Introduction

One of the less-talked hyped aspects of the modern graphics card purchase is the software bundle. Almost an "icing on the cake" kind of thing, people's decisions are usually swayed by other factors. Often times, games included are already owned by the consumer and are all but a waste.



In order to make the software bundle a little more compelling (without losing money by including all the latest games), Sapphire has adopted a new technology that allows customers to try any of a number of games for an hour each. After the trial period, the user can select which titles he or she wants. Sapphire will include a code that allows users to unlock a game or two for free, but all the rest of the titles included will be available for purchase (unlocking) online.

This allows the user the freedom to choose which games come with their graphics card, as well as gives them the ability to test out a few titles that they may never have played otherwise. It's been quite a while since the shareware boom, and to see the ability to try before you buy come back is definitely welcome.

As with anything, there are good and bad points to make about the technology. In order to understand just what they are, we'll walk through the process ourselves.

The Process In A Nutshell (Installation)
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  • smn198 - Wednesday, June 8, 2005 - link

    #13 No. I think you have install what is on the disk. You only connect to the internet to activate it. Reply
  • nitromullet - Wednesday, June 8, 2005 - link

    I agree with the concerns about being able to re-install the game after a HD crash, any more info on this?

    Also, how long does the code you get with your video card last? For example, if I buy a new video card this year but I already own all the games available to me, can I wait a year until they come out with some that I want?
    Reply
  • Houdani - Wednesday, June 8, 2005 - link

    Aye, as #5 asked ... did you try playing after "buying?" Where there any clunky or slow interface nuisances when trying to play an unlocked game? Also, did the receipt include an activation code so you could re-install the game at your leisure? Reply
  • Menoob - Wednesday, June 8, 2005 - link

    #9 You can simply backup your game, is that so hard? Reply
  • segagenesis - Wednesday, June 8, 2005 - link

    What worries me more about these online based game delivery systems is longevity rather than other concerns. If these companies ever go out of business for whatever reason or by what #4 said your stuck. Look at Circuit City and DiVX.

    I still have a decent collection of old (10+ year old) PC games and I seriously doubt when Half-Life 2 is 10 years old I will be able to play it without having to break (crack) into it.
    Reply
  • gbohn - Wednesday, June 8, 2005 - link

    Errr.. and what happens when you recover from a hard drive crash (with a new drive) or upgrade to a new system?

    Do you need to ask "Mother may I", to be able to play the game you purchased on the new drive or system?
    Reply
  • blwest - Wednesday, June 8, 2005 - link

    Worthless. Reply
  • cHodAXUK - Wednesday, June 8, 2005 - link

    It is a very nice idea, it would definately make me pick Sapphire over another amnufacturer who wasn't offering a worthwhile or flexible bundle. Reply
  • JuanT - Wednesday, June 8, 2005 - link

    This is intriguing, is there any news on when this'll be available? I'm grabbing an X800 XL and I wouldn't mind getting Tribes Vengeance instead of Prince of Persia.

    From the sound of it though, it could be a while.

    As much as I like Steam, I wouldn't want it used for all my games.
    Reply
  • Araemo - Wednesday, June 8, 2005 - link

    No CD required, are you guys sure? Did you try playing a purchased game without the DVD in the drive?

    While it would be nice to have one disk that worked for multiple games, I haven't played tribes:Vengeance since I got back from my last lan party, mostly because I'm too lazy to dig into that pile of CDs to play it! I miss the games that either A: don't require a CD to be in the drive, or B: Worked fine with an imagedrive(Though I haven't tried that with T:V yet.)
    Reply

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