Procrastination Amplification: Punditry on MMOs and games in general.

How They Got Me to Pay Full Price for Portal

When I first saw the Portal 2 pre-purchase offer on Steam, my thoughts were this: There is no way that I’m going to pay full price for Portal. I loved the original Portal, but it really wasn’t a full-price game and I just couldn’t (and still can’t) see how the portal game play can be extended enough to warrant a full-price sequel.  Then came all the marketing shenanigans around the game (culminating in the ability to play an indie game pack to make Portal 2 launch sooner) and I still couldn’t care less.
Then a found a little news blurb from earlier this year which changed everything.

Apparently, buying the Playstation 3 version of Portal 2 gives you the PC version for free. Cross-platform game ownership is something I’ve been advocating for quite a while and the idea alone is worth supporting it with my hard-earned cash. I have quite a few games that are available on both PC and PS3 but I always get the PC version due to the fact that solitary gaming is just better on the PC than on a console. Sure I’d like to play a round of Dragon Age 2 on my big screen with friends. If that costs me the ability of playing it in my room alone though – no thanks.

With Portal 2 I can go and play the co-op mode with friends in the living room (or take turns on some of the more difficult single-player puzzles) and still play on my PC whenever I want to play alone. I can even play it on my laptop when I’m travelling if I want to. Good times.

Obviously, Valve has the luxury of owning the steam platform and therefore being the first to offer a steam game on the PS3, but I don’t see why other publishers couldn’t follow suit. Offering the additional copies through digital distribution is probably the easiest (not to mention environmentally friendly) way to allow cross-platform access, but putting two or three discs into the case can’t be much harder. Blu-Rays already often come with DVD and/or downloadable copies as well for those times when you don’t have a Blu-Ray player at hand. I see no reason why games can’t do this. It would surely make me appreciate my PS3 much more.


  • This was one of the early great things about Blizzard, having both Mac and PC versions on their CDs.

  • I hadn’t heard about this, and I don’t have a PS3 to take advantage of it, but I still think it’s an excellent idea and I’m glad you brought it to my (the blogosphere’s) attention. I hope this is the trend for future releases, that you’re buying the game itself, the creativity, the story, the mechanics – not only one platform the game’s on.

  • The only problem I have with the offer is that the PS3 version costs 60 euro :/

  • @stubborn: oof course I’m mainly buying the game for what it is 😉 The crossplattform part just got me over my reluctance to pay full price for a game the mechanics of which don’t feel particularly suited to a full-price game. (Which I might be completely wrong about as well. In fact I hope so.)

    @peace: you might want to consider shipping it from the UK. I personally buy almost all my games from now. The ps3 version is more expensive there as well, but either one is way cheaper than what you’d pay on the continent.
    scrusi´s last blog post ..T’was Just a Matter of Time

  • Heh, that’s great to know, thanks scrusi 🙂
    Following this blog is finally paying off ^^