Why doesn't Steam have the capability to filter out games that wont run on the user's current system? Or at the very least to give warnings if the compatibility is in doubt. THAT would be convenient but it would also mean they'd get less money by ignorant consumers buying **** they can't play. So what impetus is there to implement it?
Perhaps it's just me an my general notion that anyone who owns their computer or plays a lot of games on it are supposed to be aware of their specs. I'll concede on that if it isn't a generally expected thing for someone buying games to know that they can run it on their system.
Though, to be fair on the other hand, sometimes games exceed even recommended specs...
I've been playing computer games for . .. 20 years? 25 years? Since the Apple IIE days. Couldn't say what my specs are except for a detail or two. Maybe the graphics card. Certainly no the full extent of it. Have a second tower off a friend, haven't a clue what the performance of that is only that its better than the other computer. If I try a game, like Crysis, and it doesn't work on the first tower, I try it on the second tower. If it doesn't work on that one, well . . . haven't had that problem yet but let's say I prefer gaming on the consoles for this very reason.
Thing is. People are expected to know their specs but this is an elitist mentality. This mentality is why consoles are still going strong, because they're more accessible because they're simply more user friendly. I grew up with a friend who was an avid gamer as well. At times he played PC games like Tie Fighter and Starcraft. He could barely turn his PC on. Eventually after a hiatus, after he had money he didn't stick with PC games, he went back to consoles.
Valve/Steam is kind of dumb as well in my opinion with these Steam Machines. They seem to be tryin to buy another corner of the market and get a console-like experience with these boxes. But the biggest problem with them, is that there's a dozen different specs. They're not more accessible at all. What they should do is just make the client help the consumer make informed choices based on their hardware.
If someone dumbed down PC gaming to the point, where someone with no knowledge of their computer could reliably get games that work I suspect there might be a few more players. That same friend of mine, once picked up a couple of the Mechwarrior games like MW3 mercenaries. He was desperate to play them, but his computer lacked 3d acceleration so they didn't work. Later on, when he had a better computer he and I still couldn't get them to work.
Gaming shouldn't be that complicated.
When I launch my game I want to see my game loading. I don't want to see steam or any other client loading. And I don't want steam to be loading every time I turn on my computer either.
Generally speaking, the less one fights Steam and its doings, the less problems you have. Course, personal preferences considered, it's no wonder there's as many problems as there are in regards to the two of you. That's okay though, desiring more control over how things run on your computer is a fine thing to want and yes, Steam sort of takes some of that control away. Can't argue that
But, this is also the inherent property of the gaming industry as it evolves. Digital distribution is easiest when you get someone else to do it for you, and you typically reach a broader audience. Steam managed to create something that was the most useful thing at the time and others are just now catching up
It's very rare that I actually play any game from my Steam library. Given the choice, between a game from GOG and a game from Steam, I'll play a GOG game 9 times out of 10. Of the six or so games I've played in the last few weeks, only one of them was from Steam and that was a humble bundle purchase. (spec ops) In fact Total Biscuit did a WTF of a game today, called Ironclash that looks interesting enough to purchase. But rather than pick it up off Steam, I tweeted the company and asked if they'd be releasing on GOG.
I enjoy Steam best when I'm not using it
I don't equate console loading times or updates to Steam either... ...At the extreme I might have had to wait 10-15 minutes for some major game update but then again I often play games well after their release so I get all the updates in a single dose.
Uh... so you say the two don't really compare... but what you just described is *exactly* the same for Steam...
Major difference being is that PC games typically get more updates than consoles, but the two parallel.
As I said, the main issue is that I don't want to see a middle man program loading when I launch my game. Once I've made my purchase, installed my game, Steam ceases to be anything but DRM.
And to me it's one of the most offensive types of DRM because it's ALWAYS visible and it's always launching.
Other games need a code, once and they're good. You forget about it.
Other games need a code and a CD in the drive. Annoying certainly, but once it's in there you might play the game until the end and likewise forget about it.
But Steam games? Whenever I launch the game, steam launches. Something I could certainl do without.