Looking Back At The Heart Of The Tiger's Awesome Premiere Edition (August 21, 2016)

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
One of the most elaborate packages in the Wing Commander series is the Premiere Edition of Wing Commander 3. In addition to the regular items that everyone got, it included a color version of Warbirds, a soundtrack CD, a 'Behind the Screens' CD with cool interviews & features, a t-shirt, a 1995 calendar, a VHS 'making of' tape, a folded poster and a copy of the Fleet Action novel in a film reel enclosure. There was a variant available at Sam's Club, but the primary way for fans to acquire this collector's item was to directly call and order from Electronic Arts - since this was years before online orders were a thing! Joe Garrity scanned in his receipt from 1994 so you can see the slip in all its dot matrix glory.






The Big Box PC Game Collectors have put together a retrospective and unboxing video that further details what came in the tin. Adjusting for inflation, the $100 price tag in 1994 comes out to $162 in today's dollars. Not bad for what you got!




Thanks to Rear Admiral Tarsus for the tip.

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Original update published on August 21, 2016
 
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Wedge009

Rogue Leader
This is the sort of thing I miss with today's electronic distribution. Physical packaging really isn't done that much any more. Even though I eschew 'premium editions' with most games, even the regular editions of the Wing Commanders were adventures in themselves. Unpacking the game and reading through the manuals, getting immersed in the lore, that's what kept me going until the time I actually got the chance to play the game itself, and even beyond that. Ah, fun times. I know it's been said before, but it's always nice being reminded of the wonderful packages Origin put together. You didn't have to be a developer to be part of 'creating worlds'.
 

Mekt-Hakkikt

Mpanty's bane
I agree with Wedge. But I now also see the problem: I have lots of boxes in my cellar full with (very) old PC games with very large packagings and thick, glossy manuals that I can't throw away but also don't really have room for it.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
One of the more interesting takes on this that I've seen lately are "collector's editions" of the game that don't come with the game: https://smile.amazon.com/WOLFENSTEIN-NEW-ORDER-PANZERHUND-GAME-video/dp/B00KC7171C/ It's all the goodies that you'd expect to come with the premium edition of the game, but then you separately choose whether to buy the disc or the digital copy based on your preference. It sounds crazy, but since I've seen recent collectors' editions come with both disc or digital (no option of either, just the developer's choice to go one way or the other), this isn't the worst idea.

For my most favoritest series, I'll get the disc, but for everything else (and also for my favoritest series too), I'll get the digital because it's so convenient. I don't need to wait for the UPS driver or go stand out in line at midnight anymore. For digital preorders, I can predownload the game and it unlocks at midnight (eastern time, so I actually get it three hours sooner than the people waiting in line...). And obviously, no disc swaps with the digital.
 

Dyret

Super Carrot!
Yeah, there's no real justifiable reason to go with physical copies anymore unless you really want your games on a shelf or something. I'm glad I still have my physical copy of San Andreas, though, so I don't have to play the horribly butchered Steam version if I should ever go back to it, but that's kind of an unusual case.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Physical copies these days can be... funny. Typically, after you install the game off a disc, it will proceed to immediately download an update of some kind anyway. This is fine in most cases, and installing off the disc still saved you download time. But every once in a while, you encounter a situation where you find yourself wondering: why did I bother, exactly?

This happened to me the other day when I finally decided to install The Elder Scrolls Online. For the record: I hate and fear MMOs; hate them because I like neither their gameplay nor the other players who spoil the atmosphere, and fear them because I'm always secretly afraid that if other people get hooked on these things, I can too. That's why I had ESO sitting on my shelf since its original release - I only bought it because I'm working on a PhD involving the Elder Scrolls, and I needed to at least know something about the game. Anyway, so I install ESO off the discs, two years after its initial release, and a year after the game went through a massive re-branding when it switched from subscription to F2P. The game installs off four DVDs, and takes about twenty minutes to do so, with a final installed size of about 30 GB. But the moment the installation ends, it begins downloading an update... a 20 GB sized update. And when that update stops downloading, it begins downloading another update, of similar size. I don't remember now how many updates there were altogether, and most of them were significantly smaller than 20 GB, but the end result was clear: my decision to install the game off the discs wasted an inordinate amount of download time, because presumably, had I simply installed digitally, I'd be installing the current version with no need to repeatedly overwrite parts of the game with patches. Obviously, not all of that time was wasted (the game takes 49.5 GB now, so it seems that all those patches did add 20 GB on top of the original install), but still...

