Steam are still claiming that pre-purchasing BioShock via their system will allow you to
"play the moment it's released."
Which is not true. What they mean is,
"The moment it's released on Steam, which is many hours later."
The game is officially released tomorrow morning in the UK, with most stores naturally opening at 9am. Steam, with the exception of further jiggery-pokery to their countdown clock, will be releasing it at 5pm tomorrow. Until today, the clock suggested they would be releasing it at 8pm, so there's three hours' gratitude for you.
The problem is, that countdown clock is not on the BioShock game page on Steam (indeed, until Tuesday it stated that it would be available on the 21st, despite the front page saying otherwise). And worse, the countdown clock only appears on some loads of Steam, with the new TF2 trailer taking its slot half the time. So you could easily buy it, like I did for instance, without ever seeing the reality.
This decision is not made by Valve, but by 2K, who for whatever mad reason are imposing this delay on everyone who was tricked into pre-ordering, thinking they'd get to play it first thing Friday without having to leave the house. The only possible reason would normally be that they wanted the shop prices to get a go, but in this case, at £32, 2K can't be making less money via Steam, cutting out packaging and the shop cut.
You might argue,
"Stop moaning about eight hours, you big whining baby."
But I would point out to you it's a principle thing. And also that I'm away this weekend, and Friday's my only chance to play it for over a week. So shut up.
Steam gave me a refund when I complained, on principle, and I have pre-ordered myself a copy from a highstreet store, which will, astoundingly, be more efficient.