Nostalgia Moment

DarkSideA8

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Anyone else feel a bit of nostalgia for the visceral way getting a new game used to be?

Sure - having to have physical media that you picked up in a store is a lot less convenient than merely downloading from Steam... but there was a whole process to gaming back then that I kind of miss.

You'd pick up the new game, unwrap the celophane and cut the tape with a thumbnail, and slide out a bunch of stuff:
  • Game manual
  • Floppies or CD/DVD Disk jewel case
  • Color coded keyboard map
  • Some random ads
  • Maybe a 'collectable' or two.

You 'handled' everything. There was concept art on the disks, a kind of 'new stuff' smell, you inserted the media, listened to the drive spin up and had to click through the loading options. While the media loaded, you'd peruse the ads, read the Game Manual / User Guide... and there'd often be backstory elements to get you excited about playing. There would almost, invariably, be some wholly new development being showcased: moving water, realistic reflections, higher pixel count and facial expressions, grass and trees that moved. It always enhanced the sense of anticipation.

I watch my kid interact with gaming these days - and its a wholly different experience. He just downloads stuff, tries it, keeps or discards it almost as uncaringly as I watched and consumed Saturday Morning Cartoons back in the day. In the 90s, getting a new game was an event. Nowadays, it's just 'Tuesday.'
 
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t1k

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Yes, definitely. I still order physical copies now and then of older games I liked, such as Silent Hill 3 (still not available for digital purchase anywhere). And once in a great while I spot some diamond in the rough in a local store. One memory I have is waiting in line for Doom 3 at my local gamestop and running into some old, nerdy elementary school acquaintances...after that time physical media started quickly disappearing so it is kind of a nostalgic memory now. I also still remember renting games at blockbuster and having to talk to employees there or look at magazines to figure out what the good games were. How analog right? Those were the golden days of gaming though. In some ways things were funner and more engaging back then.
 

DrDoU

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Try boxing everything today and place in a store. I mean real boxing.
 

Nytegard

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Nostalgia, I'd agree, but that's the extent of it. Part of it I think is we're just getting older, and "back in my day things use to be better". I don't know if they really are better, past the nostalgia. But one other thing I think which plays a major part in this, is our financial conservatism, or lack thereof.

The NES cost $179 on release. That's $425 today, which is cheaper than the PS5 or XBSX. NES games went from $20-$60 ($50-$140 in today's currency). That seems to be on par with what we're paying today (and cheaper, once you throw in all the microtransactions to unlock 90% of the game). The median family income in 1986 was $23680 (~$56000) compared to the median income of $69000 in 2019. We're making more money, but we're spending a lot more money too. When was the first time you knew of people who would buy multiple consoles? Though, to be completely fair, the average income of people skyrocketted from 2016-2020, and was fairly consistent prior to 2016. (2015 was $54000 or $59000 when adjusted for inflation.)

I think if people were willing to save their money, rather than just continue to spend it on games and hardware, the same joy could be given to kids. Sometimes, too much of something is not a good thing.
 

DarkSideA8

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I think one of the things I'm nostalgic about was the 'new'. There was so much NEW and WOW as we watched the technology develop. Think back to the original Tomb Raider and compare it to the last one. A stunning transition in technology. I remember loading up the 3D Mark demo/bench just to see what was possible - and being 'wowed' by what they were showcasing.

Too often today, everything is 'done'. We're just looking for 'a good game' or 'a good story' -- which is important, but it seems like there's little new innovation (because we've come so far in the last 20 years).

I mean, look at Fortnight; folks have given up on 'trying to push the technology' in favor of cartoony stuff that plays well. Not necessarily a bad thing... but definitely different.
 

t1k

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@DarkSideA8 I think we have had a lot of technology pushes recently, such as wider adoption of HDR and raytracing and VR tech. Seeing the evolution from 2D to 3D and then to near photorealism was perhaps more impressive though.

And I think you may be right. Much of the industry now does seem to be more focused on wider audience appeal and gameplay and storytelling innovations as opposed to great technological advancements. And as you mentioned -- that's probably not a bad thing. Most of the newer games we get today are way, way more refined than the older games in their respective genres.
 
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Messages
854
Yes. I feel no joy with 99% of my Steam/GoG backlog at this point and even new purchases tend to just fall into "meh" category.
Too much variety, no focus, no excitement. Much of that can probably just be attributed to myself, but still, opening a boxed game used to be special.

