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Digital Download or Retail Box?

Last response: in Video Games
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March 24, 2010 3:59:28 PM

Which method do you guys prefer? The last several games I've bought, I'm almost exclusively downloading from sites like steam, impulse, etc.

Do you guys find problems with DD? The only one I don't like is no manual, but most manuals suck nowadays anyhow (just on an aside...what is with that? No games have great manuals anymore. Remember the Diablo manual :love:  ).

March 24, 2010 4:03:26 PM

Yes, I have been wondering the same thing.
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March 24, 2010 4:50:19 PM

Most games on Steam either have a link to the manual or install the manual inside the application directory.

I know with Good 'Ol Games, they provide manuals for all the games.

The only thing I hate about digital manuals is I don't have it right there in front of me when I'm playing the game. But then, I could just print it out if I really need it.

But, overall, I like the digital download service via Steam and Good 'Ol Games because they don't tie the game to your machine, but to your account. Good Ol Games is even better because there is NO drm what-so-ever with their games (of course, they are old games like Duke 3D, Fallout 1 and 2, etc).

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March 24, 2010 5:45:56 PM

Retail. I like having the installation in my hands rather than downloading anything. In the likely event that you reformat, you'll have to redownload the installer, updates, patches and so on. Having the initial installer and patching is much quicker. Digital download times can vary on so many things and it's not very convenient. A simple CPU lock-up can corrupt the download. Retail for me.
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March 24, 2010 7:46:40 PM

You could always backup the game to avoid having to redownload, at least with steam.
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March 24, 2010 8:32:16 PM

I use both. Downloading AvP3 @ 60Kb/s was tedious though when the game is like 12Gb. I think it was the IPStream network capping me for some reason........

Atleast with a DVD you can get it running in minutes after getting it home. AvP would have taken me 3 days more or less to download had I not transported my entire box (HAF932's are cheap because they arent made of aluminium but steel) to another connection.

But if you get badly DRMed releases then you ovten only get like 5 licenses or something, and if you dont revoke the license whenever you need to re-install then you loose them. GTA4 does this. So you can have a dvd which you have installed 5 times from and then it wont work, even though you are legit, just because you didnt read the manual.
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March 24, 2010 9:58:35 PM

which ever is cheapest. :-)
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March 24, 2010 10:05:25 PM

for security and legit forever copy of a game, retail box. much more reliable and no strings attached like programs, downloading, etc. just put the disk in and install.
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March 25, 2010 3:41:35 AM

i know steam was a savior for me. i had to reinstall half life 2 after a year of having the game and found out one of the install cd's for it went bad but thanks to steam i was able to download the full game with no problems
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March 25, 2010 4:54:17 AM

I've lost hdd's numerous times, which would include my wow/half life and whatnot.

The first hdd that went bad I only lost half-life, cool, had the CD.

Second time and on though, had the lost the CD-key etc, etc.

Downloading, while it may take longer, is much easier for someone like me who might lose a cd/key. If you can hold onto them (organized, live in one place continuously) I'd rather have the disk.
However, for someone like me, who moves every few semesters, much rather have downloads for all games.

I mean, I just found a CD-key I had written on a napkin with no idea what it was, entered it on battle.net, and found out it was my old starcraft cdkey, downloaded it, and played it.

can't really beat that
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March 25, 2010 11:00:10 AM

I definitely enjoy the digital download depending on where you get it from. As great as Direct2Drive is, I've had more issues with them that make them my last choice.

Good 'Ol Games is great and for most of the games they have, you can't get them retail anymore unless you order it on ebay. Of course, Good 'Ol Games updates them to work with the latest Windows operating systems and for those that require it (like the old DOS games), they package and configure the game on installation with DosBOX.

Steam is great because the games are tied to your Steam account NOT your machine like other download services. That means when you change your machine (such as the motherboard or the entire system), it won't invalidate the games.

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March 26, 2010 3:27:28 AM

I prefer the Retail Box.

The only game that I own which was a direct download is Galactic Civilization 2. I only did so because I had the option download it since I registered my retail box version with developer/publisher; Stardock.
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March 26, 2010 4:45:12 PM

641022,10,428967

I mean, I just found a CD-key I had written on a napkin with no idea what it was, entered it on battle.net, and found out it was my old starcraft cdkey, downloaded it, and played it.

can't really beat that[/quotemsg said:


i had the same experience. a couple days after i installed half life 2 on steam i entered my old cd key from my copy of half life 1 GOTY edition and steam let me have all the half life 1 games like counterstrike, DoD, blue shift and more. they were the games with the original halflife 1 engine but still a good deal
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March 26, 2010 7:12:25 PM

Digital Downloading is a reall convenient way to get games, and being able to tansfer the game files from one computer to another without having to reinstall them is always useful. My only problem (other than not having th actual CD) comes from looking ahead, what if Valve goes out of business some time in the future? Do we just lose our digital download rights or what?
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