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Thread: When did they stop making PC games that don't require internet connection?

  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Lord View Post
    Welcome to the new normal.

    It is ridiculous but I am told that the new kids on the block (Millenials and Gen Z) prefer it that way. That is, they don't want to bother with boxes, shelf space, and that they want instant on now, now, NOW anywhere, any time, any place! It is not just PC gaming that is suffering - console gaming is getting shafted as well. The new generation of consoles are actually offering disc less versions (i.e. just a HDD to dl over the internet and that is it). Even when games are delivered on disc many times there are 0 day patches that are basically replacement of the whole game (i.e. not just a patch but a re-downloading of the game).
    Back in...I'm going to say 1995-1996, I bought a development tool on CD. Installed it, and immediately it wanted to be "patched", and it then decided to redownload the entire kit. Several 100 MB over crummy 199x internet connections. The CD was little more than a coupon code.

    I still buy my music on CD, but, that said, I instantly rip it on to my computer and toss it in to a box/drawer. I'm not quite sure why I still do that. On Amazon, if you buy a CD, you can download it instantly before they ship the thing. I do not subscribe to any of the music streaming services (my tastes are just too eclectic). I do subscribe to XM radio.

    I think the last CD/DVD based game I purchased was over 12 years ago. They have since switched to 100% on line, I don't have the box or the CDs any more.

    I moved recently, and the boxes of stuff I donated and/or tossed out are legion. Old CDs, 100's of books and magazines I would never read again, "stuff" in the garage. I eWasted the bulk of my old machines and monitors I had stashed in the attic. Old macs, old PCs, a Sun Ultra 10. I gave my NeXTStation and a PB520C to a friend who has a vintage Mac and Lisa collection. Could they have gone to a better home? Maybe. But moving has time constraints.

    And this was my second purge. My first one was when we had to semi-move out of our house during an extensive remodel. And after you cart a couple of very heavy boxes filled with book and such up a ladder in to an attic, you start thinking very hard about what is really happening. After a bit of time, a lot of stuff did not make it up that ladder.

    I still brought too much stuff, frankly. Can't part with it all, not right away.

    But I've cleared out the houses of my two parents. Beyond taking a couple of trinkets, 99% of it was unceremoniously disposed of via the landfill, Salvation Army, or an auction service. One thing was the original TRS-80 that I learned to program on back in the late 70s. My father had kept it in a box all these years. But he was on the wrong coast, and there was no way that was going to get shipped back. And I knew myself well enough to know that if it did get shipped back, it'd probably stay in boxes for a long, long time. So, it went to auction along with a lot other things of high sentimental value.

    Do that a few times and it made me reassess the stuff I was keeping, and why it was being kept.

    And I still have too much stuff.

    Buying video games on line is simple, it's one click, it takes seconds to download over high speed internet.

    One of my current games is almost 75GB in size. Several of the other games I have, I have played, and uninstalled, but they're a mouse click away should I ever want them back.

    But what if the company goes out of business? Then they go out of business and I can't play anymore. C'est la vie. They've been going strong for over 20 years, I don't see them leaving any time soon.

    Steam has been around 17 years.

    I bought a boxed set of "ER", 15 seasons. It's a large box of a gazillion DVDs. Pushing close to 350 episodes. I ripped them all (that took forever) to make it easier for my wife to watch them. But I still have this large box.

    Meanwhile, I bought entire seasons of legacy television shows from Apple. That took a click on my remote.

    Apple hosts them. I'm not worried about Apple going away anytime soon. But, who knows, c'est la vie. I've seen the shows, you can only watch this stuff so many times.

    So, in that sense, it's "licensed" content, you can use "rented" if you like, but it's a gamble I'm willing to take.

    I have 6 large drawers plus more in storage of DVDs, vs my 3"x3"x1" Apple TV box, which has access to dozens of movies and 30 seasons of TV shows that we've purchased. And if I lose my Apple TV in a fire, I can get another one.

    And, yes, I yell at the TV and the Internet when streaming something isn't perfect or instantaneous. Similarly, I yell at my DVD player when it decides to not like a disk I've given it, or when my computer hosting my local movies decides to be unresponsive.

    None of this is perfect, none of it is forever. But it's forever enough for my purposes.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by whartung View Post
    Back in...I'm going to say 1995-1996, I bought a development tool on CD. Installed it, and immediately it wanted to be "patched", and it then decided to redownload the entire kit. Several 100 MB over crummy 199x internet connections. The CD was little more than a coupon code.
    I am not saying crappy/buggy SW is a new phenomenon. However, it used to be that buying a game on a console at least meant some level of QA and replayability.

