The Process In A Nutshell (Installation)

Ours is a prerelease copy that was shown at E3, and it doesn't include all the games that Sapphire will have on their shipping product. There are also a few other features and bumps in the road that are not final and will change by the time the product ships. The first interesting thing we noticed is that Sapphire uses a web interface. The problem here is that the very first thing we are greeted with is an active content warning. Depending on the end user's security settings, this could pose a problem.

Moving on, we come to the main screen where we will be able to look at each game included on the disk. From here, we have quick access to playing trials, buying games, or just clicking on the title to read about it.

Clicking on the image of the game brings up a short description of the title. If we want to play the trial, all we need to do is click a button. But note the warning that indicates the button should only be pressed once as the process can take up to 2 minutes.

In our experience, the wait between when we clicked the button and when something happened was between 3 and 5 minutes on a mid-range P4 system. Currently, there is no status bar, but Sapphire has indicated that there will be some UI tweaks, which should include some sort of status indication during the long wait times. These long waits are our major complaint about the package. It takes quite some time to unpack and install these games. Of course, the fact that no disk switching is required for any single game is nice. Again, as it is a web interface, we are greeted with this:

After dealing with this, the game's install process proceeds as usual.

And now, after everything is loaded, we can either play the game or unlock/purchase it.

Index The Process In A Nutshell (Trial and Purchase)
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  • smn198 - Wednesday, June 8, 2005 - link

    #13 No. I think you have install what is on the disk. You only connect to the internet to activate it.
  • nitromullet - Wednesday, June 8, 2005 - link

    I agree with the concerns about being able to re-install the game after a HD crash, any more info on this?

    Also, how long does the code you get with your video card last? For example, if I buy a new video card this year but I already own all the games available to me, can I wait a year until they come out with some that I want?
  • Houdani - Wednesday, June 8, 2005 - link

    Aye, as #5 asked ... did you try playing after "buying?" Where there any clunky or slow interface nuisances when trying to play an unlocked game? Also, did the receipt include an activation code so you could re-install the game at your leisure?
  • Menoob - Wednesday, June 8, 2005 - link

    #9 You can simply backup your game, is that so hard?
  • segagenesis - Wednesday, June 8, 2005 - link

    What worries me more about these online based game delivery systems is longevity rather than other concerns. If these companies ever go out of business for whatever reason or by what #4 said your stuck. Look at Circuit City and DiVX.

    I still have a decent collection of old (10+ year old) PC games and I seriously doubt when Half-Life 2 is 10 years old I will be able to play it without having to break (crack) into it.
  • gbohn - Wednesday, June 8, 2005 - link

    Errr.. and what happens when you recover from a hard drive crash (with a new drive) or upgrade to a new system?

    Do you need to ask "Mother may I", to be able to play the game you purchased on the new drive or system?
  • blwest - Wednesday, June 8, 2005 - link

  • cHodAXUK - Wednesday, June 8, 2005 - link

    It is a very nice idea, it would definately make me pick Sapphire over another amnufacturer who wasn't offering a worthwhile or flexible bundle.
  • JuanT - Wednesday, June 8, 2005 - link

    This is intriguing, is there any news on when this'll be available? I'm grabbing an X800 XL and I wouldn't mind getting Tribes Vengeance instead of Prince of Persia.

    From the sound of it though, it could be a while.

    As much as I like Steam, I wouldn't want it used for all my games.
  • Araemo - Wednesday, June 8, 2005 - link

    No CD required, are you guys sure? Did you try playing a purchased game without the DVD in the drive?

    While it would be nice to have one disk that worked for multiple games, I haven't played tribes:Vengeance since I got back from my last lan party, mostly because I'm too lazy to dig into that pile of CDs to play it! I miss the games that either A: don't require a CD to be in the drive, or B: Worked fine with an imagedrive(Though I haven't tried that with T:V yet.)

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