Tbh I even miss the "simpler" graphics style from 2000-2010ish with its focus on clean textures and crisp rendering - not this oversaturated, blurry, chromatic-aberration whatever nowadays. Ugh I guess this is what getting old feels like.
 

jerry8169

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Tbh I even miss the "simpler" graphics style from 2000-2010ish with its focus on clean textures and crisp rendering - not this oversaturated, blurry, chromatic-aberration whatever nowadays. Ugh I guess this is what getting old feels like.
I usually turn off the stupid film grain and chromatic aberration, I want to play a game, not have artificial movie effects added.
 

Krenum

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I REALLY miss color coded keyboard maps.

I was just thinking the other day of how useful it would be to have it propped up in front of my monitor while playing Rebel Galaxy Outlaw.
 

termite

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I do for some things for sure. Fold out maps, the already mentioned keyboard overlays.
 

scojer

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I get physical whenever I can, especially collector's editions, which if you're patient, can be found on sale.

I opened my copy of F.E.A.R. for it's recent birthday for my yt channel, just checkout how cool even standard editions were back in the day:

1609794396276.png
 

M76

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I miss boxed games, with printed manuals, maps, storybooks, posters, etc. Nowadays it's worthless to buy physical as all you get is a plastic DVD case with a crap insert marked up with disclaimers and localized information. And a piece of paper saying to find the manual on the disc.
 

LukeTbk

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That seems to be on par with what we're paying today (and cheaper, once you throw in all the microtransactions to unlock 90% of the game). The median family income in 1986 was $23680 (~$56000) compared to the median income of $69000 in 2019.
I think that households income (an household can be a 20 year old living alone), family income (if we are talking household with childrens under 18 in them for the definition of family) is a bit different than that.

https://datacenter.kidscount.org/da...729,37,871,870,573,869,36,868,867,133/any/365
In 2019 it was 78,000 USD
In 2016 it was 68,000 USD
In 1986 it was 29,456 USD (https://www2.census.gov/prod2/popscan/p60-159.pdf)

If we put everything in 1986 dollars (https://www.usinflationcalculator.com/)
In 2019 it was 33,438 USD
In 2016 it was 31,052 USD
In 1986 it was 29,456 USD

There is a bit of apple in orange comparison going on I could imagine, maybe there is more single parent situation now than back then and so on, if you look only at Married couple with Children under 18 median income in the USA over time
2019: 111,470 USD
1986: 32,805 USD
All in 1986 dollars:
2019: 47,787 USD (that almost 50% more)
1986: 32,805 USD

With the number of children by family not moving much since, but a little bit down not up.

Has for the OP, yes in general, the subjective experience when less convenient and rarer can be a better one, probably much more worst in music when we talk about streaming versus the album back in the days experience.

That said when you move or change computer, the amount of convenience the steams make with the save files, keep product keys info/CD somewhere and so on is so so nice and in everyway much better than I doubt many would roll back (like many seem to do to vinyl, actual book, etc...) the amount that was lost is smaller than other domain and what was gain bigger I feel like.
 

scojer

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I miss boxed games, with printed manuals, maps, storybooks, posters, etc. Nowadays it's worthless to buy physical as all you get is a plastic DVD case with a crap insert marked up with disclaimers and localized information. And a piece of paper saying to find the manual on the disc.
Tip: Always walk through the wal-mart and Target clearance aisle.

I found collector's editions of Mafia 3, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat, and Quantum Break for PC, all at wal-mart.
At Target I've seen boxed games, that I already own, but they do sell them on clearance every now and then.

Or, you can just order off Amazon.

Most of the standard editions these days are what you described, but special editions sometimes have more!
 

cybereality

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Messages
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I remember standing on line at GameStop at midnight for like 2 hours, just to get GTA IV on Xbox360. And browsing the "web" on my dumb-ass Samsung phone.

I also bought Cyberpunk 2077 on PS4, even though I played it on PC, just to have the box.

cyber_box_front.jpg


cyber_box_inside.jpg
 

MavericK

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Messages
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There is a retail pc release although its a box with a code.

The retail CP2077 PC release actually has a lot more than just a code. You get a physical map, two disc soundtrack, and several other little things.
 

M76

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Tip: Always walk through the wal-mart and Target clearance aisle.

I found collector's editions of Mafia 3, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat, and Quantum Break for PC, all at wal-mart.
At Target I've seen boxed games, that I already own, but they do sell them on clearance every now and then.

Or, you can just order off Amazon.

Most of the standard editions these days are what you described, but special editions sometimes have more!
I'm not US based. Last time I saw a boxed game in a shopping center I bought it, and it was almost 10 years ago.
Nowadays collectors editions are usually sold out months before release on pre-orders alone, and are extremely overpriced.
 

