Thursday, March 3, 2011

Steam Sales - The Unemployed Gamer's Best Friend

While I discussed previously in general some low-budget entertainment options for the "salary impaired" geek, I'm going to talk about computer games.

PC games, in particular, are a hobby many geeks enjoy, as many of us have game-capable rigs, and (generally speaking) easier and better online play make the PC a choice over the console for a few genres of video game. Some types of game, most notably the MMORPG are all but unrepresented on consoles, and the RPG offerings (with the notable exception of the JRPG) on the PC tend to have a broader scope.

Bias confession, I have an Xbox360 and a Wii, but I prefer to game on the PC, as RPGs are my favorite genre, and I grew up on old school adventure games. Being a PC gamer, more than anything except playing Dungeons and Dragons, (yeah, with books and dice) shaped me into the geek I am today.

Problem. Console gamers short on cash can roll down to the nearest Gamestop and pick up a used title. PC Gamers don't have that same kind of (legal) option. So what is an ethical gamer who is chronically short on cash due to lack of employment to do?


Steam. The digital delivery system run by Valve that used to be buggy, intrusive and a big pain a few years back has come a long way. I've lost discs for games I paid retail for, with no (again, legal) options for being able to play them without rebuying the game. Steam may be a form of DRM (many geeks' least favorite letters), but if you buy something there... you're all set if you want to reinstall it months later.

And what about the cash flow problem? Steam runs sales ALL THE TIME. Weekend sales, mid-week sales, "We just felt like it" sales. I've picked up titles that launched at $60 for $10, and little titles that I'd have never heard of without Steam for under $5. Some of the deals I've gotten were, truth be told, on games that were on my "gotta play this later" list, and were a year or so old, but I've seen titles only a few months after release at over 50% off. Not too bad, considering that I have a lot of free time I didn't have before, I just can't blow all our money on games. I can spend a little of it, and stretch the heck out of that dollar on Steam by watching for those sales.

And I don't even have to put on pants.
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Jung said...

Steam truly has some outrageous sales. I remember AOE3 for 3 dollars or something like that.

Noock said...

I play mostly with pc too (~80% of time), but got ps3 too. Got only laptop atm since the pc broke, but I guess it's been good thing, done lot of another things instead of playing.

Good points about Steam. Yeah it's nice place to get some good offers, also sales figures often increase a lot with the campaigns etc.
I remember time when some reviewers put Steam as negative side of some Valve game reviews :P
But now, yeah it has got lot of positive publicity and is gaining respect I think it deserves.

Meghan Moran said...

I gotta start checking out steam more often for these deals.

Matt said...

Man, I knew that Steam was pretty sweet; I didn't know they were practically giving away games! Thanks for the info!

baxxman said...

Yes, thanks for the info. Didn't know that

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