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Whose drive is it anyway?
December 29th 2000, 20:28 CET by Andy

One of the subjects that often pops up in the threads here is the CD-check form of copy protection. Some people find these checks very frustrating because they don't feel they should be forced to leave a game disc in their CD drive when they've already installed the game to their hard drive.

This subject has now been tackled by WomenGamers.com. And although the author of the article is openly opposed to CD-check protection, she looks at the subject from the sides of consumers, pirates and software companies, and offers suggestions for how the situation could be improved.

Quite often when we're asked to link to articles here, and I'm the one posting the topic, I'll just skim through the article to get an idea of what it's like. This is one of the few times that I've read the whole article, so rather than try to summarise the many good points, I'll suggest you go and read it yourself.

Discussions here are generally quite predictable, with the same people taking roughly the same position in every thread. (I'll bet a lot of you are already thinking what to say before you've even read the WomenGamers.com article, aren't you?) But hey, let's try something different -- go read the article, then come back here and let's see if you've changed your mind at all. A whacky idea, I know, but give it a shot.

And in related news... The Register reports that "the next generation of hard disks is likely to come with copyright protection countermeasures built in". Is this a consumer-friendly first step towards the solution to piracy, or a dangerous move in the wrong direction?
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#1 by "the_reformed_pianist"
2000-12-29 20:30:56
pianist@canada.com
FIRST POST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
#2 by "the_reformed_pianist"
2000-12-29 20:31:30
pianist@canada.com
Whew, that was a rush. Okay, let me read the topic now.
#3 by "the_reformed_pianist"
2000-12-29 20:38:42
pianist@canada.com
Okay well I read the first 37 words or so, so let me say this to the 5% of Planetcrap readers who don't have me on ignore:

When Quake 3: ARENA came out, I downloaded a pirated copy first to see if I liked the final product. Unethical, maybe. But I am a rebel!!!
Because of the cd-key system id Software used, I couldn't play it online, which is a big part of the game since the bots are retarded idiots. So I bought it. In a store. With money. And then I could play online, and I discovered that it was just as bad online. Now it sits on a shelf. BUT THE POINT IS: cd-keys are good... or something? I had a point at the beginning.

I'm hungry...
#4 by "SpaceCadet"
2000-12-29 20:40:52
jackal33@home.com
That hard drive copy protection idea scares me very much, but I have faith in all the l33t \/\/4r3z d00dz to crack it in a matter of hours. Dwelling on this though the best time for implementation would be with the release of the new 64bit cpu's, they will require new motherboards and who knows what else; but that would be the perfect time to force a new standard on people.

As for the cd-check, I don't mind it at all but then again I have more than one drive in my system,when I only had one drive it pissed me off to no end
#5 by "Frijoles"
2000-12-29 21:03:27
aarona@cc.usu.edu
I don't understand how this HD protection would catch on with the consumer. They've already said that the drive is incompatible with a lot of existing backup software and, if I recall correctly, with other non-protected drives (not sure about that one though). Why would I buy one of these drives it was just going to fuck everything up?

The only reason I can see is that all of the software companies start using it. And I mean all, not just a handful. I can live without the next version of Quake/UT/(insert game here) if it is going to hose my machine over. But I agree with SpaceCadet, I have faith in the warez community. They seem to crack everything (even though I buy my software now :) ).
#6 by "Tharger"
2000-12-29 21:08:11
scottn@ufl.edu
CD checks aren't there to stop people like us, the gaming elite.  They're there to stop Jim Bob from letting Joe Bob copy the game onto his disk and play it.  It's for stopping casual piracy...I don't think many developers actually think a CD check is going to stop the m4d w4r3z d00ds from cracking their game, but from what I understand, those aren't the main problem.
#7 by "BloodKnight"
2000-12-29 21:33:53
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
*claps hands*

Bravo Banshee, you took the words from my mouth!

