To people immersed in the world of video games, some things read as a given. You only play Halo titles on Xbox consoles. You only play Uncharted games on Sony hardware. PCs are yet another planet; there are worlds of exclusives that simply never meet. And yet today, it seems some streams will cross.
Why would a store want to sell you something that could mean you will not need to walk through its doors again? We don’t know, but GameStop is doing it anyway: the brick-and-mortar retailer will be selling Steam hardware next month — game consoles that are designed for digital video games purchased on the Steam marketplace… the exact kind of games you won’t find at GameStop.
Stephen has a word of warning for Mac users who want to use their machines to play PC games: Don’t buy games unless you’re sure they’ll work on your machine. He runs Windows 7 on his Macbook Pro, but can’t get Fallout 3, which he purchased through online distributor Steam, to play properly. He asked the publisher’s customer support service for help, but was turned away at first.
Thanks to rampant piracy, it was probably several years ago that computer gamers started downloading more of their games than they bought on disc, but now even honest gamers are following suit. For the first time in the PC game market, the number of digital sales surpassed those of disc-based games.
An anonymous gamer wrote in to tell us why he felt justified to illegally download a copy of Red Faction: Guerilla: He bought it on one computer but found the DRM locked him out of re-activating the game on his new computer. When customer service couldn’t help him, he went rogue.
Spore, the long awaited new game from SimCity creator Will Wright, has been critically well-received, so what’s up with its Amazon.com score? As of this posting, the game, despite being #1 on Amazon, has 1,494 one star ratings from gamers who are upset about the game’s DRM. Here are some excerpts from the angry reviews:
Reader jk writes in to let us know that EA’s sci-fi epic Mass Effect is still having DRM issues on the PC platform. This time, instead of requiring gamers to maintain an internet connection and activate their game every few weeks, paying customers (allegedly) get three “activations” of the game and that’s it. Uninstalling the game doesn’t “give back” an activation.
If you’d like to play the PC version of Bioware/EA’s hit XBOX 360 title “Mass Effect,” you’d better have an internet connection. Why? Because in order to remain “activated” the game will need to reauthorize itself via the internet every 10 days. Go 11 days without checking in and your game won’t work until you do. Some gamers are saying that this requirement makes them feel like criminals, and doesn’t make a lot of sense for a game that otherwise doesn’t require an internet connection.