1. contezero

    OP contezero GBAtemp Regular
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    The war against piracy in the videogame market is usually based on 4 pillars:

    1) deter users. Example: if you mod your device you will be banned, you will lose your legit digital content, you won't be able to play online or to use online services, you will lose warranty, you won't be able to update your legit software or to buy new games.

    2) Deter developers, by hook or by crook either with legal threats, like in the cases: Sony vs Geohot (hacking) and Sony vs Graf_Chocolo (linux on Ps3), Nintendo vs Bung (copying devices), Activision vs Brandon Wilson (reverse engineering), with continues updates, like in the cases of Xbox One, PS3, 3DS, WII etc. or with a bounty programs to encourage "responsible disclosure".

    3) Deter the modding itself with non moddable consoles, like the Xbox One, the Xbox 360 Winchester or with console that weren't modded for the most part of their commercial life, like the PSVita or the Wii Mini.

    4) Deter third parties, like Nintendo & Sony vs Lik Sang (reseller of modchip), or taking legal action against sites with pirated content, like Emuparadise or Romshepherd.

    In the market of other digital goods like books, movies and music, enforcing the point 1 - 3 was almost impossible and the point 4 impractical so the industry decided to provide contents that was easy to access and cheap, often with a subscription. Services like Spotify, Kindle unlimited and Netflix were born. You won't have everything but you will have enough content (of variable quality) to keep you amused.

    On the Xbox One forum here on GBATemp almost every month there is someone asking if it is possible to load backup on Xbox One (answer:no) and someone else responding: with Xbox gamepass, piracy is not necessary.

    Let's see if it's true.

    The Xbox game pass offers about 230 titles to play on your local console (no streaming). The quality is variable: from good AAA titles to decent indie games there is enough stuff to keep you busy.
    Let's assume I am able to "pirate" Gamepass by extending the expire date by keeping the console disconnected from the network (note: it's not possible but let's say there is a method to do so). I will need to download all the 230 games and buy an 8tb hard drive only for that (I think they should fit in 8tb) for 151 euro/dollars (amazon price). 3 years of gamepass ultimate (with gold included) cost 150 euro/dollars (it's 50 euro/dollars/year for Live gold and 1 euro con convert it to gamepass; the offer it's not always available but it was on black friday).

    After 3 years I break even. What are the total costs?

    Legit subscription for 3 years = 151 euro/dollars
    Total games available in 3 years = at least 300 (games are added and removed so it's an estimate but probably you will be able to enjoy even more titles)
    Total games available with games with gold (quality is...not great but they add up anyway to the final number) = 144
    Cost for each game game 0.33 euro/dollars each (total: 444 games playable in 3 years)
    At the end of the 3 years I can keep on my account 72 Xbox360 games, received as part of gold, playable without any further payment. Value of those, about 60 euro/dollars (I will be happy to pay less than 1 euro/dollar for whatever shitty game on xbox).
    Plus: I can still receive game updates, still buy and play legitimate games, still use the online service of Xbox marketplace and still use Netflix :-)

    Pirating costs for 3 years = 151 euro/dollars (8tb hard drive)
    Total games available in 3 years = 230
    Cost for each game game = 0.65 euro/dollars
    At the end of the 3 years I can keep the 8tb hard drive with a possible value of 60 euro/dollars used
    Minus: I cannot use the Xbox as a streaming media device, I cannot update my games (pirated or legit).

    Xbox game pass vs piracy it's a win for Microsoft because piracy is going to cost you more...

    The 5th pillar against piracy is: provide a good amount of average decent content for a good price.
    If the users are not interested in piracy anymore because they have an easy and cheap way (actually even cheaper than pirating) to enjoy their console the first 4 pillar became useless.
    This could be the final nail in the coffin regards to piracy on consoles? Will be the same on PCs?
     
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  2. alexander1970

    alexander1970 Austrian Guy - allowed make grammatical Errors
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    :bow:

    "If you have excluded the impossible, then what is left is the truth, however improbable it is."

    Very logical Conclusion,"Sherlock" @contezero.:D
    (for me....my personal Opinion).

    Thank you.:)
     
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  3. MasterJ360

    MasterJ360 GBAtemp Advanced Maniac
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    The question is.. why would anyone in their right mind be concerned about xbox piracy when they can just pirate the PC ports and still get cracked updates/dlc support?
    Exclusive xbox titles are now on PC which you can also play online for free.
     
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  4. contezero

    OP contezero GBAtemp Regular
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    For the same reason people pirate games: money.

    I can buy an Xbox One S all digital edition for 120 euro brand new. A used one, with ODD, cost less than 100 euro. How much does it cost a brand new gaming PC? And a used one powerful enough to play Bordelands 3 with graphics settings comparable to an Xbox one?
     