I don't know why I should gamers such as myself suffer for purchasing a game.  The two games I think really piss me off would be Sacrifice and Heroes of Might and Magic 3.  I put in the CD Key and I can play multiplayer on the internet, so why shiny do I need to have my CD in my CD-Rom drive just to play?  Isn't the Cd key good enough for you ?  Great game otherwise

Then HOMM3, "you can't play without the heroes 3 CD unless you play LAN".  Laughable I say

The only real way to prevent piracy is use a cd-key, thats all.  It worked for HL, Q3A, and Sacrifice.  I remember the enternal loading from UT also, I am suprised I didn't read my mother's Will when the loading was done.  All you need is a Cd-key and a working system that prevents those cd key generators to prevent piracy

<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#8 by "Andy"
2000-12-29 21:36:25
andy@meejahor.com
<b>SpaceCadet</b> (#4):
<quote>
That hard drive copy protection idea scares me very much, but I have faith in all the l33t \/\/4r3z d00dz to crack it in a matter of hours.
</quote>
As I understand it, the system is similar to DVD encryption. That was only cracked because one company's DVD player software didn't encrypt the access code. (I'm over-simplifying here, but you know what I mean.) So it wasn't really "cracked", the crackers just got lucky. If all the companies involved with HD hardware/software DON'T screw up, the anti-piracy measures might work.


<b>Frijoles</b> (#5):
<quote>
I don't understand how this HD protection would catch on with the consumer. They've already said that the drive is incompatible with a lot of existing backup software and, if I recall correctly, with other non-protected drives (not sure about that one though). Why would I buy one of these drives it was just going to fuck everything up?
</quote>
It might catch on if every HD being manufactured two years from now uses it. Your choice might be: Buy a HD with the anti-piracy measures, or don't buy one. So what do you do, stick with your current HD for the rest of your life, or never use a computer again? :-)
#9 by "BloodKnight"
2000-12-29 21:37:34
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
<b>Andy</b> (#8):
<quote>So what do you do, stick with your current HD for the rest of your life, or never use a computer again? :-)</quote>

Better keep those old ancient hard drives in your basement, you are going to need them!
<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#10 by "Andy"
2000-12-29 21:47:22
andy@meejahor.com
<b>BloodKnight</b> (#9):
<quote>
Better keep those old ancient hard drives in your basement, you are going to need them!
</quote>
But of course that isn't really an option.

Suppose this had happened a few years ago, and NOW we were all sticking with our old drives. How do you install a 400Mb game on a 250Mb HD? Or what if you want to put Windows, Word and a couple of games on a 1Gb drive that you forked out $1000s for?

Nope, not going to happen. If enough hardware/software companies like the idea of anti-piracy measures on hard drives, and they get the right PR people spinning the wheels at the right speed, it WILL be implemented. It won't matter how much consumers kick and scream about it, in the end they'll all just hand over the cash for one of these drives they've bitched about for years.
#11 by "BloodKnight"
2000-12-29 21:49:32
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
So this HD protection is very much like a CD, you can't delete your own contents?  Is that what it means?
<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#12 by "Kelster"
2000-12-29 21:50:57
kelster@planetstarsiege.com
Hell, if a video card manufacturer (ASUS) is willing to market their cards using cheat drivers (wire frames, transparency, etc. modes) then I'm sure we'll see a rebel HD company who will opt to sell anti-copyprotect drives (assuming copyprotection is going to become an industry standard).

As for the article, Banshee did a great job! Hopefully some industry types listen to what she has to say. ;)

-Kel
#13 by "Andy"
2000-12-29 21:55:21
andy@meejahor.com
<b>Kelster</b> (#12):
<quote>
Hell, if a video card manufacturer (ASUS) is willing to market their cards using cheat drivers (wire frames, transparency, etc. modes) then I'm sure we'll see a rebel HD company who will opt to sell anti-copyprotect drives (assuming copyprotection is going to become an industry standard).
</quote>
Right, and we can be fairly sure that those rebel HDs won't work with Windows. So what happens? You've got a bunch of techies pirating Linux software, most of which is free! I doubt hardware/software companies will see this as a reason to abandon the plan. :-)
#14 by "Barneyque"
2000-12-29 21:55:23
barneyque@hotmail.com
<b>#10</b> "Andy" wrote...
<quote><B>BloodKnight</B> (#9):

<quote>
Better keep those old ancient hard drives in your basement, you are going to need them!
</quote>
But of course that isn't really an option.

