I've been keen on Valve's Steam for a while. At first it took me some convincing to come around to the idea, I like media, I didn't like the concept of a game being purely digital. I did like the fact that if you lose your hard drive due to a failure it will automatically pull all the stuff you had back again. I thought to myself "what happens if Valve go bust, guess I won't be able to play my game anymore, still I can probably pick up the DVD cheap then". But I can't, see DVD copies need to be registered with Steam presenting the same issues, furthermore there have been countless other issues related to trying to log on to Steam after buying the DVD. I've seen a lot of people hacked of by this and quite frankly I'm not surprised. The DVD edition gets the worst of both worlds, Steam allows you to play a game on any machine as long as you have an Internet connection unless you have the DVD edition where you need to have the DVD in the drive to play as well. It takes away one of major reasons I like Steam and replaces it with the user's frustration.

I can't imagine how many sales Valve have lost from people returning a product that they can't get to work. Or how many fans have been outraged at the hoops they have to jump through to play the game. I imagine that this can't be doing anything good for their image, or that of their publisher. It really is a big shame as well, Half Life 2 is the best game that I've played this year, it's probably even worth the frustration that others have gone through to get it to work. I think as one person on the Valve forums summarised the issues with the technology well when they said I just bought Halo 2, I stuck it in my XBox drive, and look, it works.

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