Hey guys, my friend came up to me today and asked me "why don't I just download games off *insert illegal torrent website here* instead of steam?" the only thing I could come up with (besides the fact that its illegal) is that its a bit more organised.
multiplayer, synced save files for some games, community can* be helpful (dedicates forums for every single game), records play time (could be trivial, could seem weird, could tell you interesting things about your habits), overlay can be very handy
ill tell him that
Updates alone are worth it. New updates and Steam automatically gets it, might not be to everyone liking but you can stop the auto update too.
And very soon a reason to use Big Picture more, with the OS.
The only thing I will say in counter point to Overlordnick is that the time recording is frequently wrong. The ingame timers have shown me to played way more Borderlands 2 than steam accounted for.
The games always stay with your account.
Can easily invite friends to your games.
Can play online unlike torrented games where you are stuck to singleplayer only.
Can get achievements (Some people might not care as much).
Steam records game time for many games wrong. And it also records in menu time. I played Half-Life 1 a lot more than other games but yet it counted (when it was introduced) 50 hours (instead of probably 4x that).
Steam is good. Get steam for games like left4dead, cs, dayz etc. The rest you can just torrent they don't care, but please don't torrent the good games.
Steam is very interesting in that it is convenient and they have relatively good sales and linux support.
I install the Steam client in an unprivileged lxc (which works without any problem), and don't have to worry about the individual games, they are installed in the lxc overlay. That means that I can snapshot the lxc, and that all my games, with the Steam client, are portable, which is very convenient. The linux Steam client is also pretty well-behaved, in that it doesn't scan the system for installed apps, it doesn't scan the system hardware, it needs no firewall privileges, etc... like the Steam for Windows client does, so it's actually an acceptable application to use.
Steam is not convenient for people with a slow internet connection though, because when the downloading takes more time than going to a store, buying a DVD and installing it, it become pretty ridiculous.
In 2013, 88% of all games sold in Germany, were sold on optical media distributed in brick and mortar stores. That's because Steam is expensive, much more expensive than buying DVD's of games, but people that don't have to have a game when it comes out, but can wait for a sale, can definitely save a lot of money on steam, especially with regards to Valve games. Not so long ago, L4D2 was given away for free on Steam, and when GabeN mentioned in his Reddit AMA that CS:GO would eventually come out for linux (the only reason they hold it back is because all competitive players would immediately switch to linux because of the better performance and reliability, which would ruin the sponsorship deals with commercial software companies, and there is still too much money to be made on CS:GO e-sports right now), Steam lowered the price on CS:GO to like 2 EUR or something, and a lot of linux users bought it (I got maybe a dozen mails from linux gamers to buy it for cheap for later when it comes out on linux). Regular prices on Steam are a rip-off, especially outside of the US, but sale prices are usually not bad, and since Valve changed its strategy of not condensing all sales in the summer sale promotion, but to spread them across the year, it has become more interesting.
I really like the download feature. I don't need to keep any CDs/DVDs lying around and I especially do not have to worry about losing them. Whenever I get a new PC or upgrade my OS, I can just download all the games in no time (thank god I live in Europe and have no data cap!).
Personally, I don't like big picture mode. It also annoys me whenever there is an 'update news' or whatever window poppign up. I hope steam would be more unobtrusive.
Also, lowers your chances of picking up malware, you get official support, multiplayer is a hell of a lot easier to do when you have a legit copy of a game as well. Add to that the organizational benefit of having a library, hassle free updates, friends list, relatively frequent sales, access and exposure to indie games... The only real downside is that the games aren't free. But if you're patient, you can usually get pretty damn close.
Steam's not perfect, but it does have a lot of upside and is generally good for the gaming industry as a whole.
I totally agree! Also, you do not have to purchase your games in the Steam store. There are a lot of websites that will sell you steam keys as well and they are not too expensive.
cloud synching alone is a serious reason to consider steam
i find myself often going back to buy single player games after i have tried a torrent version just to have my saves backed up
manually backing up game saves can be a huge headache if you ever reinstall your os or migrate between machines (each group that cracks games choose their own game save locations, so it can be hard to keep track of different save locations across multiple cracked games)
plus you can uninstall your game at anytime to free up hard drive space if you dont plan on playing it in the immediate future
With so many sales on games (often AAA titles) that result in single digit dollar prices there's little reason not to buy them just to have this ease, unless you absolutely have no money (but then how much can you afford to entertain yourself anyway)