That having been said, and even though I now have many games in my Steam library that are digital only, it still feels wrong, somehow, to not have a boxed copy sitting on a shelf somewhere. But ultimately, maybe this is just habit talking - after all, in most cases, there was never any point in having the boxed version sitting on a shelf. Even today, for all their sophistication and amazing qualities, games are not like books - they're not things you want to have within your physical reach (...unless the box contains books, in which case those disc-less collector's editions are a very reasonable path).
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
One correction for the video: the Sam's Club ("Special Bundle") pictured here is not intended to be a variant of the 'Premiere Edition'... if you compare, you'll see they actually printed different stickers for the metal tin! The version available directly from EA has 'PREMIERE EDITION' around the artwork, while the Sam's Club is blank.

For the record: I hate and fear MMOs; hate them because I like neither their gameplay nor the other players who spoil the atmosphere, and fear them because I'm always secretly afraid that if other people get hooked on these things, I can too.
I was just remarking over the weekend that if there were a new Privateer, I would love for it to follow the No Man's Sky single player model where you don't ever have to worry about other humans ruining your fun (but still have some slight connection to them as the game world evolves.)
 

Darkmage

Vice Admiral
if there were a new Privateer, I would love for it to follow the No Man's Sky single player model where you don't ever have to worry about other humans ruining your fun (but still have some slight connection to them as the game world evolves.)
I'd like to see this done, but with the universe news system generated by player actions. "A Privateer intercepted a Pirate raiding force this week in the Gemini system, a confederate spokesman insists that Pirate forces are an outlier. blah blah blah
 

Joel McCoy

Spaceman
Re: The Premiere Edition status:

Yeah, we've been discussing that in the group. I think Luke-Pascal pointed that out to me (I made the video linked above). For the most part, it's commonly referred to as the premiere edition (even though it's incorrect, technically). The general confusion may come from the fact that the direct sales edition appears to be so much harder to get.

I added a little note on the video regarding the distinction. I learned something today :)
 
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Wedge009

Rogue Leader
Yeah, there's no real justifiable reason to go with physical copies anymore unless you really want your games on a shelf or something.
There are some in the world, like myself, who still have download quotas. I usually buy games well after its release date, so 'getting in first' isn't a priority for me either. Even today I will still get a physical disc for games and movies, even if for games there will be a horrendously huge download waiting upon first-run/installation. I know I'm in the minority, though.

I hate and fear MMOs; hate them because I like neither their gameplay nor the other players who spoil the atmosphere, and fear them because I'm always secretly afraid that if other people get hooked on these things, I can too.
This is what concerns me about the MMO aspect of Star Citizen, though at least there seems to be a portion of the community who are into the immersion aspect.
 

cff

Kilk'dymga'qith laq Ik'vikvi
Even today I will still get a physical disc for games and movies, even if for games there will be a horrendously huge download waiting upon first-run/installation. I know I'm in the minority, though.
I am not even sure its a minority. Sure the vocal majority seems to be all for download, but I think you'd be surprised hom many people not writing in forums are still using physical media. I any case I'll also stick to them. I like a local archive and I also like looking at boxes on my shelf.
 

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
I was just remarking over the weekend that if there were a new Privateer, I would love for it to follow the No Man's Sky single player model where you don't ever have to worry about other humans ruining your fun (but still have some slight connection to them as the game world evolves.)
One of my favorite things about NMS is that there is a strong feeling of people having been there before you, so it still feels like a populated universe - and yet, like you said, you don't have to worry about another player doing exploits or farming or whatever.

That said, I am a massive supporter of physical media. I have about 1200, 1400 CDs and probably 300 DVDs. And while there are occasions where I pare down my collection and discard stuff that I won't use again, the majority of it is there to preserve. I don't have to worry about an OS Update or harddrive crash taking them from me.
 
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