Bigbacon

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The retail CP2077 PC release actually has a lot more than just a code. You get a physical map, two disc soundtrack, and several other little things.

ahh, yea I just noticed it at walmart and the front of the box didn't say much other than digital download code included or something like that. Figured it was just a box with a code in it.
 

Comixbooks

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I remember standing on line at GameStop at midnight for like 2 hours, just to get GTA IV on Xbox360. And browsing the "web" on my dumb-ass Samsung phone.

I also bought Cyberpunk 2077 on PS4, even though I played it on PC, just to have the box.

View attachment 315893

View attachment 315892

I thought that was a Geoff Darrow illus. But after looking around its by Josan Gonzalez obviously got his style form Geoff Darrow who used to work with Frank Miller Sin City or Hardboiled.

https://www.kotaku.com.au/2019/07/cyberpunk-2077s-special-cover-art-is-very-nice/
 

Comixbooks

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Without physical copies alot of good games get lost in the shuffle. DVD drives pretty much vanished the problem today with physical copies is keeping the game updated. I mean if you had the original box of World of Warcraft from 2004 I don't even think it would work. PC games should have USB drives 3.0 drives or something that would be vost effective to have a 128 gig drive with COD on it
 

vegeta535

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Without physical copies alot of good games get lost in the shuffle. DVD drives pretty much vanished the problem today with physical copies is keeping the game updated. I mean if you had the original box of World of Warcraft from 2004 I don't even think it would work. PC games should have USB drives 3.0 drives or something that would be vost effective to have a 128 gig drive with COD on it
Usb sticks are not cost effective. Compared to BLU-RAY. They really cheap out on switch carts. A lot of the bigger games don't even contain the entire game. You still need to download a big chunk of data to even play them. I personally don't even feel usb sticks are reliable enough to use. I have so many dead usb and flash cards.
 

Mchart

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I'll have to grab a picture later, but my Homeworld box set from years back is one of the few I keep. Mostly because the massive instruction manual is filled awesome artwork and backstory.
 

wra18th

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What I really miss is buying a complete game.Now you just get half a game and have to also buy the dang DLC in order to get a workable game.
 
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T4rd

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I can definitely relate to OP, but my wife and I have taken up minimalism to a certain extent and I hate having to store a bunch of game cases now, along with having to swap out discs when I want to switch games and worry about losing/damaging games when we move every few years (military family) or with kids using them. So I'm all digital now. What sucks most about digital copies though is that they still cost the same as physical copies despite publishers saving a considerable amount on production and distribution.

I still have all my old consoles, games and accessories back to the Atari 2600 in storage. One day I plan to have a game room/dungeon with all of them set up again on on their respective era TVs and aesthetics around them.
 
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twonunpackmule

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I personally think nostalgia is a disease. However, I did kinda freak out at my floppy disc copies of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
 

twonunpackmule

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I get physical whenever I can, especially collector's editions, which if you're patient, can be found on sale.

I opened my copy of F.E.A.R. for it's recent birthday for my yt channel, just checkout how cool even standard editions were back in the day:

View attachment 315839
Its funny. That came out in two editions. The DVD was actually rare at the time. I was able to get this game a few days early from BB. However, I do not have fond memories of FEAR.
 

scojer

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Its funny. That came out in two editions. The DVD was actually rare at the time. I was able to get this game a few days early from BB. However, I do not have fond memories of FEAR.

I remember! I didn't have a DVD drive at the time so I bought the CD version, and I do have fond memories of the game, I turned off all the lights and would play until 3 or 4 am, it was very engrossing.

I need to fire it up and replay it.
 

LukeTbk

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So I'm all digital now. What sucks most about digital copies though is that they still cost the same as physical copies despite publishers saving a considerable amount on production and distribution.
I would be curious how much they save (specially with all the extra those service give, anti-piracy/cheating active service, save games cloud service and so on, R&D), digital media unlike analogue like VHS was rather cheap to make and distribute a CD master was about $1,000 and copies around 50 cents to do, DVD around $2000 and $1.70 a copy.

A big amount for a $10 CD, but for a $60 games that would be a small percentage. For small title, with low number of sales to amortize it, it was probably a big cost, but for popular titles..... All the distribution including people putting them in shelve in a bestbuy and the cost of that building/employee amortized, that part yes I could imagine being significant.

