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Steam - cheaper than retail box?

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Anonymous
February 1, 2005 5:15:10 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.half-life (More info?)

Should Steam-delivered software be cheaper than retail boxes?

There's an argument that says you get less when you download, ie. no
manual or box, so it should be (compare the music industry where you
can download music for significantly less than street price). However,
if the manual and sleeve art for a DVD case were downloadable as pdf,
then the score is more balanced. You are also getting the convenience
of software delivered direct and immediately to your PC, instead of
having to go out and buy it.

I think there's a large element of personal preference involved here.
Some of us like having the "original" box and a "proper" CD. Others
place value only on the zeroes and ones and are not fussed about the
packaging.

I think buying through Steam should be cheaper than buying off the
shelf (at RRP), if only by a few dollars or pounds. I don't know what
the costs of maintaining the server hardware are, but we are talking
about capital investment with comparatively few variable costs. The
hardware can be depreciated over a longer period of time and over
several game releases. There is no money tied up in stock and stuck on
the shelf - which is what happens in the retail channel.

Having said that, box retailers will always be able to undercut Steam
prices in order to shift units, so perhaps Steam will encourage
competition and lower prices (made possible by reduced piracy losses?).
Anonymous
February 1, 2005 12:44:14 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.half-life (More info?)

Andrew wrote:
> On 1 Feb 2005 02:15:10 -0800, "Chadwick" <chadwick110@hotmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> >Should Steam-delivered software be cheaper than retail boxes?
>
> Yes it should, and ultimately it probably will, but at the moment the
> bulk of sales are via retail and Vivendi would have put in their
> contract with Valve that they can't undercut the retail price.
>

And any future distributor would probably want to do the same.
So the only advantage Steam could offer would be preloads, so you can
play the moment the game is released, instead of waiting for Amazon to
deliver it at 60% of the price.

Maybe for a big release like HL2 that was sufficient incentive. But I
can't see that working for all new releases.
February 1, 2005 1:17:31 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.half-life (More info?)

On 1 Feb 2005 02:15:10 -0800, "Chadwick" <chadwick110@hotmail.com>
wrote:

>Should Steam-delivered software be cheaper than retail boxes?

Yes it should, and ultimately it probably will, but at the moment the
bulk of sales are via retail and Vivendi would have put in their
contract with Valve that they can't undercut the retail price.
--
Andrew, contact via interpleb.blogspot.com
Help make Usenet a better place: English is read downwards,
please don't top post. Trim replies to quote only relevant text.
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Anonymous
February 2, 2005 2:00:18 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.half-life (More info?)

"Chadwick" <chadwick110@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1107252910.579419.293430@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
[TRUNCATED]
> Should Steam-delivered software be cheaper than retail boxes?
>
> There's an argument that says you get less when you download, ie. no
> manual or box, so it should be (compare the music industry where you
> can download music for significantly less than street price). However,
> if the manual and sleeve art for a DVD case were downloadable as pdf,
> then the score is more balanced. You are also getting the convenience
> of software delivered direct and immediately to your PC, instead of
> having to go out and buy it.

> I don't know what the costs of maintaining the server hardware are, but we
> are talking about capital investment with comparatively few variable
costs. The
> hardware can be depreciated over a longer period of time and over
> several game releases. There is no money tied up in stock and stuck on
> the shelf - which is what happens in the retail channel.

Steam software SHOULD be cheaper (we'd all like cheaper software), but it
won't, and you've already stated the reason: maintaining the server
hardware. No matter how you look at it, the servers HAVE to remain up and
HAVE to be maintained/expanded where necessary. That costs money, and even
if the costs of physical packaging can be removed from the product cost,
they are instead replaced by the new costs of keeping the servers going.

Hence, one cost has been replaced by another.
Anonymous
February 2, 2005 2:43:37 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.half-life (More info?)

On 1 Feb 2005 02:15:10 -0800, "Chadwick" <chadwick110@hotmail.com>
wrote:

>Should Steam-delivered software be cheaper than retail boxes?
>
>There's an argument that says you get less when you download, ie. no
>manual or box, so it should be (compare the music industry where you
>can download music for significantly less than street price). However,
>if the manual and sleeve art for a DVD case were downloadable as pdf,
>then the score is more balanced. You are also getting the convenience
>of software delivered direct and immediately to your PC, instead of
>having to go out and buy it.
>
>I think there's a large element of personal preference involved here.
>Some of us like having the "original" box and a "proper" CD. Others
>place value only on the zeroes and ones and are not fussed about the
>packaging.
>
>I think buying through Steam should be cheaper than buying off the
>shelf (at RRP), if only by a few dollars or pounds. I don't know what
>the costs of maintaining the server hardware are, but we are talking
>about capital investment with comparatively few variable costs. The
>hardware can be depreciated over a longer period of time and over
>several game releases. There is no money tied up in stock and stuck on
>the shelf - which is what happens in the retail channel.
>
>Having said that, box retailers will always be able to undercut Steam
>prices in order to shift units, so perhaps Steam will encourage
>competition and lower prices (made possible by reduced piracy losses?).


Half Life Retail: £34.99 (commonly available for £29.99)
Half-Life 2 bronze: £26.54
--
ButIstillneedtoknowwhat'sinthere!Thekeytoanysecurity
systemishowit'sdesigned!Thatdependsonwhyitwasdesigned!
Ihavetoknowwhatwhoeverdesigneditwastryingtoprotect!
(Blakes 7, City on the Edge of the World - Vila in typical panic mode)
Anonymous
February 2, 2005 3:50:18 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.half-life (More info?)

GFree skrev:

> Steam software SHOULD be cheaper (we'd all like cheaper software), but it
> won't, and you've already stated the reason: maintaining the server

Well, it is for now. I paid half the price on the net for HL2 that the
cheapest store in Norway :-) And then I got HL2 silver (with all the
extras) while the one in the store was plain HL2.

--
Lars-Erik - http://home.chello.no/~larse/ - ICQ # 7297605
Win98se, Asus P4PE, 2.53 GHz, Asus V8420 (Ti4200), SB-Live!
Anonymous
February 2, 2005 3:50:19 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.half-life (More info?)

"Lars-Erik Østerud" <.@.> wrote in message
news:YAULd.1020$Mw3.437@amstwist00...
> GFree skrev:
>
> > Steam software SHOULD be cheaper (we'd all like cheaper software), but
it
> > won't, and you've already stated the reason: maintaining the server
>
> Well, it is for now. I paid half the price on the net for HL2 that the
> cheapest store in Norway :-) And then I got HL2 silver (with all the
> extras) while the one in the store was plain HL2.

I know it's cheaper already via Steam, but since the guy asked the question
I had to provide some reasoning. In any case, regardless of how Steam
support game distribution there should ALWAYS be some kind of retail box
available for those of us who don't have DSL or some other kind of fast
connection. Plus, there will always be those who demand a physical version
of the game.
February 2, 2005 10:20:25 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.half-life (More info?)

On Tue, 01 Feb 2005 23:43:37 +0000, Luke Curtis <mfll78@dsl.pipex.com>
wrote:

>Half Life Retail: £34.99 (commonly available for £29.99)
>Half-Life 2 bronze: £26.54

Being cheaper in the UK is a result of the state of the currency
market at the moment and is not representative of the relative prices
in the home market of the States. Us Brits are just lucky at the
moment :-)
--
Andrew, contact via interpleb.blogspot.com
Help make Usenet a better place: English is read downwards,
please don't top post. Trim replies to quote only relevant text.
Check groups.google.com before asking an obvious question.
!