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Thread: Steam vs Origin

  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Steam vs Origin

    IN THE FIRST CORNER

    we have the point that Steam is not only a plurality, but a majority of direct download sales, despite the plethora of other direct download distributors, and it's largely because of Steam's services: Nobody's playing on an even field, and while GoG, GG, D2D, etc, are doing okay, any inroads into the background-updateathon that keeps Steam always in the forefront of players' minds have been miserably unsuccessful (I'm looking at you, GfWL). Competition on these grounds is good for the reason that it'll force Steam or its competitors to provide better services than they do already.

    IN THE OTHER CORNER

    we have the point that Steam's convenience and ease of use is based mostly on the assumption that Steam is the only service of its kind around. Two Steams does not mean twice the service. On the contrary, two Steams is less service than one Steam, because they're competing for resources and are, inherently, duplicating effort. They're redundant. You don't run two lines to your house because there are competing TelCos. And since nobody's going to give up their Valve games (least of all Valve), everybody's pretty much relegated to having both Steam and Origin on if EA gets this thing off the ground. We're not switching to Origin. We're getting Origin on top of Steam, and that's not all for the good.

    Now, I'm happy Newell's taking this like the shot across the bow that it is, but I can honestly see both sides of the argument. I want competition, but I don't see this competition as necessarily conducive to a better gaming experience on our end, what with having to install more always-doing-stuff-in-the-background ancillary software. So what say ye?

    FIGHT!
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    I'll hold off buying Origin stuff until I see how well EA is providing the service.

  3. #3
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    I vote for GOG.com because it actually has some CRPGs for sale.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fumarole's Avatar
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    Same here, I'll not buy anything requiring Origin for the foreseeable future.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    If Origin fails I fully expect us to have Steam OS in the next ten years. The big publishers, vile though they may be, are the only ones with enough economic clout to afford to stand up to Valve, and somebody sure as hell has to.

  6. #6
    This has quickly become the most boring discussion since PC vs MAC, Atheism Vs Religion.

    But, I do really, really like the idea of a Steam OS though. I can't stand Linux, I loathe Mac OS, and Windows is simply the best of the bunch but not ideal. So it would be great to be liberated of my reliance on Microsoft.

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Yeah I'm really getting sick of this argument and some weird mentality that Valve have to be stopped before they take over the world and rape our women.

    Though actually a Steam OS does sound ace. People might notice that the competitors are Sony and Xbox (Microsoft), not the other PC game vendors.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    If you want a closed system so badly, I can't fathom why you're gaming on PC in the first place. Convenience over choice, simplicity over control, there's a wide range of electronics out there just for you already.

  9. #9
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    I'm not much of a fan of steam. Having to run some bloated beast of a client in the background? FUCK. NO. YOUR MOTHER. Not that that stops me from buying up dirt cheap sales every now and then. A deal's a deal. People whine sometimes about 'having a collection in one place'. Did they just not buy anything until 8 years ago? My collection's always been in one place. It's called 'on my computer'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Two Steams does not mean twice the service. On the contrary, two Steams is less service than one Steam, because they're competing for resources and are, inherently, duplicating effort. They're redundant. ... We're not switching to Origin. We're getting Origin on top of Steam, and that's not all for the good.
    And that's the key thing. I don't want to double down on inconvenience.

    Quote Originally Posted by vinraith View Post
    If you want a closed system so badly, I can't fathom why you're gaming on PC in the first place. Convenience over choice, simplicity over control, there's a wide range of electronics out there just for you already.
    Hey, I was just about to say that.

  10. #10
    Lesser Hivemind Node TillEulenspiegel's Avatar
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    I'm really happy to use Steam or another platform as the package manager that Windows lacks. So I buy the game from the developer, and they give me a download link to a DRM-free version, but they also give me a Steam/Desura/whatever key, so my lazy ass gets automatic updates.

    That's the ideal situation for me.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    I remembered something: Steam automatically stops downloading whatever it's downloading when you launch a game - presumably to free up your bandwidth for online play and whatnot. I get the idea that if you had Steam AND Origin, one would not know to stop downloading that 2gb patch while you're trying to run a multiplayer game, meaning you'd have to manually tell each to stop its services when you play the other.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
    Director of the Friends of Nalano PAC
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    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinraith View Post
    If you want a closed system so badly, I can't fathom why you're gaming on PC in the first place. Convenience over choice, simplicity over control, there's a wide range of electronics out there just for you already.
    I still run Linux most the time at home when I'm not playing games. However I'm not really fussed about closed system vs open system arguments either. As an engineer it's dull and as a consumer it just leads to horrendous bloat or horrid locked devices.

    The idea of a gaming OS is pretty interesting though. Much faster access to memory, fuller control of CPU interrupts, etc. etc.

