Updating steam platform error
The answer has already been mentioned: Steam’s fantastically large user base.
By hitching Steam to the CS/HL2 wagon, giving Steam the killer app which all the other platforms lack, Valve ensured maximum exposure for Steam as well as ensuring it became fixed in the minds of the industry as a whole.
It’s a well-known fact in user experience design that users are a lot more patient to wait for a long running-process to complete if they’re kept informed about what’s going on.
The streaming features of Steam are also then properly leveraged to get the player into the game as soon as possible.
Even Source games don’t properly take advantage of content streaming.
The menu 3D backgrounds for instance, are a pretty good idea.
Excuse the London-specific example, but if you can you’re going to set up your shop somewhere like Oxford Street where the foot traffic is the highest.
Passers-by will remember that your store is there if they want something you sell, even if they don’t walk in and buy something immediately.
The second is by far the better design decision; the user is kept informed, knows the game hasn’t hung, and can cancel the process and continue the download on the desktop if they decide they don’t want to wait.Gamespy/IGN are in the game with Direct2Drive, Turner with Gametap, EA with EA Link, GAME with a new on demand service powered by Metaboli, and probably a couple of others.