When the first video game, “Pong” was launched in 1972 no one predicted the gaming industry would grow to be the biggest entertainment industry in the future. Fast forward 50 years later, video games and other variants like casino online have become something that’s not just for geeks or computer addicts but a part of pop culture itself.
From games like NBA 2K becoming a part of the basketball league in the United States to EA Sports’ domination of the football world, not that football, the real one video games are a constant part of our life. Even celebrities like Robert Downey and Conor McGregor have played a part in recent Call of Duty games.
The thing about gaming isn’t just if you play, it’s where you play and how you play. The battle for console supremacy continues between PlayStation and Xbox however, for PC gamers, Steam is where it all happens. The digital video game distribution platform has proven itself to be the community where players and game developers buy and sell games online.
I opened my first Steam account back in 2014 and since then I’ve been hooked on it as children love to trick-or-treat on Halloween nights. From access to a large number of games almost beyond human count to access to a community of gamers without worrying about cross-platform play, Steam offers so much than just actual gaming.
Most Played Games on Steam
- Dota 2
- PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
- New World
- Apex Legends
Here are some of the benefits that have kept its 47 million active daily users hooked since its inception in 2003.
While PlayStation and Xbox continue to debate over whether they should put an end to their rivalry and add cross-platform play between both consoles for their players, Steam users certainly have no worries of such. The Steam community provides discussion forums for every game whilst including the ability to trade games amongst members to the already concept of discussion. In simple terms, I don’t need to tell my friend to buy the same console I already own. If he’s a PC gamer, all he needs to do is download Steam, by the game and we can play against each other whilst discussing for as long as we want.
Steam also allows its users to purchase high-value games when they go on sale and effectively trade them for other high-value games that aren’t on sale. Players who are strangers to new games can also go on discussion forums to find out more about a game before purchasing it, sounds like too much fun already.
Every November means Black Friday is around the corner but with Steam, you don’t have to wait till that day to experience sales on some of your favorite games. I’m a huge fan of Steam’s winter sales but the digital video game company offers way more than that when it comes to discount purchases.
Steam offers the usual holiday sales including Black Friday like other companies do but also holds sales daily, including the beginning, the middle, and the end of every week. The platform also holds particular developer or themed sales when nothing big is going on. I remember purchasing Madden 21 and FIFA 21 for half the price of both of them combined earlier this year (February to be more precise).
With Steam you can expect a game’s price to drop within six months of its release and discounts can range from 10-50% depending on the game. Steam also offers gift cards that could assist you in raising funds to buy high-end games or new ones. Some of these gifts can also be earned by participating in a number of games on the platform or by achieving certain goals in particular games.
No CDs, No Problem
PlayStation and Xbox also offer digital downloads but most of their users purchase physical CDs to play the games they want. The idea of stacking up CDs across the house might not sit well with your mom or spouse, but with Steam, you don’t have to worry about any of that. Did I also mention CDs also suffer physical damage?
On Steam all your games are downloaded digitally on your account and you can always find them without hassle or worry. The platform also offers the chance to get old and obscure games that are physically out of production.
Steam provides a no-question return policy for games that were purchased within 14 days and have only been played for less than two hours. Yes, Steam tells you the number of time spent on each purchased game, I’m pretty sure I logged in hundreds of hours on my NBA 2k20. You could purchase a AAA game like Resident Evil or even an Indie game and after an hour play decides, it’s just not for you and still gets a refund. Sounds amazing. Games that have gone over the aforementioned criteria can also be refunded by Support Tickets depending on the terms & conditions.
Steam also offers protection against piracy. Someone else stealing your account details doesn’t guarantee them access into your account or your games, or maybe even trying to trade your games would need a mobile authentication app or a code sent directly to your email address for access. And so far, this has proven to be an effective way to combat fraud.
Convenience & Remote Play
Losing your PC to physical damage or theft can be a bummer for everyone. However, with Steam you can always access your games on anyone’s PC. All you’ve to do is log in, re-download the games or restore them if you had them backed up on an external drive and play your games with your saved progress still intact. Oh I wish I had this on PlayStation 2, my Resident Evil 4 save would still be alive.
Steam also offers a convenient way of downloading patches and updates of games at will without the hassle of having to go to a site and re-download every time a new update or patch is released. Installation of games on Steam is also very seamless, a single-click operation and little to no minimal user input is all that’s required.
Most games on the Steam platform use the inbuilt overlay to communicate with friends or surf the web whilst on the app without having to switch back to your desktop. Your purchased games are also carefully sorted and arranged in Steam’s library management, allowing for fast and easy access. Players can also add non-Steam games to their Steam library and start the games from there. Steam also lets gamers use the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One controllers to play games.
Another upcoming benefit of Steam is the yet-to-be-released “Steam Deck”. Imagine having a PlayStation Portable (PSP) but instead of just inserting CDs or adding games digitally via transfer, you can access your Steam library on the move.
Steam Deck is a handheld gaming computer because it lets you do more than just play games developed by Valve Corporation. This handheld device allows users to remote play their games like a Nintendo Switch would and it comes with internal and external storage capabilities that allow users to download games from their Steam library to the handheld device. The Steam Deck is expected to be released in December 2021 and hopefully, we should know more about it then.