    Quote Originally Posted by whartung View Post
    I still buy my music on CD, but, that said, I instantly rip it on to my computer and toss it in to a box/drawer. I'm not quite sure why I still do that. On Amazon, if you buy a CD, you can download it instantly before they ship the thing. I do not subscribe to any of the music streaming services (my tastes are just too eclectic). I do subscribe to XM radio.
    Same here. I like having my CDs to rip at extra high bitrates for the one or two songs I am really interested and as backup. I love the way Amazon does it as well. Best of both worlds. I use the free version of streaming services for quick fixes - I don't need to break out my "Most Awesome 80s mix tape" anytime I am in the garage by using Pandora. For the convenience I pay by having to listen to commercials. I never saw the appeal of XM and/or Sirius. I guess if you liked some of the talk radio it made more sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by whartung View Post
    I think the last CD/DVD based game I purchased was over 12 years ago. They have since switched to 100% on line, I don't have the box or the CDs any more.

    ...

    I moved recently, and the boxes of stuff I donated and/or tossed out are legion.
    I agree, understand and sympathize with you. I really do. However, I think you missed the one important thing in all that you wrote - you and you alone decided when it was time to get rid of anything because you weren't going to read that magazine, play with that game, or use a particular system. The decision wasn't made for you by somebody in a corporate office who decided it is no longer worth it to keep the authentication servers up and running. That is my biggest issue with it all. The fact that you, as the customer, are rendered powerless and have no say over your purchases. Other may disagree.
    Current Wish List: 1. IBM 7531 Industrial Series PC 2. NEC MultiSync XL (JC-2001) Monitor 3. MicroSolutions MatchPoint AND/OR UniDOS card 4. Compaq 14" VGA CRT Monitor (the one that came with the SystemPro). 5. Stacker HW CoProcessor Board MCA BUS. If you have any of the above for sale please PM me. Thank you!

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Lord View Post
    I never saw the appeal of XM and/or Sirius. I guess if you liked some of the talk radio it made more sense.
    Before I retired, my job with the feds required me to be on the road quite a bit. I had small XM/Sirius receiver and a mag mount antenna on my g-ride which in turn was tuned to a fixed point on the fm dial in the good-time radio. Great selection of music, talk, and sports and the cost wasn't bad. My wife still has XM in her car (she likes 'Yacht Rock' & the 'Garth' channels).
    Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

  4. #14
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    It's too bad Blu-ray (and Blu-ray XL) never really went anywhere on PC (great for console), otherwise optical media would still be useful.

    I guess Blu-ray was the end of optical media. I haven't really heard of any replacements for it. Everyone is basically just upgrading to thick pipes and SSDs.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paralel View Post
    It's too bad Blu-ray (and Blu-ray XL) never really went anywhere on PC (great for console), otherwise optical media would still be useful.

    I guess Blu-ray was the end of optical media. I haven't really heard of any replacements for it. Everyone is basically just upgrading to thick pipes and SSDs.
    I don't buy movie CD's anymore but I have noticed that Blu-Ray still sells for $5 or $6 more than the regular DVD's. I have a hard time discerning between the two anyway and that's probably due to my age and/or ancient eyes. However, 4K looks pretty good to me while gaming on the PC.
    Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Orange View Post
    I don't buy movie CD's anymore but I have noticed that Blu-Ray still sells for $5 or $6 more than the regular DVD's. I have a hard time discerning between the two anyway and that's probably due to my age and/or ancient eyes. However, 4K looks pretty good to me while gaming on the PC.
    I buy in all mediums still and yes you can tell the difference in quality between VHS -> DVD -> BD. 4K looks different. I am just not sure if it is any better (to my eyes) or the same. I think if you sit close enough to your TV 4K makes a big difference.

    Speaking of Fat Pipes: How many people really do have fat pipes in the USA? I have a 200mbps connection but it is cable and it is showing all of its limitations during the pandemic. My other option is DSL at 4mbps and I guess dial up. To be clear I live in the middle of Los Angeles so not in the boonies or rural areas but my options are super limited. The feeling I get is that this is how it is all through out the country i.e. very few people (percentage wise) have a dedicated fiber 1Gbps connection. Am I wrong?
    Current Wish List: 1. IBM 7531 Industrial Series PC 2. NEC MultiSync XL (JC-2001) Monitor 3. MicroSolutions MatchPoint AND/OR UniDOS card 4. Compaq 14" VGA CRT Monitor (the one that came with the SystemPro). 5. Stacker HW CoProcessor Board MCA BUS. If you have any of the above for sale please PM me. Thank you!

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Lord View Post
    I am not saying crappy/buggy SW is a new phenomenon. However, it used to be that buying a game on a console at least meant some level of QA and replayability.
    "Instant updates" certainly allow vendors to be sloppy, notably on QA. QA will fall to the timeline knowing they can "fix it later" on contrast to pressing a "Gold Master" and "that's that".