It won't matter how much consumers kick and scream about it, in the end they'll all just hand over the cash for one of these drives they've bitched about for years.</quote>

That's simply not true.  Consumers rule.  I'd like to introduce Exhibit number one.

Counsel, please pass up the bag containing the Circuit City DivX player.

Thank You.

<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#15 by "12xu"
2000-12-29 21:57:57
mswitzer@insync.net
<b>Andy</b> (#8):
<quote>It might catch on if every HD being manufactured two years from now uses it. Your choice might be: Buy a HD with the anti-piracy measures, or don't buy one. So what do you do, stick with your current HD for the rest of your life, or never use a computer again? :-)</quote>


It'll never happen...there will ALWAYS be someone in Taiwan or Hong Kong willing to put together an old-school non copy protect drive, and there will always be people like me who are willing to pay extra to get there hands on such a beast....DMCA or not...

12xu
out<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#16 by "Andy"
2000-12-29 22:03:27
andy@meejahor.com
Barneyque/12xu -- you've still got the problem of 'rebel' drives not being supported under Windows. If the drives won't work on 90% of computers then so what if they're available? It won't make any difference, except to people who use Linux or similar, for which most software is free anyway. (ie: no need to pirate it.)
#17 by "None1a"
2000-12-29 22:09:52
none1a@home.com
I don't really care that much, however if I'm going to be required to have the CD in the drive to get around the copy protection at lest give me a minimum install option so I can save some HD space.

I live this section from the Register article on the new drive standereds.
<i>And the move casts a shadow over some of the hottest emerging business models: the network attached storage industry, which relies on virtualising media pools, the digital video recorder market currently led by TiVo and Replay, and the nascent peer-to-peer model all face technical disruption. </i>

Yes they face technical problems as new designes will be needed, but most of these devices also need to have a unique identifyer in them in order to work. They should end up a little cheaper since that identifyer doesn't need to be built into the system anymore (rather just use the one already on the harddrive. <i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#18 by "SteveBauman"
2000-12-29 22:11:33
steve@manic-pop-thrills.com
Casual piracy is more of a problem than warez d00dz, who are a lost cause; hell, I was one of them back in the Atari 800 days. You just collected. If it existed, you wanted it. If you go to a warez site you can download Macromedia E-commerce packages. What would a warez monkey need with that?

I think it's funny to use the "damage to the CD"argument. How do all of those console makers get away with it? Their demographic is younger, they require CDs and someone people manage to deal with the problem. And their games are more expensive, and don't have demos! Oh no!

Don't get me wrong, I hate CD-based copy protection. I think some combination of online validation and CD keys is the way to go. But it's not perfect; if the server is down, or the company goes out of business, you're screwed.

Retailers are a problem too. The whole "you should get to try the full game" argument, or that publishers have some obligation to produce a demo, is complete and utter bullshit. And I suppose Porsche has an obligation to supply me with a 911 before I decide to purchase it? We're talking about a $40 game, not a $100,000 car; few, if any, consumer products are "try before you buy."

Ah, but most can be returned, and that's where retailers need to step in. Unfortunately (or fortunately) cheap CD burners have made copying CDs a reality, and someone could buy a game, validate it online, grab a key, dupe the CD, then return the game and enjoy it for free. Perhaps the people need to ID those returning games and monitor that information for repeat returners... but that raises privacy issues.

Maybe people should just stop stealing.
#19 by "Kelster"
2000-12-29 22:12:56
kelster@planetstarsiege.com
Andy (#13):

Right, and we can be fairly sure that those rebel HDs won't work with Windows. So what happens? You've got a bunch of techies pirating Linux software, most of which is free! I doubt hardware/software companies will see this as a reason to abandon the plan. :-)

If Microsoft were to pull such a stunt, then I'd jump the windows ship and join forces with the Linux zealots. Blue screens and frequent crashes are one thing, but controlling my PC to the point where it's no longer usable or fun means war! ;)

-Kel
#20 by "Barneyque"
2000-12-29 22:18:41
barneyque@hotmail.com
<b>#16</b> "Andy" wrote...
<quote>Barneyque/12xu -- you've still got the problem of 'rebel' drives not being supported under Windows. If the drives won't work on 90% of computers then so what if they're available? It won't make any difference, except to people who use Linux or similar, for which most software is free anyway. (ie: no need to pirate it.)</quote>

Darn, I really did not want to get into this since I believe the chances of it being implemented within the next 5 to 10 years are so remote.

