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PCPOWERPLAY - - Inbox - 56K BAUD

Can’t find the email for tech sup­port or even The Or­a­cle but fi­nally get­ting around to check­ing out this cover disc! Nice work! I think as a new and up­com­ing mag­a­zine in the Aus­tralian mar­ket you’ll go far! Also, try­ing to get a game of Com­mand & Con­quer hap­pen­ing to try out these swell tac­tics - but when I wave my Null Mo­dem cable at peo­ple they run away from me...

Any word on if there is any IPX LAN par­ties hap­pen­ing? Seems like a pretty cool game!

Laters! Matthew Sch­midt

Damn dude, that’s a blast from the past.

Back in the day the disk was an en­tirely dif­fer­ent beast from what it is now. Hell, the in­dus­try as a whole was a to­tally dif­fer­ent beast. When the mag­a­zine first started, the disk had its own staff ded­i­cated to not only com­pil­ing the disk (some­thing that ac­tu­ally re­quired some se­ri­ous skill back in the day) but to con­tact de­vel­op­ers and pub­lish­ers to get demos and free games ei­ther through ad­ver­tis­ing con­tra or other means. This was in the days be­fore dig­i­tal distri­bu­tion and broad­band (even the joke net­work we call broad­band) so the CD was the only way for peo­ple to get their fix of new games and demos.

Flash for­ward to now and every­thing is dig­i­tal, and what’s more, it has be­come cen­tralised, with only a few dig­i­tal distri­bu­tion net­works. As a re­sult, since the birth of Steam, the disk has changed and the staffing with it. Our full time disk ed­i­tor fell by the way­side soon af­ter Steam found its feet – it was eas­ier for de­vel­op­ers and pub­lish­ers to dis­trib­ute con­tent via a cen­tralised ser­vice that host the ma­te­rial them­selves.

The launch of cable in­ter­net and ADSL also charted the course of where the disk would even­tu­ally go. As down­loads be­came faster and lim­its be­came more gen­er­ous, the need for the disk moved from “here is the lat­est” to “here is a cu­rated list of games you might dig”. With­out part­ing the ki­mono too much, over the years there have been many con­ver­sa­tions about po­ten­tially re­mov­ing the disk from the mag­a­zine, and even a few ex­per­i­ments. For a few years we pub­lished two ver­sions of the mag­a­zine – one with a disk and one with a lower cov­er­price and no disk, but af­ter a while it be­came ob­vi­ous that the vast ma­jor­ity of peo­ple pur­chased the ver­sion with the disk. About 18 months ago we phased out the disk free ver­sion of the mag­a­zine, so the disk is here to stay.

Of course, that brings with it some prob­lems. We can no longer sell the mag­a­zine on shelves in New Zealand be­cause of the disk. NZ law re­quires that ev­ery game or me­dia disk be rated, and for that to hap­pen it needs to be sub­mit­ted to the rat­ings board in ad­vance. Due to pub­lish­ing sched­ules that sim­ply isn’t pos­si­ble. We can still send the mag to sub­scribers, but the days of be­ing in NZ newsagents are over.

And we’ll let you know if there are any IPX LAN par­ties on the hori­zon. We could go a cou­ple of rounds of Day of De­feat or De­scent.

Reader Matthew Sch­midt, a keen ar­chae­ol­o­gist, dug this up re­cently.

LETTEROFTHE MONTHWINS! Write in to PCPP with your rants, con­sid­ered opin­ions, and end­less run- on sen­tences of pure awe­some. The ad­dress is let­ters@ pcpow­er­play.com. au. Each let­ter read by hand! Let­ter of the month wins a copy of Tekken 7.

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