What was PC gaming like before Steam? Were PC ports really that bad?

What was PC gaming like before Steam? Were PC ports really that bad?

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  1. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    they're worse now.

  2. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    no1 gave a shit about ports because there were pc exclusives

  3. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    back then you had to go outside and buy physical copies of games
    it was pretty neat with a physical collection of games, like a library of books

  4. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    yeah?

  5. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    they've been about even keel, honestly. I've gotten so used to the modding community fixing releases that it's just become habit at this point.

  6. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    It was cool, PC and consoles had mostly their own ecosystems. PC had lots of experimental and innovative titles and genres that were mostly exclusive to PC. It only started going to shit around the time Xbox came out and MS tried to unify gaming between the platforms, resulting in those awful console-first sequels to loved games like Deus Ex: Invisible War and Thief: Deadly Shadows. The 90s and very early 00s were the golden age of PC, only slightly hindered by compatibility issues in early Windows titles.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      MS was partially culpable but they’d weren’t the only ones at fault. Western game dev at large had shifted hard to consoles by the start of the 7th gen.

  7. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    PC ports were always inferior to console ports and some are still are but they always felt like they were second fiddle to console ports

  8. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Still seething about the PC patch. Frick you Deep Silver, I hope each and every one of you dies a slow and painful death.

  9. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    It was fun. I played Space Pinball and The Sims 2 all day.

  10. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    PC gaming wasn't real gaming.

  11. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The period between 1999. and 2004. isn't that much different from the period of 2005. to 2008.
    Orange box really made steam explode in popularity.
    Times of late 90s pc gaming were crazy fast advances.
    Like you would be playing some shitty 2D dos game in 1998. on some pentium 1 office computer, and then you're playing Quake 3 in 1999. on a pentium 3, 256MB of ram and a geforce 2.
    The huge leap technologically isn't even comparable to stuff these days.
    And things like some madlad downloading a 650MB game iso over dialup for a week

  12. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Prior to Xinput, controller support was always some weird ass bullshittery that always required manual tinkering, because there was no standardization other than the fact you used Dinput.

  13. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >before Steam? Were PC ports
    homie before steam studios actually made PC games FIRST, console ports second. then they all switched to consoles that's why we said "pc gaming is dead" is the late 2000s.

  14. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    you know denuvo? imagine that, but less effective, way more buggy, and applied to literally everything. that's securom, and that shit was on EVERYTHING at the time. you also had a lot of games with limited activations.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Lol yeah, I remember having to use alcohol 120% and all those other mounting tools to bypass securom, I don't even remember the games that used it now, maybe they were just shit

  15. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Steam didn't really take off until third-party non-Valve titles were added to the market in 2006, as well as the community features around the same time. Until then, Steam was largely seen as a nuisance, forcing CS away from WON.net over to Steam and requiring an account to play HL2. Before Steam, probably the biggest nuisance was the hoops you had to jump through to patch your game, especially if it was a multiplayer game, whereas Steam could be set up to do that automatically which was a huge positive.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >the biggest nuisance was the hoops you had to jump through to patch your game
      Ironically UT2004 was a breeze to patch and even disabled the CD requirement for the game. Too bad EGS is fricking garbage and Unreal Tournament is dead.

  16. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    whens the summer sale?

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      June 27

  17. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The market was kinda PC centered even before steam with Doom, Quake, UT, CRPGs, simulators, etc coming out natively while PC ports, while not being flawless mostly worked. Things really changed during the ps360 gen I dunno why ports were so trash, I blame UE3

  18. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    There were no ports, they would make a completely new game which was sometimes better, but often worse, then its console counterpart

  19. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    You bought physical copies and then installed them off of the disk. Updates/patches were posted on the company forums.

  20. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    PC Gaming used to have a dozen genres which no longer exist because developers only develop for consoles first nowadays, and then port the console games to PC nowadays.
    Also it used to have just as many fricking obnoxious DRM techniques, going from READ PAGE 32 OF THE MANUAL AND TYPE IN THE THIRD WORD OF THE THIRD SENTENCE IN THE THIRD PARAGRAPH to >yeah we're gonna install some anti-copy software which can physically frick up your optical drive 🙂 teehee

