized. But the game we have now isn't worthless - it just isn't all it could be. I bought the game and am having fun with it, but in the back of my mind, I remain hopeful in some small way that my purchase would emphasize the value of the property and ensure a more realized sequel. Yeah, I know - it's just as likely that they could release a carbon copy sequel with only marginal improvemnets, but hey... I'm a dreamer.


This comment was edited on Apr 23, 23:06.
 
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