Physical Media: Phasing out or Stocking up?

General and high profile video game topics.
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C64_Critic
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Re: Physical Media: Phasing out or Stocking up?

Postby C64_Critic » December 1st, 2020, 10:38 am

AtariToday wrote:good question. I use Steam for modern gaming and I love the fact that even though I've downloaded a title to my current PC I have the right to do so again if/when I replace the PC in the next handful of years. In that regard I feel like I retain a small part in ownership of my purchase. Not being able to resell or trade my games through Steam is why the feeling of ownership remains small.


I'll add to that; not only can you re-download/play your game if you upgrade your computer, but you can download and play them on multiple computers to your hearts content. I have some games installed on my laptop, some on my desktop, and some on both simultaneously. For the ones on both, I can play on either desktop or laptop and my game progress is saved such that I can pick right up where I left off if I switch to the other device. I don't have to lug a disk with me from one to the other, and I don't have to transfer a save game file.

I do hate that you can't resell, or even give awaygames that you've purchased, and in that regard the sense of ownership is greatly diminished. In theory you could sell your entire Steam account to someone, but I'm sure there's some prohibition about that with Steam and they would ban the account if they ever found out somehow. My plan is to share my Steam username/password with whichever one of my kids I think would want it the most so that when I die, they at least can continue to enjoy my collection.

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: Physical Media: Phasing out or Stocking up?

Postby VideoGameCritic » December 1st, 2020, 4:54 pm

I wonder if it's possible that Steam could be acquired by a company that no longer respected the old rules and didn't allow subsequent downloads. Or even pulled the plug on old games. It would be a bad business decision but as a digital customer you're not guaranteed any terms of the deal.

bluenote
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Re: Physical Media: Phasing out or Stocking up?

Postby bluenote » December 1st, 2020, 5:22 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:I wonder if it's possible that Steam could be acquired by a company that no longer respected the old rules and didn't allow subsequent downloads. Or even pulled the plug on old games. It would be a bad business decision but as a digital customer you're not guaranteed any terms of the deal.


I think you’re right, this could absolutely happen.

Voor
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Re: Physical Media: Phasing out or Stocking up?

Postby Voor » December 1st, 2020, 5:28 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:I wonder if it's possible that Steam could be acquired by a company that no longer respected the old rules and didn't allow subsequent downloads. Or even pulled the plug on old games. It would be a bad business decision but as a digital customer you're not guaranteed any terms of the deal.


Sure. But at this point, it kind of feels like you’re coming up with random scenarios to hang onto your “digital is evil” stance. There are pros and cons to both, and for many many gamers, the pros outweigh the cons (or random potential “what if’s”).

As of now, if I lost every single digital download, it would still be cheaper than replacing a broken retro console.

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velcrozombie
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Re: Physical Media: Phasing out or Stocking up?

Postby velcrozombie » December 1st, 2020, 6:14 pm

bluenote wrote:
VideoGameCritic wrote:I wonder if it's possible that Steam could be acquired by a company that no longer respected the old rules and didn't allow subsequent downloads. Or even pulled the plug on old games. It would be a bad business decision but as a digital customer you're not guaranteed any terms of the deal.


I think you’re right, this could absolutely happen.


Isn't Steam 100 percent owned by Valve, though? While there are other streaming platforms like GOG.com (which is my preferred platform since you can download/backup/copy your games independently of their app and because they make an effort to update older games so they can continue to be playable on each new operating system) and now Epic, Steam is pretty close to being a monopoly and I have no idea what motivation they'd have to sell it, especially since the income it provides has allowed them free reign to work on whatever projects they want at their own pace.

As far as physical media, I've made an effort to buy films I'm interested in that don't tend to show up on streaming services. I like animator Jan Svankmajer and his work is more or less absent from the various streaming platforms so this year I bought a Region 2 anthology of his shorts plus the DVDs of his feature films that I didn't already have. I try for physical copies when it comes to console games but I resort to digital when the price gap is too wide to justify - I have a $5 digital copy of Silent Hill on my PS3, whereas the cheapest discs I've seen have been in the $60 range. Same with books - physical is preferred but I'm not going to pass up something on sale for a dollar on Kindle if the opportunity presents itself. Despite being a musician, I care about music the least of all when it comes to physical formats - when I do buy a CD (mostly used and heavily discounted) I just rip it to a couple of hard drives and throw the original in a box. Probably 80 to 90 percent of the music I've listened to in the last three years has been on Spotify or Youtube.

Voor
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Re: Physical Media: Phasing out or Stocking up?

