8 years after the launch of Steam it looks like South African gamers may finally be able to fully enjoy the service and its benefits. For those of you that don’t know Steam is an online game store which allows you to buy games online and download games to your computer using the steam client. The only requirement is that you have a steam account which will give you access to the entire library of games.
What makes Steam so important for gamers is that the service is easy to use, cheaper than retail in most cases and for us in South Africa is far better than trying to find games in the handful of local stores who over price the content in any case. The games are then available to play from inside the client and their is no need for disc changing etc.
Well the good news is that with the recent “Birth” of uncapped Internet in South Africa and a growing demand for popular content to hosted locally there are now two steam servers hosted in South Africa. Internet Solutions hosts a mirror of popular content while Webafrica has gone for a full mirror (Applause). You will need to make sure your client is configured to Africa to benefit from the service of course.
The advantage of local servers is obviously the speed it offers compared to fetching the content from a country 10000km away and the reduced costs for people with local only accounts or for webafrica clients which do not pay to download content from steam. Pretty sweet deal if they stick to it, free steam downloads are a very nice service for anybody that has a few games on the platform.
And for those of you wondering what the IP addresses are for the South African steam servers so that you can force steam local with steamwatch;
Internet Solutions Steam Server : steam.isgaming.co.za (220.127.116.11)
Webafrica Steam Server: steam.wa.co.za (18.104.22.168)