It's nothing of the sort.
"nothing of the sort"?! LOL! Do you even think about the bullshit you spew before you post it? Of course it is something of the sort. You had to fully pay for the game upfront in order to play the pre-release demo/beta just as I wrote.
one of the biggest criticisms you had with online business model... not being able to play the game when it was finished
Actually that is a criticism of Steam NOT one of digital distribution in general, ,i.e. "online business model," as others using digital distribution such as Atari with Test Drive Unlimited do not hold back online releases to coincide with retail release dates.
Valve changes that and now you label it a demo and criticise them?
I am NOT criticising Valve for releasing the game early (although it should release all of the Orange Box early not just TF2). I am rightfully criticising Valve for not offering a free demo or beta of the game instead of only allowing those who fully paid for the Orange Box via Steam to play it. So to put it in simple terms that even you should be able to understand, Valve releasing the game early is good. Valve offering no free beta or demo is bad.
Of course they could... they could have charged for access via Xbox Live. However, without an online distribution system (due to the limited hard-drive capacity and infrastructure of the console) they have to wait for the game to be produced.
LOL! XBOX Live IS an online distribution system. The problem from Valve's perspective is simply that XBOX Live is not Valve's online distribution system and MIcrosoft would get a cut of any sales. Sure Valve could have offered a free demo or beta of TF2 via XBOX Live. Many other game developers and publishers have done so. Valve simply didn't want to offer something for free.This comment was edited on Sep 18, 23:21.