First up, did you read the article?

Check this nifty little snip out.

<quote>
The Register understands there is fierce opposition to the plan from Microsoft and its OEM customers.
</quote>

Now, with that out of the way, lets look at this.

<quote>
The intellectual property is owned by the 4C Entity, and administered by License Management International, LLC </quote>

Guess what that means?  It means freakin everybody is going to be pissed right from the start, control rules, and no one, wants to give an inch, or be put under someone else's control.  This is a big deal.

Lets move on shall we.

<quote>
Per-device royalties are payable to LLI,LC. License fees of between 2c and 17c have been mooted for each device
</quote>

You really think this is going to fly?  How many people in the already ultra slim hyper competitive storage market are looking to increase the cost of their devices, and then hand money over to a third party for no good reason.


Now, moving along a bit more.

<quote>
The decision to go with CPRM in an organisation is also an all or nothing proposition - it can't be introduced gradually.
</quote>

Do you see any potential problems with the content of this snip?  


This technology is dead on the table.<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#21 by "Ergo"
2000-12-29 22:18:44
stu@dsl-only.net
Here's something that's, well, sort of on topic:

I've had a DVD-ROM drive installed in my computer for nearly two years, and I know that virtually all computers manufactured within the last year have on installed also.

Want to know how many games I have in DVD format?

Two. Yep, two.

Why only two? Is it because I prefer my games on several CD-ROMs? No. It's because game companies WON'T RELEASE TITLES ON DVDS!!

Why? Why not put both the CD-ROM version and a DVD version in the same box and charge a couple of extra bucks/pounds/pesos to cover the cost? Would putting the game on a DVD slow down illegal copying, if only for a short time?

I don't understand it. I can't tell you how happy I was when I got the DVD version of Baldur's Gate. One disc! No swapping! Whoohoo!

Any developers out there have a response to this?

<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#22 by "Andy"
2000-12-29 22:26:41
andy@meejahor.com
<b>Barneyque</b> (#20):
<quote>
First up, did you read the article?
</quote>
Yes! I read it all, and I was really, really concentrating. Uh...
<quote>
Check this nifty little snip out.
<quote>
The Register understands there is fierce opposition to the plan from Microsoft and its OEM customers.
</quote></quote>
Okay, my Windows argument just flew out the... window. :-)
#23 by "SteveBauman"
2000-12-29 22:27:12
steve@manic-pop-thrills.com
Any developers out there have a response to this?

I'm not a developer, but I asked Blizzard's Bill Roper about this a while back. I don't remember his exact words, but basically DVD-ROM hasn't seen a killer app that has caused hardcore gamers to upgrade their CD-ROMs to DVD-ROMs. And they didn't want to try to be the first with Diablo II. So everyone is waiting for a Myst, or a 7th Guest, to jump start DVD-ROM gaming, but no one is willing to take the risk.

They can't have two SKUs, but duplicating a second disk is probably too costly and could be a support problem (people trying to use the DVD in their CD, people not having their DVDs working right, blah blah blah). Bumping up the production cost higher wouldn't be cool to beancounters, and increasing the price for consumers could be even worse.

Also, I believe DVDs are still an option on new systems (you can choose a DVD or CD, though they default to DVD).
#24 by "Kelster"
2000-12-29 22:28:18
kelster@planetstarsiege.com
Discreet (kinetix) is one of few companies taking a pro-active stance on piracy. They've opted to release gMax, a free version of 3DSMax geared towards gamers (i.e. the mod makers who can't afford the high tech software's higher price tag). This brings up the question. Is software piracy ever ethical or warranted? Let's say Joe Blow, a young and relatively cashless kid, wants to become a gaming modeler when he grows. Should he warez the tools (Photoshop, 3DS and the like) to start learning his trade or save his shackles and buy legit copies?