  5. MasterJ360

    MasterJ360 GBAtemp Advanced Maniac
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    A decent PC is $300 which can play 1080p gaming. If ppl can buy a new console at $299 they can afford a PC very easily its just that they aren't informative on building one. Thats why there are PC build sites or Pre builds based on budget choices. You don't need a $500+ PC to pirate.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
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  6. Uiaad

    Uiaad GBAtemp's resident guinea pig
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    This is the thing if you make a service affordable and more convenient than piracy the vast majority of people will choose the service over piracy. Of course there is always gonna the hard core that no matter what wants to pirate stuff anyway. But just look at the games pass (ultimate)as a whole for £10.99 a month you get shit ton of decent games, some at day of release for PC and Xbox as well as Xbox Live - It's an amazing deal. I just hope Sony choses to rip it off at some point haha
     
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  7. darkherobrine4u

    darkherobrine4u GBAtemp Regular
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    ALL HAIL PIRACY!:bow::bow::bow:
     
  8. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer
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    Alas I find myself in the "some men just want to watch the world burn"/"I pirate therefore I am"/"just for the thrill of it" camp and the above list does not obviate those.
     
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  9. MasterJ360

    MasterJ360 GBAtemp Advanced Maniac
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    Some folks have a standard to pirate aswell. Single player games are usually the core target for piracy but when it comes to multiplayer games subscription or not our money is still being thrown at the company b/c we understand the value of online entertainment. Console piracy will forever remain limited b/c the structure of security has its own walls such as online play. PC piracy has gotten more better than ever, you can get away with pirated DLC on certain games that you own and still be able to play with them online. I agree the thrill of getting away with cracked content can be more fun than the game itself.
     
  10. Kraken_X

    Kraken_X Advanced Member
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    It's not really about money, it is about control.

    • Yesterday I was playing an excellent Mario 64 romhack called "Mario 64 Land". I was playing it in 4k with a Playstation controller. In an all streaming world, things like that can't exist.
    • Great games get pulled from services all the time because contracts and agreements expire. Without physical copies or piracy, they wouldn't exist after they were pulled. Sure there are other great games you could play instead, but in an all streaming world much old content would be lost. Most games from the NES and SNES era cannot be acquired legally aside from increasingly rare used physical copies.
    • Broken DRM prevents 4k Netflix from working on most devices even if you pay for it. Pirated videos are limited only by the power of the hardware.
    • Your access to content is at the whims of a large company who doesn't care about you at all. Overcharged for Xbox live? Better pay up anyways or they will steal all of your games and saves. It doesn't matter if you have proof that they overcharged you, their EULA says you can't sue and chargebacks from your bank will lock your account.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
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  11. 6adget

    6adget GBAtemp Regular
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    A gaming PC for $300? I have been building PC's ever since building PC's was a thing. I have turned my home into a DIY smart home. I have echo dots in every room. Raspberry pie's controlling security cam's, sprinkler systems, and so on. I have a little over 2 dozen PC's that have Mac, Winblows, and Linux OS's. five of them are gaming rigs. the cheapest gaming PC has about $700 in parts, and it can only play newer games on the lowest settings.The only reason I'm listing all my geek shit is to point out that i know more than the average person when it comes to all things tech. I make a living working at home with a soldering iron. My game collection is my pride. Half of my office is packed with far too many hacked/modded game systems. My wife is a school teacher who has never played a video game in her life, and thinks it's a waste of time. I know, right? who the hell thinks like that? all joking aside, I respectfully disagree with the statement that one could build a gaming PC for $300. at least not one that can play any games made in the last years or two.
     
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  12. Veho

    Veho The man who cried "Ni".
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    Nice writeup, contezero.

    Convenience is an important factor in piracy.
    Way back, a little after Steam was introduced and was starting to gain, um, steam, I recall Gabe Newell saying that people want to pay for games, you just had to make it easy for people to give you money.

    That said I believe the 5th pillar offers do come and go on the PC. Steam sales, Humble Bundle, GOG, every now and then a new service comes that offers great value for money. They tend to balloon and the value you get tends to drop after a while but then a new service pops up and it starts again. It's easy to get a ton of games for little money (selection being something of an issue though). I can see "season passes" and game subscription boxes popping up in the future (there may already be some, I don't know).

    It will never completely eliminate piracy though. Partly because it's infinitely simpler than on consoles, so the convenience factor is moot, partly because the AAA titles cost more than an allowance, and partly because, as FAST said, some people just want to watch the world burn.
     
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  13. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer
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    That might depend where you are and when you are, and with a few caveats I reckon you can get close.

    Tail end of the PS360 era then game makers had realised chasing the latest and greatest hardware was limiting their market, dev might also have taken place on the consoles in question rather than a PC as lead, Vista had also failed and with it directX10 was a non starter outside of a few tech demos and console ports (some of which were hacked back). To that end most requirements, both real and the fictional ones on the back of the box, had decent DX9.0c cards (later ones in many ways outperformed those too) and a core2 in a time when the i whatever was just spinning up. I have not kept up with things for a while now, be it parts or games, but I don't see us having returned to the P3/P4 era, or worse the early 3d card era, in terms of need to always be upgrading.