    EDIT: Also just to point out why that piece of rhetoric was ridiculous, I am gaming on a PC because:
    I'm a programmer and like being able to play games at my desk in my comfy chair and not in the shared living room full of annoying flatmates.
    Combat Mission doesn't exist on the consoles.
    PC gaming works out cheaper for me.
    All my friends play PC games with me online.
    I quite like playing windowed games and having iPlayer or a web browser open at the same time without needing 2 devices.
    I like the creative indie games that can exist on PC.
    I love my mouse and keyboard.
    I like multiplayer games to have dedicated servers and larger maps etc.

    Not on my list: An idealogical love of "open systems."
    Last edited by Zephro; 17-08-2011 at 07:53 PM. Reason: Clarification.

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    It's funny, because the "I'll only ever buy from one store!" crowd is exactly the reason EA decided this was necessary, I'm sure. Creepy.

    Oh and:

    Combat Mission doesn't exist on the consoles.
    It also doesn't exist on Steam. Perhaps you should be a bit less enthusiastic about losing your open platform, Steam doesn't have a very good track record of green lighting wargames.

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    I remembered something: Steam automatically stops downloading whatever it's downloading when you launch a game - presumably to free up your bandwidth for online play and whatnot. I get the idea that if you had Steam AND Origin, one would not know to stop downloading that 2gb patch while you're trying to run a multiplayer game, meaning you'd have to manually tell each to stop its services when you play the other.
    Maybe you can add origin games as "non-steam games" and vice-versa?
    That'd be a lot of trouble but solve that issue.

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tikey View Post
    Maybe you can add origin games as "non-steam games" and vice-versa?
    That'd be a lot of trouble but solve that issue.
    That would indeed be a lot of trouble.

    @ Zephro

    Dedicated servers, larger maps, more esoteric games like Combat Mission, windowed games, choice of input and cheaper costs are all direct results of having a more open system.

    There's a reason we're ideologically opposed to closed systems.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
    Director of the Friends of Nalano PAC
    Attorney at Lawl
    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinraith View Post
    It's funny, because the "I'll only ever buy from one store!" crowd is exactly the reason EA decided this was necessary, I'm sure. Creepy.

    Oh and:

    It also doesn't exist on Steam. Perhaps you should be a bit less enthusiastic about losing your open platform, Steam doesn't have a very good track record of green lighting wargames.
    The problem I have with origin is not that I love steam. I don't. It's a digital download service and I feel nothing towards it. It's that origin is another steam. I don't want that. I want another GoG where I don't have to run stuff in the background and I'm not worried that they're going to get sick of offering me the game I haven't played in a year and not let me redownload it, and that hasn't got such a reputation for being shit to consumers. That's why I'm against origin. I'd like it if steam adopted a GoG like approach too and didn't require me running it for my games and so on, but I'm not as deeply suspicious of valve as I am EA. What can I say, their past reputation isn't so tarnished and that affects my opinion.

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    @Serengoose

    I don't disagree with any of that in principle. In practice, however, if Valve has no significant competitors it has no reason to become less restrictive, indeed it's likely to go the other way. Competition, even from the likes of EA, is the only way we're going to see the digital market move towards the less restrictive and consumer-hostile structures you and I both want to see. For that matter, big guys slugging it out makes more room for the little guys, who are naturally inclined to be less consumer-hostile from the outset.

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    That would indeed be a lot of trouble.

    @ Zephro

    Dedicated servers, larger maps, more esoteric games like Combat Mission, windowed games, choice of input and cheaper costs are all direct results of having a more open system.

    There's a reason we're ideologically opposed to closed systems.
    They're not though. PC's would have keyboards and oodles of memory for larger maps even if they were closed, more like say OS X. Most of those are engineering decisions that happen to be along side a moderately open system.

    If you were really ideologically tied to open systems then we'd all play 'nix games which have been open sourced. Except we don't because that'd be crap. There are perfectly good business, consumer and engineering reasons for "closed" systems. Bearing in mind of course that these things are all in a spectrum of open to closed, most of which debate just comes out of fan boys having a kosh to beat their opposition with.

    Steam is a software platform running on the OS-X and Windows Platforms which in turn run on the IBM Compatible hardware or Apple hardware platforms etc. etc. It's hazy where you draw the line of what a platform is and hazy as to how open something should be.

    I for one don't see "openness" as a selling point. I just want the games I like, the way I want to play them. If sacrificing some openness to make that more painless makes my consumer experience better then I'd do it. I have no ideology. I doubt most games do.

  19. #19
    I keep seeing people mention that they don't want another program hogging their system resources as an argument against any competition. Am I the only person who actually closes Steam when I am finished with it?

  20. #20
    Activated Node Krans's Avatar
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    I'm puzzled by all this talk of "bloated client" and "hogging ... system resources" for Steam. At the moment I have Steam running in the background. It's using 39 MB of RAM, which is less than 2% of total, and no CPU. By contrast, this Firefox session is using 420 MB of RAM, and Skype (which is also running inactive in the background) is using nearly 50 MB of RAM. I consider Steam to be pretty lightweight, all things considered.

    It occurs to me that Valve have a very great incentive not to allow Steam to use large amounts of CPU and RAM in the background -- because that would reduce the performance of Valve games!

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