Whatever the pros and cons of Steam, it’s clear that it (and other similar methods of online content delivery) are going to play a big part in gaming’s immediate future. There will always be some who prefer having their games in boxes, but there’s no doubting the convenience of being able to buy and download a game rather than popping down to the shops – particularly when most chains are more concerned about having space for 10,000 more copies of FIFA 2008 than stocking budget or lesser-known titles – or bidding on eBay.

Such was my thinking with Introversion’s understated hacker sim Uplink – rather than buggering around on eBay for a week, six quid and around ten minutes later, I was up and running with the Steam version. And, as is generally my wont, I played with it for an hour or so and then went and did something else, leaving it (metaphorically) on my pile marked ‘games to play later’.

Clearly, I must have left it quite a long time, because when I double clicked on the icon this week I was confronted with the following:


If you visit the support site, you basically get a message saying “You’re using Windows 98 – you’re buggered!”

I can appreciate that not many people are using Win 98 any more, and believe me, I’m not holding onto my current setup because of some misguided suspicion of new technology, but the fact remains that I’m suddenly without access to something I paid for.

You can’t argue with progress, and obviously there’s a valid technical reason for removing support for my ageing O/S, but it has to be a bit of a black mark against using Steam to boost your collection. I’ll be sticking to boxed copies for the time being…