Management system of Valve, in place since 2003, Steam is a platform of remote loading and use of applications, for the moment only of the Video games. The principal plays supported by Steam are Counter-Strike, Half-Life and Half-Life 2, Counter-Strike: source, Day off Defeat: source, Day off Defeat. But several other plays not developed by Valve are also supported or project to be it (in particular Sin Episodes, Darwina, Ragdoll Kung Fu). Indeed, the editors of plays can distribute their plays via Steam: for example Eidos Interactive proposes many plays in particular Hitman: Codename 47 or Tomb Raider. The editors see a way there of distributing their plays to lower costs and large scales.
Steam offers many advantages, compared to its predecessor WON (World Opponent Network). Its principal asset is to allow a direct update of any application which it supports; as soon as an update leaves, Steam downloads it and installs it automatically.
Steam made run much ink at the time of its exit, in particular because the Steam waiters particularly slow, were overloaded and planted regularly. Steam itself was far from being stable and still suffers from many problems, although it clearly improved. The malicious gossip reproaches him primarily the dangerous centralization of all the Valve plays on only one software, enabling them constantly to return paying their services - although this at present is far from probable.
Steam imposes certain restrictions at the time of the remote loading of plays. Thus if a key CD is already used (legally or not), there is no free means to make function its own key CD. Who more is, Valve duplicated the keys of certain plays like Half-Life because of their great popularity.
Today, Steam is a platform very much used, it acts of a precursor on the data-processing sale of contents on line.
The real advantage is that the traditional costs of distributions (retail sale, in store or on Internet) are much higher than the architecture of Steam on Internet. That facilitates at the same time the updates and makes it possible to reduce the final costs. Besides one finds plays on Steam which would not have had the possibility of being born in a traditional distribution system. It is thus about a technology precursor for what could be a fundamental modification in the sale of computerized contents (VOD, etc)
By doing this, Steam has another advantage, that to return the network games almost impiratables, thanks to the system of activation and Steam accounts. This thus represents more considerable for the editors, increasingly ruined by the hacking.
DisadvantagesOne of the principal disadvantages is the obligation of the use of this platform for the plays created by Valve bought in the traditional trade, which can pose problem with certain purchasers, in particular with those sensitized with the problems of confidentiality of the personal data.
Another problem is related to the market of the video game of occasion. Historically very active, it owes stage with the quasi total absence of plays functioning with Steam. Requiring a single key of activation most of the time, this one is then related to life with the Steam account of the purchaser. To resell the play then, it will then be necessary also to separate from its Steam account, which is in general never made since that would be allocated to the owner wishing to sell his play to yield all the Steam plays related to this account. It is possible to buy a new key but that would amount buying the play twice (CD of occasion + a new key). So Steam more or less closes the market of the play of occasion.
OperationSteam functions by using the technique of the Streaming (continuous remote loading), which makes it possible to install the plays directly since Internet, without using CD…
- Official site
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