    Having worked tangentially in the game industry, in the CD era, there was an absolute push to get the product done and ready for publishing. These tended to be hard dates as they fronted a large pipeline of manufacture, assembly, and distribution. It was a train once started that tend to be very difficult to stop. Some teams would let the product sit for a week in QA after any change was done, just to be sure they did not introduce any new bugs. At the same time, the developers had the advantage of basically no technical debt. "Anything goes" if it pushes the produce to completion, safely. There's a freedom in writing software that will not be maintained under a time schedule. Because once that Gold Master was made, entire projects were drag and dropped in to the archives wholesale, perhaps never to be seen again, while new projects were started up.

    I never saw the appeal of XM and/or Sirius. I guess if you liked some of the talk radio it made more sense.
    I try to not burn up my battery and bandwidth by streaming over the phone, so streaming was never attractive to me. I listen to a couple of the music channels on XM, but mostly I use it to listen to the MLB network.



    I agree, understand and sympathize with you. I really do. However, I think you missed the one important thing in all that you wrote - you and you alone decided when it was time to get rid of anything because you weren't going to read that magazine, play with that game, or use a particular system. The decision wasn't made for you by somebody in a corporate office who decided it is no longer worth it to keep the authentication servers up and running. That is my biggest issue with it all. The fact that you, as the customer, are rendered powerless and have no say over your purchases. Other may disagree.
    Oh, absolutely. There's a phenomenon right now of DVD sales boosting when streaming services suddenly shut down things like TV shows. We're an example of that having purchased complete seasons of shows that we were watching on a streaming service after they just vanished. "1st of the month! Ciao!" "Gee, thanks."

    I personally don't care for the modern streaming marketplace. The isolation of content. In the past, content was aired or screened, and then, within a year or so, that content showed up on DVD and was made available to be purchased or rented. But the modern services have no motivation to do that. It makes sense for older media because of the finite availability (whether broadcast TV or movie screens). Streaming services have "infinite" availability. From an infrastructure point of view, hosting content costs "nothing" (licensing is another matter). And there's motivation to make the consumer "come to them" rather than drive the content off site to DVD etc.

    Will the Tom Hanks WWII "Greyhound" movie on Apple TV+ ever get to DVD? I have no idea. It would not surprise me if it didn't, but you just don't know. "Why should you care if it only costs $5 to subscribe to watch it?" Because subscribing et al is a pain in the neck, and folks forget to unsubscribe, etc. etc. Apple, actually, makes this mostly painless, but as a rule I hate subscribing to things with recurring costs. I'm subscribed to TV+ now mostly to watch "Long Way Up", but we also watched the "Greyhound" movie "while we were here". But I have no intention to stay.

    That said, "buying" this content does not bother me so much. Yea, it can suddenly vanish. For a host of reasons. But, so far so good. I haven't had a "purchase" yanked back yet (though I've heard rare anecdotes of it happening).

    If anything I've learned not to count on anything. How many times has my favorite dish or flavor or whatever at a grocery store up and vanished, never to be heard of again. Heck, Baskin and Robbins dropped French Vanilla Ice Cream after a gazillion years. No sir, can't count on anything. Enjoy it while you can.

  8. #18
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    Our piping choices are rather limited here. It's either 75/15 VDSL that is rock solid and consistent, or 200/10 with Crapcast and day to day it is a crapshoot if and how well it will work. So, around here, we don't really have a good choice for a fat pipe. The tiny little town near me decided to do its own fibre optic net, which kinda pisses me off, since I know that will never happen around here, even though we are only 4 miles away.

    At this point I'm hoping Starlink will be able to fill in the gap for us. We're kind of borderline suburban/rural, so, it's hard to say.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paralel View Post
    At this point I'm hoping Starlink will be able to fill in the gap for us. We're kind of borderline suburban/rural, so, it's hard to say.
    Not just Starlink, but I think most of the major providers save cable companies are neglecting infrastructure while waiting for 5G to save the day and make everything wireless, especially underserved rural areas.

  10. #20

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    O.k. so if the fat pipes are missing how is this business model working? You are some guy in a town w/ 4-6Mbps DSL and every month MS is sending you a massive updates for your new PC while your kid is trying to dl a 75GB game. I can't imagine the consumers satisfaction is very high. I would get it if we all 1Gbps fiber so dling a new PS4 game was mere minutes but we don't and there are far more PS3s,PS4s, and XBOXes out there then there are stable high speed connections.
    Current Wish List: 1. IBM 7531 Industrial Series PC 2. NEC MultiSync XL (JC-2001) Monitor 3. MicroSolutions MatchPoint AND/OR UniDOS card 4. Compaq 14" VGA CRT Monitor (the one that came with the SystemPro). 5. Stacker HW CoProcessor Board MCA BUS. If you have any of the above for sale please PM me. Thank you!

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