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.


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