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Steam, Valve digital online platform, is incredibly popular. No, really, at almost any given time, there are over a million gamers playing some sort of game, and it’s usually much higher. There are so many things to love about Steam, whether it be the convenience of having your games available to you whenever you need them, having your saved games follow you around, or simply making it easier to keep in contact with your gamer friends!

This, however, is NOT the best thing about Steam. No sir, people flock to Steam like the i on Apple products because of the deals that you can get on games.

Steam is known for dropping prices on games to insanely low prices. Every weekend, there is a weekend deal that usually knocks off 50% to 75% off of a range of games. In the middle of the week, they have a feature called “Midweek Madness”, which does another 50% to 75% of a single game. Just recently, they’ve introduced daily deals, which, as you can imagine, cuts the price of a game daily. And this isn’t even counting holidays, where Steam sales just get ludicrous, with hundreds of games on sale for dirt cheap.

Digital downloads are becoming more and more popular as the internet speeds increase and as more and more devices can hold tons of games. I, myself, own over a hundred games on Steam (which is probably a bad thing), so whether we like it or not, and regardless of if it’s going to erase physical distribution, digital distribution is here to stay.

There is one problem though: Steam is the only one who is doing it correctly.

No, no, there are plenty of good places to download games. Xbox Live has a very nice collection of downloadable content and games on demand, as does the Playstation Network, Amazon, Direct2Drive and a large number of other online distributors. However, none of them have the insane deals that Steam does, and this is the main problem. Content on other platforms is almost always more expensive than it would be to just buy the physical game used or otherwise. Xbox Live is the worst with this; their games on demand are SO much more expensive than walking into Gamestop and picking a used copy up, but Microsoft will never drop the price because they don’t want the user to feel like they’re getting a steal. And this is pretty common for most downloadable services; physical copies are less costly than digital ones, and that completely defeats the purpose of a digital copy, which is convenience.

And yes, before you say anything, a lot of companies are following Steam by making deals as well, however, it’s just not enough. Digital content (specifically of older games) should not cost 100% more than their physical counterparts, yet that’s still where we are at. Until every digital distribution company hits the same stride that Steam has, I don’t see them succeeding well enough to eliminate physical content whatsoever.

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I was browsing some Kotaku articles and came across a commenter who posted a rather interesting thought. Here are my thoughts on his thoughts about someone else’s thoughts.

We, as gamers, usually favor a particular game system. We like that game system for its features, its looks, its controller, its games and, in some cases, its price. The Xbox fans have been labeled as the scums of the earth by a lot of people because they tend to be Halo and Madden loving fanboys who only play those two games and can’t even tell you what a Sony is, who Nintendo might be or what an RPG is.

But are they really Xbox fanboys?

People who drool all over the Xbox buy the console mostly for the games. They want to play Halo, Gears of War, Mass Effect and all the other exclusive games that are only available on the Microsoft console. They aren’t console fanboys, they’re just following their favorite games to the console the games live on! If Halo was on the PS3, 99.9% of the Xbox fanboys who love Halo would actually be PS3 fanboys. And it works both ways! If Metal Gear Solid 4 was a 360 exclusive, all those people who love their PS3 (those of which spent over $400 just to play the game) would have bought an Xbox instead.

We don’t have favorite consoles. We have favorite games. Consoles are just there to let us enjoy our favorite exclusive games.

Now, to address the concern that the Xbox crowd is a bunch of horrid jerks who love to curse and say things about everyones mother. It’s not something to complain about. Xbox live is obviously the biggest online service avalible for the home console. The world is full of horrible people, so when ten million people gather to play the Xbox, you have to assume that you’re going to get the scum mixed in with the good ones. If Xbox live had ten million people playing and the PSN only had five million, you’d get a whole lot less jerks on the PSN, not because the people on the PSN are nicer but because there are just less people.

So stop calling us Xbox Live’rs jerks; we’re not all that way and most of us are given a bad name.

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