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The Internet Games

Metal Gear Solid V PC Disc Contains Steam Installer, Nothing Else 217

dotarray writes: The boxed copy of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain reportedly contains nothing but a Steam installer. That's right, even if you fork out real-world money for a physical copy of the game, you'll still have to download the whole thing from the internet. The game officially launches tomorrow. Early critical reviews are quite positive, though you should take that with a grain of salt until the game is more widely distributed. Game Informer says, "Unlike the linear design of previous entries, The Phantom Pain rarely assumes you have particular weapons and equipment, so the missions are brilliantly designed with multiple paths to success." The Washington Post notes, "The Phantom Pain’s openness feels like Kojima finally found a technical platform broad enough to make use of all of those tools and trusts players to build their own narrative drama from the way they choose to put these tools together for each mission." IGN has this criticism: "... where Phantom Pain’s gameplay systems are far richer and meatier than any the series has ever seen, its story feels insubstantial and woefully underdeveloped by comparison." Metal Gear Solid 5 is launching for PCs, current consoles, and previous-gen consoles; Digital Foundry thinks is likely to be the last true cross-generation AAA title.
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Metal Gear Solid V PC Disc Contains Steam Installer, Nothing Else

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  • The Phantom Pain? Like the pain that amputees feel in the location of their removed limbs? That is truly an awful name for a game.

  • I bought CS:S,CS:GO and Bioshock 2 on disk, all of which required updates 60-70% the original download size of the game... the total amount of bandwidth saved by using the disk instead of downloading from scratch was minimal
    • by Calydor ( 739835 )

      Updates is one thing; you could install it on a machine never connected to the internet and play it straight out of the box, bugs be damned.

      This is different. Your time is 100% wasted going to a brick and mortar store to buy an online installer.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by drinkypoo ( 153816 )

        This is different. Your time is 100% wasted going to a brick and mortar store to buy an online installer.

        Unless you have a POTS modem, your time is already wasted when you go to buy a Steam-"powered" game. Since you don't own it and are just licensing it for reals in the case of a game which must be blessed by an online server before it can be played, you really are just wasting everything when you buy it on a physical disc. The disc itself is meaningless as it alone cannot be used to install the game. Even a Steam "backup" is not a backup of a game, but of the game's resources. It's not really a game until yo

        • Unless you have a POTS modem, your time is already wasted when you go to buy a Steam-"powered" game.

          In some parts of the United States without access to cable, Internet access costs $5 per GB. People with a 10 GB/mo plan on cellular, satellite, or Iowa DSL [slashdot.org] could start a download now and not finish the 50 GB of a full 2-layer BD-ROM before the end of the year.

          • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday August 31, 2015 @11:09AM (#50426849) Homepage Journal

            People with a 10 GB/mo plan on cellular, satellite, or Iowa DSL could start a download now and not finish the 50 GB of a full 2-layer BD-ROM before the end of the year.

            Well, there are plans which would provide more bandwidth. The reality though is that more and more games have not just massive installs but also massive patchsets, so if you don't have high-speed internet with reasonable caps then modern gaming is not for you. That sucks, it sucks a lot, but it's how it is, and the person without decent internet access should take up retrogaming yesterday. I only have 6 Mbps myself, though with no cap, and that puts a serious crimp in my gaming activities. I cannot download a game and game online at the same time, for example. I can only game while my lady watches Netflix in the mornings; in the evenings, my ratty-ass WISP goes all to hell due to oversubscription and/or crap hardware they claimed they were going to replace a long time ago, shock amazement.

            TL;DR: AAA games are not for people with crap internet

            • Well, there are plans which would provide more bandwidth.

              Such plans are cost prohibitive: after already having paid $60 to buy a license for a game, one further needs to spend $250 at $5 per GB to download it.

              I only have 6 Mbps myself, though with no cap, and [...] cannot download a game and game online at the same time

              This is an instantaneous throughput limit, which you can work around by downloading a game overnight. Caps, on the other hand, tend to be applied around the clock, except for a few satellite providers that offer a "happy hour" type plan with a separate larger quota of data that can be used only between 12 and 5 AM local time when the bird is a little less ov

              • Either that or this is another advantage of consoles over PCs.

                Well, the last console I used was an Xbox 360, and I haven't turned it on in quite some time after getting turned off by titanfall (in fact I packed it into a crate and forgot about it, the whole system I mean, I guess I should sell it while it's still worth something since I don't want to cart it around until it becomes an antique) but even on that platform I had multiple-hundred-megabyte patches to deal with.

                • by tepples ( 727027 )

                  Did single-player or shared-screen games for Xbox 360 bug you to create an Xbox LIVE Silver account, connect to the Internet, and install multiple-hundred-megabyte patches before they would start playing in the first place?

