[Question:] Can I switch to a new machine and still have my games?
[Answer:] Yes, but only if you have purchased the Extended Download Service (EDS). EDS essentially allows you to download your purchase again for up to two (2) years, in the event your computer crashes or the downloaded file becomes damaged or corrupt. It can be thought of as an insurance policy in case anything goes wrong with your computer or the downloaded product. When you have downloadable items in your order, you will see a link to add EDS to your order on the shopping cart page or the checkout page. Upon payment of the specified fee, Digital River, Inc. ('DR') agrees to provide you (the 'End User') a service that enables the End User to make multiple downloads of digital computer software products (a 'Product' or 'Products') purchased in a single order (an 'Order') and downloaded from this Web site (the 'Site') for a period of two (2) years after the date the End User purchases the Product (the 'Service').
I still haven't finished playing Elite, for heaven's sake. Two years really isn't all that long a time, and it's rare for me now to have updated my computer in two years. I like my gaming libraries to move with me and last, which is one of the -- and I know I'm not typical -- reasons I dislike that Classic no longer runs on a new Mac. I still play Civilization I and Tomb Raider II a bit, and have a few more games I'd like to catch up on. (Yes, vMac is a nice alternative for the former.)
So I'm not sure I like that these games are trapped on one computer to start and it will cost me $5 to gain the very limited flexibility of re-downloading or moving the game for a quick two years. I do like that I get to bypass CD/DVD checks, but that's about the end of the positives.
I'm also sure I don't like that Asypr is still trying to foist Stubbs the Zombie on me, a game who is already old enough that anyone who ordered it when it was release would have aged right out of the Extended Download Service, had it been offered.
With Matt's recent admission of playing mostly media-less, downloaded games, I wonder how (if?) his "I wanna hold it in my hand" attitude has changed.
To the extent that I can make my own backup of downloaded PS3 games onto independent media, and use that media to reinstall at a later time, I have a medium I can hold. It's not a DVD case or Blu-Ray case, but it is my backup.
Moreover, I can authorize up to five PS3 machines (at any one time) to use the data in that backup.
The real catch is whether Sony's service stays active to allow the authorization. I'll admit I'm betting Sony will provide that access for a while, at least 10 years (that's a Sony joke), if not much longer.
By that time we'll be virtualizing PS3s on handhelds or cranial implants, I bet. :^D
EA Download Manager has similar restrictions in that it only allows you to download for 6 months, or you can pay $6 to download for two years.
I think all of this will shake out to a fair, if not totally to teh customer’s advantage, system for downloading all content.
That fair system might take many forms
1) Low cost for downloading content, but you own nothing and if you lose it even if it is not you fault it’s still gone.
2) Medium cost for content, but you can download it as much as you want to "your account" for 3-5 years.
3) Full cost for content, but the buyer has nearly teh same right as within physical media, generous download caps, ability to move content to any device you want to play it.
Eventually these businesses will learn that treating teh customer correctly and very generously will result in having better customers who spend more because eth safety net is visible to them. Treat us like thieves and we will very likely either become thieves or extremely unpleasant customers too serve.
After all in 40 years time we could all have chips in our heads with 2,000 terabytes of storage and the ability to recall everything we have ever seem heard or senesced. And when it’s in my own head I don’t care who you are you can’t deny me my own memory even if that memory is enhanced with biotechnology. That will be more of a problem for music, TV and movies and likely not an issue for games...but change will come and it could just make much entertainment something you can’t sell more the once to any one person. The idea of value in a “back catalog” could be gone forever in such a world. In the future you might buy a song on iTunes for a very large amount of money but you always have that music because it stored in your brain chip. A song, a live concert, your first kiss all stored in high fidelity in your own head...what a different marketplace that will be when it’s a “sell it to me once society.”