Well, Steam and Amazon are about the only places I buy PC games now. At least in the USA, things don't look too good:
- Lamestop: Some stores don't even carry PC games, many titles are only shipped to the store if you pre-order, any title that is actually allowed to be stocked by Lamestop may only receive two or three copies, and poor discounting.
- Target: Lack of pre-orders, very slow/late to stock titles, small selection, heavily focused on the casual market, inconsistent stock levels, poor discounting.
- Walmart: Lack of pre-orders, very slow/late to stock titles, small selection, poor discounting, bad website ordering process, slow store to store transfers.
- Best Buy: Depending on the store, may not stock titles until a day or two until they are released even though the title has been received, stupidly lumps all pre-orders under the same item number (So I can pre-order some version of the game, but not the limited/CE edition? Uhh....,) and weak/inconsistent discounting
- Other digital services: Lack of unique, first-party titles, typically weaker on discounting, often overpriced, smaller libraries, etc.
Steam wins in a lot of ways for its growing inventory, ability to download digitally, and daily discounts. About the only thing that has beat it is the almighty craziness known as Amazon: no sales tax, free two-day shipping (if not release day guarantee,) brought to my doorstep, massive pre-order discounts, frequent price matching, physical product (box, instruction manual, tchotchkes,) and superb customer service.
In general, if I know I want a product in advance, I will purchase it on Amazon. If I want a product immediately or want to pick up something at a crazy one-day price, I will use Steam.
I HATE nearly all components of Lamestop, Best Buy is lagging behind on things, and I don't really know why Walmart/Target/other places bother putting so little effort into it.Steam is an ugly monopoly, especially once sold, but what's the alternative?
Everything is awesome!!!http://www.kindafunny.com/I love you, mom.