-Kel
#25 by "Andy"
2000-12-29 22:28:42
andy@meejahor.com
<b>Ergo</b> (#21):
<quote>
Why not put both the CD-ROM version and a DVD version in the same box and charge a couple of extra bucks/pounds/pesos to cover the cost?
</quote>
Presumably because there's no point. Most games fit on a CD, and people who have a DVD drive almost certainly have a CD drive too, or use their DVD drive as a CD drive. So why bother releasing a DVD version when the CD version will work for everyone?
#26 by "Ergo"
2000-12-29 22:31:31
stu@dsl-only.net
I disagree, Andy. I'm willing to bet that about half of all games released in the last 6 months span more than one CD-ROM.

I think there's a lot more DVD-ROM drives out there than people think.<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#27 by "szcx"
2000-12-29 22:33:14
nedocze@hotmail.com
Right, and we can be fairly sure that those rebel HDs won't work with Windows.

gotta love that FUD :P

how can you be "fairly sure" the non-compliant hard drives wont work with Windows?  i suspect that the drives would work fine, with just rights-managed content not working with them (like trying to play files protected via the Secure Audio Path technology in Windows Media Rights Manager perhaps).
#28 by "BloodKnight"
2000-12-29 22:39:21
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
<b>SteveBauman</b> (#18):
<quote>And their games are more expensive, and don't have demos! Oh no!
</quote>

Damn how long have you NOT been playing or into consoles?  There is usually a demo cd on magazines or in software retailers for less then 10 or probably 5 bucks, and it comes with at least 10 demos and a few movies.

<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#29 by "BloodKnight"
2000-12-29 22:39:43
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
I am talking about PSX btw
<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#30 by "Andy"
2000-12-29 22:40:19
andy@meejahor.com
<b>Ergo</b> (#26):
<quote>
I disagree, Andy. I'm willing to bet that about half of all games released in the last 6 months span more than one CD-ROM.
</quote>
Really? Yikes, it HAS been a long time since I bought a current game!
<quote>
I think there's a lot more DVD-ROM drives out there than people think.
</quote>
Not diputing that, I'm sure they're common-place nowadays.
#31 by "szcx"
2000-12-29 22:40:34
nedocze@hotmail.com
you mean you have to pay for demos?  oh no!  :P
#32 by "Durzel"
2000-12-29 22:46:30
durzel@barrysworld.com
CD-keys are a disincentive to piracy, especially for the "big online games" like Quake 3 Arena, Unreal Tournament, Diablo 2, Red Alert 2, etc.  It seems a lot of companies are going down this route nowadays - and from what I can tell from the "scene" it's the least intrusive, most foolproof (especially with online verification of keys on a remote auth server) method of at least preventing anyone getting any real worth (beyond that of the monotonous bots and AI players) out of the game.

I dont know if anyone remembers the days of the Atari ST and Amiga, but back then copy-protection often consisted of photocopy-proof copy-protection sheets, hardware dongles and convoluted "enter the 5th word from the 2nd paragraph on page 289" questions - what ever happened to them?  Those methods of copy protection just seemed to die out overnight...
#33 by "BloodKnight"
2000-12-29 22:48:33
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
<b>Durzel</b> (#32):
<quote>I dont know if anyone remembers the days of the Atari ST and Amiga, but back then copy-protection often consisted of photocopy-proof copy-protection sheets, hardware dongles and convoluted "enter the 5th word from the 2nd paragraph on page 289" questions - what ever happened to them? Those methods of copy protection just seemed to die out overnight...</quote>

In this day and age, people can probably get a manual in pdf format
<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#34 by "Ergo"
2000-12-29 22:52:19
stu@dsl-only.net
"Really? Yikes, it HAS been a long time since I bought a current game!"

I buy a LOT of games (much to my wife's chagrin). I mean, I buy almost all AAA titles, and most of them are multi discs. Can you sense my frustration? ;-)<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#35 by "gimper"
2000-12-29 22:54:17
jeremyj@impactimaging.com
I remember using the red non-copy proof sheet with the first Sim City.  It sure sucked when I didn't clean up my mess one day and my mom threw it away with the rest of the garbage.  IT worked all right, I had to buy another copy to continue my Sim City addiction.
#36 by "gimper"
2000-12-29 22:55:04
jeremyj@impactimaging.com
From my above post it might sound like I agreed with this form of copy protection.  No!!!!!
#37 by "Ergo"
2000-12-29 23:00:46
stu@dsl-only.net
"From my above post it might sound like I agreed with this form of copy protection. No!!!!!"

