One of the less-talked hyped aspects of the modern graphics card purchase is the software bundle. Almost an "icing on the cake" kind of thing, people's decisions are usually swayed by other factors. Often times, games included are already owned by the consumer and are all but a waste.

In order to make the software bundle a little more compelling (without losing money by including all the latest games), Sapphire has adopted a new technology that allows customers to try any of a number of games for an hour each. After the trial period, the user can select which titles he or she wants. Sapphire will include a code that allows users to unlock a game or two for free, but all the rest of the titles included will be available for purchase (unlocking) online.

This allows the user the freedom to choose which games come with their graphics card, as well as gives them the ability to test out a few titles that they may never have played otherwise. It's been quite a while since the shareware boom, and to see the ability to try before you buy come back is definitely welcome.

As with anything, there are good and bad points to make about the technology. In order to understand just what they are, we'll walk through the process ourselves.

The Process In A Nutshell (Installation)
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  • xsilver - Wednesday, June 8, 2005 - link

    #2 explained why its evil -- I thought it was obvious ----
    also the fact that people can have their accounts deleted and hence be under the total control of steam --- definitley not the "customer is always right"
  • Jeff7181 - Wednesday, June 8, 2005 - link

    I like Steam... I've never had a problem with it. Not sure why other people have so much trouble.

    I like GameSpy too... although I wish it was a bit cleaner... it just seems sloppy to me. I like how simple and compact the Steam interface is.
  • Menoob - Wednesday, June 8, 2005 - link

    Sounds good to me. I wouldn't want it to be anything like Steam. There shouldn't a be a need to verify your game everytime you want to play it especially when the game has nothing to do with online gaming.
  • xsilver - Wednesday, June 8, 2005 - link

    the easiest way to thwart hackers would be to implement a steam type system which would phone home every so often; making it hard to break as it is constant verification (in return, the games can be updtated via this console too) -- but then that would be evil..... :P

    I like the idea though, as then it will allow people who purchase video cards being able to expect at least 1 good game, as you will be the one to choose it

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