Maybe the giant amount Steam charge on game sales (30%) is purely because of their market position and make giant margin of profit, but maybe cost isn't that much cheaper once you start to do so much more.

Not all 30% cuts are created equal either, I’m told. One source explained that although Steam only takes 30%, other fees and deductions mean they are usually collecting closer to 65% on their end, while they say console sales return much closer to the full 70% but are stingier with refunds and the like. Meanwhile, GOG.com also takes a 30% cut, but requires publishers to invoice the site manually for the sales made to actually receive payment, something one source explained was a more time-consuming process than Valve’s regular automatic payouts.
 

J3RK

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I lived in the woods. However, I was lucky enough to have C64, Amiga, and later PCs to play with. I had to beg my parents to take me to Software Etc. (40 minutes away or so) so I could buy whatever the latest Psygnosis game for the Amiga was. :D Those boxes were AMAZING. Roger Dean artwork etc. Or Ultima games with cloth maps, cards, ankhs, etc. :D On the way home, I'd be digging through the boxes, looking at all this, and couldn't wait to play it when I arrived. Strike Commander was a big one. I had to upgrade my PC to play it after getting it home finally. Which meant another trip out to buy more memory for my 486 :D and I think a better VLB video card at the same time if I remember correctly. I remember we were in Vancouver BC once for a day trip, (we lived outside Seattle) and I bought Agony for my Amiga at some shop, because I hadn't seen it yet in the states. That was absolute torture, having to wait for the 3 hour drive home. :D

It's definitely different now.

I wouldn't trade the convenience now of clicking something I want, and having it a couple of minutes later, but I do REMEMBER those days very fondly.

@OP I actually don't let my kids just download things like crazy. It helps a bit. They all have their own Steam accounts, but they're all MY accounts. :D I pretty much check out everything they want to get if I'm not already familiar with it. Not like in content, but in quality, that I know they're going to actually play rather than some app-store-shovelware trash that just looks cool in a screenshot. We've done pretty well so far, and they tend to play through anything we get. I guess they have a personal Steam Curator. :p
 

Armenius

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Anyone else feel a bit of nostalgia for the visceral way getting a new game used to be?

Sure - having to have physical media that you picked up in a store is a lot less convenient than merely downloading from Steam... but there was a whole process to gaming back then that I kind of miss.

You'd pick up the new game, unwrap the celophane and cut the tape with a thumbnail, and slide out a bunch of stuff:
  • Game manual
  • Floppies or CD/DVD Disk jewel case
  • Color coded keyboard map
  • Some random ads
  • Maybe a 'collectable' or two.

You 'handled' everything. There was concept art on the disks, a kind of 'new stuff' smell, you inserted the media, listened to the drive spin up and had to click through the loading options. While the media loaded, you'd peruse the ads, read the Game Manual / User Guide... and there'd often be backstory elements to get you excited about playing. There would almost, invariably, be some wholly new development being showcased: moving water, realistic reflections, higher pixel count and facial expressions, grass and trees that moved. It always enhanced the sense of anticipation.

I watch my kid interact with gaming these days - and its a wholly different experience. He just downloads stuff, tries it, keeps or discards it almost as uncaringly as I watched and consumed Saturday Morning Cartoons back in the day. In the 90s, getting a new game was an event. Nowadays, it's just 'Tuesday.'
Getting new games was definitely an entire experience back in the day. I recall just sitting down and taking my time going through everything in the box, including reading the entire manual. I felt like I was able to immerse myself in a game much faster when I was able to prime myself like that. I recently experienced that again with the CE of Cyberpunk 2077. It took me around two hours to go through everything, and I believe that experience helped me enjoy and appreciate the game much more on the initial impression.
 

vegeta535

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Getting new games was definitely an entire experience back in the day. I recall just sitting down and taking my time going through everything in the box, including reading the entire manual. I felt like I was able to immerse myself in a game much faster when I was able to prime myself like that. I recently experienced that again with the CE of Cyberpunk 2077. It took me around two hours to go through everything, and I believe that experience helped me enjoy and appreciate the game much more on the initial impression.
Nothing beats buying a brand new game and reading the manual on the toilet.
 
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DarkSideA8

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Getting new games was definitely an entire experience back in the day. I recall just sitting down and taking my time going through everything in the box, including reading the entire manual. I felt like I was able to immerse myself in a game much faster when I was able to prime myself like that. I recently experienced that again with the CE of Cyberpunk 2077. It took me around two hours to go through everything, and I believe that experience helped me enjoy and appreciate the game much more on the initial impression.
Where did you get physical media for Cyberpunk?
 
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