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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  • 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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