                  • Did single-player or shared-screen games for Xbox 360 bug you to create an Xbox LIVE Silver account, connect to the Internet, and install multiple-hundred-megabyte patches before they would start playing in the first place?

                    Literally no, effectively yes. If you want them to work right.

            • by Calydor ( 739835 )

              6 mbps? Try 448/96 kbps because of living too far from the DSLAM and the ISP not caring. Refreshing a Slashdot page is not done without asking the rest of the household if they're doing anything latency-sensitive.

              • With respect... if you surf Slashdot, how can you live somewhere that has such poor Internet? That would drive me insane.

                When I look for a new house, what type of Internet it gets is high on my list of requirements. My wife wants to move further into the countryside, and I'm ok with this, so long as we can still get some type of reliable high speed Internet (50+ megabit would be the bare min)

                • by Calydor ( 739835 )

                  Because when I bought the house I was promised there would be fiber in the ground by the end of 2012. Yeah, that didn't happen. :-/

                  • Because when I bought the house I was promised there would be fiber in the ground by the end of 2012. Yeah, that didn't happen. :-/

                    That sucks... but their "promise" worked, you bought the house, they have their money, and your lack of fiber is not their problem...

                    I would only move somewhere that had high speed today, right now, that I can hook up before I even move in. I don't believe the "promises" by anyone, too many plans change.

                    • by Calydor ( 739835 )

                      Same here. Problem is that selling a house with this kind of pre-2000 net connection is not going to be easy.

                    • Same here. Problem is that selling a house with this kind of pre-2000 net connection is not going to be easy.

                      I never really understood such comments, but perhaps there are situations I don't know about.

                      I have friends who have had trouble selling their houses in the past, comments like, "ugg, we've been on the market for 5 months, no serious offers..."

                      Nonsense, what has REALLY happened is, "you've been on the market 5 months OVERPRICED and no one is even asking you to dance, much less make a deal."

                      If a house is listed for sale for 30 days and it hasn't sold, then generally the price is too high for the existing con

                • by tepples ( 727027 )

                  if you surf Slashdot, how can you live somewhere that has such poor Internet?

                  Probably because it is even more cost-prohibitive to move somewhere with a higher cost of living.

                  • Probably because it is even more cost-prohibitive to move somewhere with a higher cost of living.

                    I live in the DFW Metroplex, the cost of living here is quite low, compared to many other places, and we have gigabit to the home for $105 a month, or 300 meg for $85 a month.

                    What more do you want?

                • You realize that not everyone can be so picky about their location, right? Maybe they bought their house back in the olden times like 1993 when there was no such thing as broadband. You can hardly expect people to anticipate technological changes 10-20 years down the road.

                  • by tepples ( 727027 )

                    You can hardly expect people to anticipate technological changes 10-20 years down the road.

                    Which is why you can choose to rent instead of buying, so that you can react instead of anticipating.

                  • If I bought a house in 1993 and in 2015 could not get decent high speed Internet, then it would be far past time to move.

                    IMHO...

            • Same here. Thats why I cant play games anymore. They all want to be downloaded, then constantly updated or you can't play until you get the update. We cant get cable or dsl, we use expensive verizon lte and cant watch netflix, youtube and have to turn off autoupdates on all out computers, phones and tablets. The only games I can play are pirated versions, downloaded someplace else and brought home. They come as a complete download, ready to install and patched to not go online to check for updates.
          • by Bengie ( 1121981 )
            I also think it's stupid the way DRM is being handled, but damn, it may be time to move for some of those people.
        • Not every game on Steam requires Steam to be open and logged in to play. There are many that are 100% DRM free. You can literally take the folder, move it and still launch the game even if steam is closed out completely. You just need Steam to install it initially then you can do what you wish with the game. Examples of some of these games: http://steam.wikia.com/wiki/Li... [wikia.com] http://pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/T... [pcgamingwiki.com]
        • Someday Steam will go away, and then all those discs which are now coasters which install Steam and maybe some game resources will just be coasters.

          Yes, and someday the universe will end in heat death and everything that ever existed will be useless. That doesn't mean we shouldn't enjoy it up until that point.

          • Someday Steam will go away, and then all those discs which are now coasters which install Steam and maybe some game resources will just be coasters.

            Yes, and someday the universe will end in heat death and everything that ever existed will be useless. That doesn't mean we shouldn't enjoy it up until that point.

            The point wasn't "don't use Steam", the point was "if you have decent internet access, the disc is a complete waste of time." It's worth noting however that if you don't have a halfway decent connection, it may still be a complete waste of time.

