1up is running a piece entitled Digital Delivery, which looks at alternate distribution models for new titles in the here-and-now of fast download speeds. They cover outfits like Steam and GameTap, in addition to the ever popular Xbox Live. From the article: "Steam's birth came with some controversy, though. It was only in late 2004 that this happened, but if you missed it, a brief explanation might be in order. When Valve decided to embrace digital distribution, they didn't do it in half measures. The retail version of the game that shipped to stores was more like a formality to appease Vivendi Universal Games, Valve's megalithic publisher: for $50, gamers got a box containing five discs inside a sleeve. If players wanted a manual, they had to refer to the PDF version on the disc, and the irritation at this was nothing compared to the real bombshell."
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