One of the best aspects to Steam is that registration and installation of Steam is free. The only things you pay for on this website are the games you want to get.
There's literally something for every type of gamer on Steam, since the app has around 1,100 games to choose from with just about every genre you can think of. Steam has FPS, RPG, strategy, puzzle, casual, platformer, point-and-click adventure, fighter/brawler, MMORPG, and free-to-play multiplayer games, just to name a few of the genres available. Even better is that aside from the smörgåsbord of genres, you get plenty of old and new games to choose from, which is great if you either missed out on classic PC games from the 90's, lost copies of them, or if the games aren't compatible with your current gaming machine.
Here's just some of the games available on Steam:
Deus Ex: Human Revolution (FPS/RPG)
Dark Messiah of Might and Magic (RPG)
Doom 3 (FPS)
Alice: Madness Returns (action/platformer)
Sam and Max series (point-and-click adventure)
Amnesia: The Dark Descent (survival horror)
Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition (fighter)
Streets of Rage 2 (side-scroller/brawler)
Wolfenstein 3D (FPS)
Portal 1 and 2 (puzzle)
Half-Life series (FPS)
Splinter Cell: Conviction (action/stealth)
Mass Effect 1 and 2 (action/RPG)
Critical Mass (puzzle)
Mirror's Edge (first person runner)
Gunstar Heroes (side-scrolling shooter)
Digital Combat Simulator: Black Shark (aircraft simulator)
Railworks 3: Train Simulator 2012 (train simulator)
NBA 2K12 (sports)
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (racing)
That's just the tip of the iceburg.
Every week, there's sales for select games on Steam. Especially during the summer and Christmastime, there will be giant sales for individual games and game bundles. Just an example of some of the great deals I got on Steam were that I managed to get Bioshock for only $5, the Doom complete package for only around $8.74, and Batman: Arkham Asylum GOTY edition for only around $7.49. So if you're short on cash and have some patience, you can strike some great steals on certain games. There's some great promotions as well. For example, when I pre-ordered Red Faction: Armageddon last year, I got Red Faction, Red Faction II, and Red Faction: Guerilla for free.
Aside from buying games for yourself, if you have any friends with Steam accounts, you can buy and send games to your friends on Steam. For example, I bought a game package on sale called Games with Cubes (this contained, Q.U.B.E., EDGE, Blocks that Matter, Bit Trip Runner, Critical Mass, and RUSH) recently, and wound up with extra copies of Q.U.B.E. and EDGE, so I gave the extra copies to a good friend of mine on Steam.
The only real bad thing I can say about Steam is that you can only get the games through downloading them on the internet, which can be a hassle for those who don't have rocket-fast internet connections. Downloading older games like the original Doom and Altered Beast won't take long, but newer games like Bioshock and Batman: Arkham Asylum can take many hours, even days, to download. However, this is only a minor setback considering all the good that comes with it.
COLLECTION AND PROGRESS SAFETY
Once you buy these games, you never have to buy them again. This is especially great if you've had some bad luck with your computer and wind up losing the games on your hard drive. In recent months, I had to combat a nasty computer virus and had to wrestle with computer bugs, and after having to erase my C drive a few times, I was delighted to see that all the games I bought were still in my ownership library. Even better, with some games, your gameplay progress will be saved on Steam's servers. After I had to re-install Deus Ex: Human Revolution recently, I was happy to see that when I turned the game on again, that the game resumed on the last save I earned. Unfortunately, some games like Super Meat Boy and Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 2 don't have the gameplay progress saved, but I think that's more of an issue with the games in question rather than Steam itself.
Some PC gamers hate having Steam on their computers for the fact that they'll need an internet connection and separate application to run the games on it, but I don't think these are big issues in today's computer world since so many people have high-speed internet now and having an extra application on my computer to play the game shouldn't be an issue. The benefits that Steam has, especially with the fact that you don't have to re-purchase lost games, makes it very well worth having on your machine.
If you're a PC gamer, old and new, Steam is an application you should register to and install, since the smörgåsbord of games, frequent sales, gifting options, and buy-once necessary purchase of games will make your gaming life so much better.
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Steam is a digital distribution, digital rights management, multiplayer and communications platform developed by the Valve Corporation. It is used to distribute games and related media online, from small independent developers to larger software houses. Steam also has community features, automated game updates, and in-game voice and chat functionality.
As of 2010, there are over 1,200 games available through Steam, and over 30 million active user accounts. Although Valve never releases sales figures, Steam is estimated to have a 70% share of the digital distribution market for video games.
Many major publishers have catalogues on Steam, including id Software, Bethesda Softworks, Electronic Arts, Activision, 2K Games, Ubisoft, THQ, Sega, Codemasters, LucasArts, Capcom, Rockstar Games, Firaxis and Square Enix.