1. Does purchasing the game through Steam allow you to download it, or are they shipping it to you? From the little research I've done this morning, I'm assuming it's download, but it doesn't really say anywhere. I'd like to DL it if that's an option, but if it's not, I'd rather just head to the Gamestop down the street rather than wait for it to be shipped. I just really didn't want to get out of my pajamas this morning.
Purchasing the game through the Steam service will download the game onto your hard drive through the internet -- you do not get a physical copy.
2. Related to the first question: In their disclaimer at the bottom, it says something along the lines of "This is an unreleased product and you should not rely on any release date...etc, etc." Does this mean it's not available for DL through Steam yet? The physical product is not available for shipping yet? Or just that they haven't updated their page? Color me confused.
I believe they simply have not updated their page -- Half-Life 2
is definitely available over Steam right now.
3. Again related to the first question: If you can DL the game off Steam, are you allowed to make some sort of physical copy of the game. My system is not the most stable thing in the world, and I'd hate to simply be out $50 if my hard drive crashes and I didn't have a physical copy.
Instead of thinking of this as a purchase of Half-Life 2
, it would probably be more accurate to think of this as a purchase of an *activation key* for Half-Life 2
. In other words: so long as you have your own unique activation key for the game -- and so long as the Steam service is in existence -- you will be able to download and play Half-Life 2
on your computer as many times as you like.
As far as downloading Half-Life 2
to a different computer...I have no idea. I have to imagine that Valve has some fail-safe in place to prevent people from just giving their activation keys to their friends, letting them download the game, and then playing forever in "Offline Mode," but I don't know what that fail-safe would be.