        • by slaker ( 53818 )

          I was on a 19.2 dialup connection when Half-Life 2 was released. The "special edition DVD" version of Half-Life 2 that I paid $70 for also didn't have anything on it but a Steam installer and a bunch of artwork. As I recall the total install size was five or six GB, but that would have required weeks of connections and reconnections to obtain on the link I had available.

          I've still never played Half-Life 2.

          • I've still never played Half-Life 2.

            I was on a ~26.4 dialup connection that was flaky. My disc actually did contain game content, so once I was able to get Steam installed, I could play the game. I actually highly recommend it, especially if you've already paid for it. It is a gem among single-player FPSes. But my problem was that the initial Steam install required (or requires?) a Steam update as part of the installation process, and the download for this update did (does?) not resume when it fails. This was enough to keep me from being able

          • I don't think you missed much. I was a big fan of Half-Life 1 and it's addons. The only FPS I played. Half-Life 2 though was a disappointment. Only half a game, the whole thing ends abruptly requring you to get chapter two or some oddly named thing to see what happens. At which point I didn't care what happened. I had also forgotten how totally linear the half life series was. Luckily I wanted give years for the price to drop to $10.

        • The DVD is a faster install if all you have is DSL internet speeds. A full day download for some games.

      • Updates is one thing; you could install it on a machine never connected to the internet and play it straight out of the box, bugs be damned.

        Depends on the game. When was the last time EA released a game that worked at all straight out of the box?

    • by ledow ( 319597 )

      Half Life 2 - wasn't that the first proper use of the Steam platform, and basically the same as this?

      I think it had some cached gcf's but the fact was by release day, you had to download the whole thing anyway because it had all changed.

      Quite what's different between then and now? Now, I can't even REMEMBER the last time I bought a physical copy of a game. Honestly. I have a shelf of old-favourites and I have them all either on Steam, GOG.com or similar services or - at least - an ISO of their disk.

      Who t

      • Not every country is America though, broadband in India is defined as 512 kbps and higher speed plans (max commonly available is 16mbps) top out at 80-160 GB I imagine many countries outside of US and Europe have slow and restricted internet, and having full disk based games would be awesome for them
      • by slaker ( 53818 )

        I don't mind if the download process is gated to user authentication, but I'm troubled at using online authentication for rights management for single player, offline games. GoG.com will let me redownload my media over if I ever lose the file and doesn't force me to use some weirdo client wrapper/launcher/DRM thing just to make games go, but IMO the over-reliance PC gaming has placed on Steam is a serious miscalculation on the part of gamers and developers everywhere.

      • by Calydor ( 739835 )

        It's nice living where there's proper broadband available, isn't it?

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Monday August 31, 2015 @10:48AM (#50426675)

    This isn't a new thing in any software genre. "Physical goods" now means a scratch-off key you can use online to activate something you download.

    (As a security guy, I think this is generally a good thing: no more insecure-out-of-the-box-and-never-updated software packages hitting end users' computers.)

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <.slashdot. .at. .worf.net.> on Monday August 31, 2015 @01:00PM (#50427831)

      This isn't a new thing in any software genre. "Physical goods" now means a scratch-off key you can use online to activate something you download.

      (As a security guy, I think this is generally a good thing: no more insecure-out-of-the-box-and-never-updated software packages hitting end users' computers.)

      Well, usually when you buy a physical game using Steam, there's a Steam installer as well, but you get a lot of the basic assets and such so you don't have download 12-15GB of data over your internet connection.

      Given most of the fixes usually affect code, and maybe maps, not having to download that stuff certainly helps.

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      Not for people who have capped (and worse slow) Internet connections. :(

  • While it is egregious, it is what everything has moved to, and the seeds of this are quite old. Games are released in Beta form, with furious patching for the first month or two, followed by ongoing significant tweaks and bug fixes stretching out for more than a year at times.

    Wolfenstein Enemy Territory was the first game I recall that was not playable after the disc install, and that was about 10 years ago.

    Games like Battlefield 4 have changed quite a bit from when they first shipped (actually playable no

  • "Kojima finally found a technical platform broad enough to make use of all of those tools"

    Except that the PS3 and 360 are 10 years old at this point?
  • by AbRASiON ( 589899 ) * on Monday August 31, 2015 @09:16PM (#50433021) Journal

    I don't hugely care about PC games or very much the sillyness of MGS anymore but good lord, this is a terrible move.

    Some countries have data caps. I haven't read the article, or googled a damn thing but I'm going to make my guess right now and speculate this game is at least a 30gb download..... probably more like a full 50. In my case, that would be 50% of my monthly allowed internet quota.

    Someone specifically buying a retail copy to avoid this is going to get stung.
    Super lame.
    Konami

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