It has begun. After 3 weeks of Gabe Newell memes, off-base predictions, “Valve can’t count to 3” jokes, and Reddit complaints, the 2012 Steam summer sale is finally here. And it’s exactly what we’ve all expected. Following the trend set by the last 2 summer and winter sales, the sale follows the daily deal format, with select games being discounted more heavily than usual, with the selection rotating daily. There are massive markdowns on publisher packs, and “indie bundles”, with some rotating daily and some remaining at a consistent price throughout the 10 days the sale runs.
Of course, for most of you reading this, this all might be old news. For those new to the summer sale, though (I know there are some out there), there are 3 easy rules I like to follow to get the most out of these spending spectaculars.
- Wait until the last day of the sale to buy any games that aren’t a daily deal. It’s an awful feeling to buy a non-daily deal game for 50% off and then see it go down to 75% off the next day.
- Make sure you can run the games you buy. Can You Run It is a good and easy resource to use for ballpark figures, but it’s by no means an all-encompassing scanner, as it has trouble with mobile GPUs and not all games included in the sales are in its database. A better resource is to know your computer hardware inside and out and read the specs required by every game before you buy it. The only thing worse than realizing you could have saved money on a game is realizing you wasted your money on a game you can’t run right away.
- If you’re worried about spending too much money on sale games, you can always add money to your Steam Wallet in advance. Many a time has this stopped me from spending too much on games I’ll probably never play; although that in itself is a pillar of the Steam sales and perhaps an inevitably regardless.
For most of you this is merely a refresher, however. The Steam Sales have been going on bi-annually for 2 years now, and much of what I’ve covered here is essentially common knowledge or reiterated in nearly every reddit, 4chan, or forum thread about the summer sale. For those new, though, welcome to your first Steam sale, and if you’d like to play a few of your new games with other PXOD-ites, don’t hesitate to sign up on the X-Talk forums or join our Steam group.
And of course, good luck, and don’t spend your entire paycheck all in one day. You still have to eat.