The way we buy stuff is changing thanks to Steam Games. In recent years, we’ve seen a decline in retail video game purchases in favor of a more convenient, quicker, easier method. Online video game marketplaces have become enormously popular, with the Steam being at the forefront of the pack. Steam is run by Valve, the same people who developed the Half Life and Portal series. Steam games have become a focal point of what they do, becoming a major force in shaping the future of the industry and how games will be sold and distributed. The best part about Steam games is that there’s something for everyone. Whether it be newly released AAA titles, some indie game, or just something you want to play for free with some friends, Steam has something to offer for every type of person. I can speak to this fact from personal experience, having bought a vast number of games through this ever-expanding online marketplace.
Another perk of buying games on Steam is the ease of obtaining them. After you make your purchase, which is a relatively painless ordeal, you can download your game and install it. The best part, in my opinion, is that Steam games will upload your progress to the Steam cloud, allowing you to switch between computers and not lose any progress. It’s a great feature that really gives you freedom to play where you want to play, whether it be on the go, or at home on your desktop – you never lose your progress, no matter where you go.
In this vein, Valve has also recently announced it’s expansion into the console market, developing what is being called the “Steam Box”, which will, from all accounts, be a small, modular computer that will sit in your living room where your TV is, giving you access to your Steam games from the comfort of your couch. Of course earlier this year Steam also received the Big Picture update, allowing users to use their computers as consoles by using a more controller friendly interface that is extremely intuitive, even for the uninitiated.
Steam games also go on sale quite frequently, so if you’re patient enough there is a good chance you’ll be able to pick up most any game that you’re looking into for a reduced price, whether it be 10% off or 80% off. In particular, Steam usually hosts a slew of sales that are widely anticipated because of the great deals they offer. For instance, in the next month or so we will be in the middle of the 2013 Steam Summer Sale, the most anticipated Steam games sale of the year, at least it is for me. Other notable sales include the Winter Sales, which occur right around the holiday season, and the Halloween Sale, which primarily consists of scary or horror games.
Valve is leading the charge into the digital age of video game sales and distribution. Not only is Steam a widely used DRM for games, but it is also an extremely efficient means of getting the games you want, where you want them, when you want to play them. There are even ways to sells items you get throughout your time playing your Steam games, but I think that’s a topic best covered in an editorial of its own, no use going through all that market trend mumbo jumbo right now.