Who would? I remember a classic little RPG called <u>The Dark Heart of Ukruul</u> that had  the most convoluted, arcane form of non-copyable protection I've ever seen. And, of course, I lost the fucking thing...<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#38 by "SteveBauman"
2000-12-29 23:02:49
steve@manic-pop-thrills.com
Damn how long have you NOT been playing or into consoles? There is usually a demo cd on magazines or in software retailers for less then 10 or probably 5 bucks, and it comes with at least 10 demos and a few movies.

As someone else said, you have to PAY for demos?  (People should only pay for demos if they come with a nice copy of Computer Games Magazine, which is a valuable resource for gamers.)

Anyway, my point was that article treats demos like a consumer right as opposed to a perk. She mentions The Sims not having a demo, and based on the context almost makes it sound like Maxis is trying to pull a fast one on consumers. So apparently is Blizzard with Diablo II, Westwood with Red Alert 2... funny, isn't it, how almost all of the Top 10 selling games have no demos? Hmm...
#39 by "BloodKnight"
2000-12-29 23:03:16
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
<b>Ergo</b> (#37):
<quote>Who would? I remember a classic little RPG called <U>The Dark Heart of Ukruul</U> that had the most convoluted, arcane form of non-copyable protection I've ever seen. And, of course, I lost the fucking thing...</quote>

Would that be "it was that fucking good" ?
<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#40 by "Durzel"
2000-12-29 23:03:25
durzel@barrysworld.com
True.  

Ultimately I dont think there is any completely foolproof way of stopping CD/game piracy - certainly not with current hardware.  This notion of "hard drive copy protection" sounds interesting, but unworkable.  Since CD's will always be the source medium for these games there's nothing to stop people from installing the contents of one CD on as many machines as they liked, the fact that once it had been installed on the HD it was "unique" to that machine is of no real consequence.  It's not dissimilar to the various applcations that are released in ISO format.. one serial number is given, that everyone uses - and there are no issues whatsoever.  Or maybe I've missed the point...

With more and more people being connected to the Internet, the drive (imo) should be with the game companies to incorporate some "serial number transmission" system into their products.  They should bring prosecutions against people using the same serial numbers, etc, etc.  Until such time as there is a climate wherein the "dangers of piracy" are real - like stealing a car - every measure, whether it be CD checking on boot, CD-keys etc - will simply be reverse-engineered by anyone competent enough.  After all, why should they care?  It's not like anything is actually going to happen to them is it?
#41 by "BloodKnight"
2000-12-29 23:03:58
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
<b>SteveBauman</b> (#38):
<quote>So apparently is Blizzard with Diablo II, Westwood with Red Alert 2... funny, isn't it, how almost all of the Top 10 selling games have no demos? Hmm...</quote>

Oh the irony!

<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#42 by "Durzel"
2000-12-29 23:06:41
durzel@barrysworld.com
Who would? I remember a classic little RPG called The Dark Heart of Ukruul that had the most convoluted, arcane form of non-copyable protection I've ever seen. And, of course, I lost the fucking thing...


Another World probably came close, it had some weird wheel/compass device which you had to rotate in order to find the relevant symbol that matched 2D 02 BC 02 DF 0E 01 (or something).  Then there was Advantage Tennis, which boasted a copy-protection sheet so dark you had to hold it up to a light to even have a hope of making out the letters (by which time of course the timeout period on entering the code would've expired)...
#43 by "Barneyque"
2000-12-29 23:19:24
barneyque@hotmail.com
<b>#38</b> "SteveBauman" wrote...
<quote><quote>Damn how long have you NOT been playing or into consoles? There is usually a demo cd on magazines or in software retailers for less then 10 or probably 5 bucks, and it comes with at least 10 demos and a few movies.</quote>
As someone else said, you have to PAY for demos? (People should only pay for demos if they come with a nice copy of Computer Games Magazine, which is a valuable resource for gamers.)

