I bought a copy of Crysis the other day. I haven't played games on my old PC in quite awhile, it's been all Xbox. But the new PC is fast and I wanted to see the eye candy.
I'm totally like a kid at Christmas with a new game. I rush home from the store ripping open the package while stopped at red lights. My heart quickens and I drop the CD into the tray. So excited! So what was my first experience of Crysis? Thunk, thunk, thunk in the DVD drive. For 30 seconds. Crap, a bad pressing. I was so frustrated I walked away from the computer. When I came back a few minutes later I found the DVD is working just fine.
Well, sort of fine. Actually the DVD is out of spec with some bad blocks on it in a special pattern for the SecuROM copy protection. And unlike some other copy protected discs, this one's bad enough to give my DVD drive fits. 30 second delay on boot. 30 second delay the first time I open "Computer" on my machine. Thunk thunk thunk. All to wait for some stupid copy protection scheme that stopped people from stealing the game for about 24 hours. And the disk always has to be in the drive to play the game. It's the paradox of PC gaming; a stolen copy gives a better experience than a purchased one.
On top of the badly mastered disc I also have the pleasure of knowing SecuROM has gotten its hooks into my machine somehow, running extra services in the background. And I have to keep the manual and its precious serial code forever more because there's a second form of copy protection, too. And I had to spend half an hour tweaking graphics settings to make it run reasonably well on my machine.
Console gaming has none of these problems. Pop the disc in the console, play. No wonder I haven't played PC games in so long.