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Yeah, it was that sort of fricked up DRM that killed physical on PC. Nobody liked Steam when it first came out and was just Valve's online DRM, but when physical games started coming with more and more fricked up schemes like mandatory online activations that you can only ever do a couple of times until your disc becomes a coaster or that outright harmful stuff you mentioned, most people were happy to adopt Steam when the alternative was worse in every way.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      bad DRM wasn't "before" steam, it was hand-in-hand with steam. steam was probably the first major DRM that used online authentication, securom didn't do the activation thing until years after steam. among the bad DRMs, steam was considered the least offensive, but this was also the claim made from day 1 by valve fanboys, that steam was more convenient than owning your games.

      before steam completely took over the PC market, DRM other than steam had mostly faded away and non-steam releases were going completely DRM-free, reverting to basic CD checks if even that. even ubisoft did this with PoP 2008. this was also the period in which humble bundle came onto the scene, making DRM-free a pillar of its business model.

      over time, however, steam became the de facto store for AAA publishers, who "solved" the retail DRM question by putting steam keys in a box, thus killing PC retail forever. steam influence eventually took over and crowded out humble bundle's original market, which steamies flocked to and demanded steam keys from, causing the imposition of a $1 minimum and being milked with a moving average to get more games, which were alternatively either less indie or more unplayably bad indie trash. the steam explosion was the beginning of the end for HB and any positive future for PC consumers. it's also not a coincidence that this transition was driven by millennials.

  21. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Ports were looked down upon because their control schemes were for limited gamepads and the gameplay built around that fact didn't connect with everyone who's played multiple genres on PC
    Then San Andreas happened

  22. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    You often bought the game by the look of it’s box art and backside info. Unless it already was an established series or from a well known publisher. EA and Ubisoft used to have a good reputation. Also detailed manuals and other goodies inside the boxes were fun to explore while you installed the game from the CD, which could take some time especially if there was several CDs.

  23. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    In the most normal way...
    >go to store
    >buy game you wanted which was usually physical CDs
    >install however many CDs needed
    >input 12(or more) digit serial code to prove purchase
    >start game up
    >play
    And yes, ports sucked.

  24. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >What was PC gaming like before Steam?
    great.

    >Were PC ports really that bad?
    you don't understand. back then, games were either made for PC or for console, there was no "multiplat". console ports to PC often were terrible, but that didn't matter because PC gamers didn't play console trash to begin with. over time, however, this caused almost every dev to leave PC for the lowest common denominator, it was far easier to make money on console, which had dire consequences that we all see today. games are now made to be marketable products first, and games second, which largely meant dumbing them down for women, browns, and incels. the high tolerance for garbage in this audience also saw a steep decline in standards for game quality, where schlock like CoD sequels are unironically the best-selling and most-anticipated games every year. and although this was already true of consoles for some time, PC used to be able to avoid it by staying in their niche. but when devs collectively stopped making games for that niche, they also created a vacuum to fill with the multiplat - games that bridged aspects of console and PC gaming enough to get PC users to play them. but that turned out to be a bait and switch, because as soon as PC users settled into games like fortnite and began dominating them, the devs had to kneel to their console base and give them auto aim so they could pretend they were real gamers.

    this is why today, "PC" is mainly for console refugees who just want to break away from first party walled gardens and not pay the cuck tax for using your own internet. the OG PC audience has little or no interest in any games that are released exclusively on steam. they will either stick to playing their old games or get new ones directly from a dev's website or DRM-free store.

  25. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >Were PC ports really that bad?
    yes

  26. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Ports could be good or bad, and they're somehow far worse 20 years later.

  27. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >Were PC ports really that bad?
    Buddy they're still bad.

  28. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >What was PC gaming like before Steam
    You just bought the game in a box, put the cd in, installed it and ran it.
    >Were PC ports really that bad?
    There weren't many. Most PC games were exclusive to PC and most console games exclusive to consoles (bar emulation).

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      installing games and running them only was really a thing with early dos games. DRM existed on floppy discs and CDs. some games had to be activated online.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >buy HL2 Orange Box
        >EULA states that i dont own the game
        >need internet connection to activate key
        Thanks Valve

  29. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    you had physical disks so while every game had its own launcher, your library was still consolidated in the real world
    also, those launchers really were just launchers - a menu that let you tweak the stiings before pressing go
    installation ran you through cookie cutter install wizards, same as any software back then

  30. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    A lot of games were made just for PC and were designed in ways that only made sense on a mouse and keyboard. Now everything is a console game and PC became the 4th arm of the console wars.

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