Anyway, my point was that article treats demos like a consumer right as opposed to a perk. She mentions The Sims not having a demo, and based on the context almost makes it sound like Maxis is trying to pull a fast one on consumers. So apparently is Blizzard with Diablo II, Westwood with Red Alert 2... funny, isn't it, how almost all of the Top 10 selling games have no demos? Hmm...</quote>


From what I've seen of the top 10 lists, all those games blow goat.
They can do as they please, I'm not in their target market, and they are not in mine.

Too bad about the good games in my target's that don't have demo's though. I can only count perhaps 4 developers and one publisher(MS oddly enough) I might be willing to buy from without a demo provided the reviews are satisfactory.<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#44 by "Apache"
2000-12-29 23:41:28
apache@stomped.com
Hey, I just read this same topic in the Computer Games Magazine Up Front section yesterday. :)
#45 by "gimper"
2000-12-30 00:00:47
jeremyj@impactimaging.com
Isn't Barbies Rollerball on the top ten?  This isn't necessarily a judge of quality, so why would it be a good judge of when companies should put out demo's?
#46 by "Barneyque"
2000-12-30 00:05:18
barneyque@hotmail.com
<b>#45</b> "gimper" wrote...
<quote>Isn't Barbies Rollerball on the top ten? This isn't necessarily a judge of quality, so why would it be a good judge of when companies should put out demo's?</quote>


Could you re-phrase that?  I'm a bit confused about what you are trying to say here.<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#47 by "gimper"
2000-12-30 00:11:30
jeremyj@impactimaging.com
#45 "gimper" wrote...

Isn't Barbies Rollerball on the top ten? This isn't necessarily a judge of quality, so why would it be a good judge of when companies should put out demo's?

Could you re-phrase that? I'm a bit confused about what you are trying to say here.


Sorry I was refering to #38 "SteveBauman"  and to the fact that a game being in the top ten doesn't really mean it is a great title or other publishers should follow their lead.  I mean have you seen the top ten?  Usually the majority of titles are sub $20 games like extreme paintball, or 3d Deer Hunter.
#48 by "gimper"
2000-12-30 00:12:52
jeremyj@impactimaging.com
Top Ten on my list does not always mean top ten seller.  Consumers of low price games far outweigh consumers of higher priced games.
#49 by "Barneyque"
2000-12-30 00:17:01
barneyque@hotmail.com
<b>#47</b> "gimper" wrote...
<quote><quote>#45 "gimper" wrote...

Isn't Barbies Rollerball on the top ten? This isn't necessarily a judge of quality, so why would it be a good judge of when companies should put out demo's?

Could you re-phrase that? I'm a bit confused about what you are trying to say here.</quote>

Sorry I was refering to #38 "SteveBauman" and to the fact that a game being in the top ten doesn't really mean it is a great title or other publishers should follow their lead. I mean have you seen the top ten? Usually the majority of titles are sub $20 games like extreme paintball, or 3d Deer Hunter.</quote>


OH, OK.

Yes, I agree with you 100%. in fact you will see that in #43, I refered to the top ten list as typically being goat blowers.  I assure you, that is not intended to be a flattering reference, quite disrespectful really.

:)<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#50 by "JustinAlias"
2000-12-30 01:29:56
venndah@yahoo.com
I, for one, hate having to put the cd-rom in the drive when I play a game. It seems to me that's the whole purpose of a "full installation", was to put all the files on the hard disk so you didn't need to access (the much slower) cd-rom. I can only remember two games offhand that didn't need the disc after installation (Rainbow Six & Team Arena).

I read about a particular program a couple months back, called CD Copier Gamer's Edition that "enables users to build identical images of CDs, or individual tracks of CDs, onto hard disks and then access these "virtual CDs" to run or play them", thus eliminating the need to have the cd-rom in the drive. With today's abundance of large capacity hard drives out, storage of these "virtual cd's" shouldn't be a problem. I've never used it myself, but I've wondered how well it works. I've been looking for it in the local software stores around here, but I'm only able to find it on sale online somewhere (for as low as $20 US). It very well could be the solution to it all.
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