Postby Voor » December 1st, 2020, 7:07 pm

^^^james rolfe (aka, the angry video game nerd) did a video on Svankmajer. That is some WEIRD stuff. Lol

newmodelarmy
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Re: Physical Media: Phasing out or Stocking up?

Postby newmodelarmy » December 1st, 2020, 7:11 pm

I am pretty much all digital, games and music. I recently started collecting vinyl, but plan on keeping that collection very small. I like buying games via download, mostly due to the fact that they get price reductions fairly quickly after release. Plus, I don't have to move my rear-end off the couch!

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velcrozombie
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Re: Physical Media: Phasing out or Stocking up?

Postby velcrozombie » December 1st, 2020, 7:48 pm

Voor wrote:^^^james rolfe (aka, the angry video game nerd) did a video on Svankmajer. That is some WEIRD stuff. Lol


He's a trip. If you like Tool's music videos (especially early 90s videos like "Sober" and "Prison Sex") you'll probably enjoy him, as he was a huge influence. If you're curious, I'd check out the feature film Alice or the short Dimensions of Dialogue (which is on Youtube). The Quay Brothers were also heavily influenced by Svankmajer - check out the short film Street of Crocodiles (which is on Dailymotion - Youtube only seems to have excerpts). I'll have to give the James Rolfe video a watch to see what he has to say.

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travistouchdown
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Re: Physical Media: Phasing out or Stocking up?

Postby travistouchdown » January 5th, 2021, 8:24 am

I am all about the physical media. I have music, movies and games on a variety of format. Videogames--carts to optical media, Music: Vinyl, Cassette and CD. Movies: VHS, Laserdisc, DVD, Bluray and 4KUHD.

I keep these from taking over my life by getting rid of games/music/movies i don't like, so they are finely curated collections, not just a bunch of random junk.

I avoid buying digital copies of games, and will wait years for something to get a limited physical release if there is a possibility of that happening. I'll only buy digital games when i really want them and i'm sure they are unlikely to ever get a physical release (Outrun on Switch for example, or ACA Neo Geo games.) I also don't pay for any online gaming services on principle; as i think it should be a free service like on PC; but mostly because i prefer to play offline; or local multiplayer with friends.

To me; a big part of enjoying media; is the physical media itself. That memory of running to the mall during my lunch break at school and getting a new NES game, or CD, cracking the cellophane off and reading the nice glossy manual to learn about the back story, controls, and items. Gaming really lost something when manuals went digital IMO; and clearly people miss them as you have people making nice manuals for switch games from scratch now. I'm most interested in collecting from Atari 2600 through the PS2/GC/Xbox era; pre online, micro-transaction, massive update BS era. The games had manuals, came on discs, and they were either good or they weren't.

A few times recently i've had friends tell me "I really want to watch (random movie from 90's) but i can't find it on any of the streaming services" and i'll say: "Oh i have that on DVD you can borrow my copy." Then they are like "Derrrrr....I don't have a DVD player anymore." And in my head i'm like...well, guess you are SOL! haha. This is why i'm always going to be a physical media guy. I like to actually own and control my media, not have it disappear on me on the whim of some company, or not have it edited by companies with CGI to make it PG-13 as you have started to see happen now. Yikes. Streaming is convenient; and i do have access to Netflix/Hulu/Amazon through friend/family accounts, but only as a supplement to solid shelf full of my all time favorites. You go the streaming only route; you are really limiting what you have access to in the grand scheme.

Some Bluray prices have already started to climb; 4kUHD will likely be the last physical movie format. Though it will be niche (like Vinyl) i think there will be a market (and increasing collectors market) for physical movies/music/games for some time to come.

RDReynolds
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Re: Physical Media: Phasing out or Stocking up?

Postby RDReynolds » January 5th, 2021, 6:04 pm

This will sound odd, but especially on movies, I do what I'd consider a combination.

I used to have two changers - a 400 DVD changer, and a 400 disc Blu-Ray changer. Think of them as big physical jukeboxes. The Blu-Ray changer died a few years back so I went to buy a new one...which Sony had quit making. They were available used...but the former $600 device was now a whopping $4,000! So we decided to change to something called Plex.

If you're not familiar with Plex, I strongly urge you to check it out. It allows you to create what basically amounts to Netflix but using all your own files. So my family commenced RIPping nearly 1,000 discs (!!!!) to files. It took a couple months but it is so worth it I don't know why I never did it before.

The files are now on a local RAID, then I back that up to another drive as well. This way I don't lose access to the movies I own no matter what - they are on my own drives, so I have them. Having access to your files is the key. They are mine, under my control.

Plex is nice as you can run it on a Roku, tablet, laptop, whatever. Can't recommend it enough.


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