Just out of wonder, as I have never used it before, what is Steam like? Is is better than disc software? Are the rumours about it's loading times and poor stability true?
Thanks for your time in advance.
I have used Steam for many years (since it launched) and never had any problems with it.
Just be aware that when you buy from steam.. the game is locked to your account.. so you cant resell it on when you completed/bored of it... EVER.
And game prices on steam can be higher than retail (esp at game launch time)... but it does have some great bargins
Convenience is great.. you can go to any PC and play your game (but you will prob have to wait for hame to download).
It now supports clous sync... so even your save games can follow you around to different PC's (not all games... ones that support it... e.g. small save game files).
But in terms of stability.... never a problem. Loading times? it loads as fast as your hard disk allows... so its fast.
If you mean download times... again - if you on dial up and you try download Skyrim for example... it can take a while!!!!
However, I have found Steem to be EXCELLENT in terms of downloads... you are not waiting for their servers... they deliver at full whack... so for my 30mbs conn
even Skyrim can be downloaded in no time.
I went traveling this weekend with my laptop and forgot to set steam into offline mode before I left. I was still able to access my steam games even without internet without setting it into offline mode first, which surprised me since I thought I had to go from online to offline mode while connected to the net in order to use my games. I had an error page at first, but then I just chose to restart in offline mode- all while having no internet- and it worked. I've heard they've gotten better about this over the years, so that's good news. For whatever that's worth... I used to have horrid internet that would poop out all the time, so I never bought any games that I thought would need to 'dial-in'.
If you're worried but have the hardware to experiment, try buying Just Cause 2 right now; it's five bucks, so not much of a loss if you decide you hate either steam or the game, and it'll give you some experience in steam. I almost always get the games on sale, since there's no resale value, but I still enjoy them all.
You don't even have to buy anything to try it out. There's a growing number of free to download demos on there, and even a bunch of free-to-play complete games.
If you don't mind being locked into one platform I'd say steam is great, because it includes a whole host of extra features like the friends and community parts that add some really cool extra value there.
It's also real easy to back up because generally everything goes in the 'Steam' folder so if you back that up you have all your games saved (though steam actually has it's own back up tool but I never use that).
So thumbs up from me (and I have about 150 games on steam atm)