    Another thing to do in this sort of thing is assume you need a PC (also monitor, keyboard and mouse taken care of elsewhere/by dint of HDMI out being a thing and any old keyboard and mouse will do) for basic stuff and the money that would have gone on a gaming console instead (best buy search for PS4 bundle has them starting at $300, could plausibly do more if we include some games and year of PSN because apparently paying for online games is a thing now) gets converted to extras for this. This might get harder in a few years as even tech people possibly can see moving to andrios or something as a primary computing platform and with that you now have $300 more (possibly a bit more still if you are not replacing something from a refurb/OEM machine) but starting with a base of office and internet machine can get you many places. Wind in a few second hand parts if you like (don't know if we have nice ex miner cards still clogging up the second hand market) and you can get places. In many cases you can probably also get away without replacing the power supply these days.

    Random refurb machine of a suitable base here
    https://greenpcwa.com/refurb-systems/lenovo-thinkcentre-m82
    Intel Core i5-3470 3.2Ghz (low tier "system builder" in the i5 line, and now a few years old, but still something and not crashing out the bottom cheapest laptop we do CPU)
    16 gigs RAM, 240 gig SSD. Might need some more storage a bit later but still enough to get started with. Both of which are not bottom of the barrel selections in this site's build.
    $195.
    For a quick sanity check then even open box on best buy's site then you are not looking at much other than something in the laptop world that tells me I have storage on the cloud as part of the deal (for others playing along at home then if you need a new wedge to keep your window open then maybe such a thing will be useful for that but anything that tells you that you have cloud storage as part of the deal is junk) for less than that, and even then what you do get is bottom tier consumer junk.

    If doing the $300 straight up then 100$ or so to play with for a graphics card (the intel stuff it comes with was rightly slated). Can just about get a RX 570 if you count rebates (a nonexistent concept around here but popular in the US I believe) https://www.newegg.com/p/pl?d=RX+570 and it can just about do (link at the end)

    If we are allowed our 300 on top of from earlier then that is a wide selections of GTX 1060 cards which coincidentally is the recommended card for the game below, and apparently does OK at 68% of the most demanding games on their list... the $200 range is the lowest end of that card selection. Can also do GTX 1660 for $200 apparently ( https://www.newegg.com/p/pl?d=+GTX+1660 for the search, lowest end options but still options from real card companies and not Chinese rebadged ebay nonsense. The super variant, which appears to be digital foundry's best value card pick right now, can be hard for $250 too).

    Red Dead 2 PC port
    https://www.game-debate.com/games/index.php?g_id=9339&game=Red Dead Redemption 2 I have not kept up with them for a while but game-debate used to have great "real requirements" type deals so I will trust them here.
    CPU from above is between minimum and suggested.

    Going another
    https://www.game-debate.com/gpu/ind...dia GeForce GTX 1660-vs-AMD Radeon RX 570 4GB

    Not going to be 4k on ultra but many current games there between a nice 30fps and some going above 60.
     
  14. azoreseuropa

    azoreseuropa GBAtemp Guru
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    That's why PC is awesome. Why buy xbox system when xbox titles are on PC and cracked updates/dlc support easily? Yeah, PC all the way. :)
     
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  15. Tom Bombadildo

    Tom Bombadildo Dick, With Balls
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    Unless you're buying brand spanking new parts, it's laughably easy to build a gaming PC for $300.

    You can buy a Dell Optiplex that has a 4th gen i5, 8-16GB of RAM, and some random HDD or SSD in it for like $100-$150 depending on its config, which would leave you more than enough for a new PSU (and the required cable adapters for Dell's dumb proprietary connectors) and a GTX 1060, which is more than enough to play most "hardcore" modern games at medium-ish settings at 1080p/60hz. Literally as simple as that. Shit, I bought a used Lenovo prebuilt with a 3rd gen i5 and 16GB of RAM that someone stuffed an aftermarket PSU and a GTX 970 in it for a measly $200, played pretty much everything "modern" out there until I scrapped the GPU for another rig.

    And even if you wanted to build all the parts yourself for whatever reason, it's still extremely easy to get gaming grade parts for $300 so long as you go used. When I bought the $200 PC, I also shopped around for just separate parts and was able to put together a 4th gen i5 + mid level ASUS mobo, 16GB of RAM, a cheapo case, brand new PSU, cheapo HDD, and a GTX 1060 for just $310. If you think you need some super modern system or all brand new parts to be able to game on PC, you're quite frankly not as knowledgeable as you think you are.



    As to the OP, lolno. Doesn't matter how cheap or easy to get games are these days, as FAST said, people are still going to pirate just because they can, nothing you can do to change that beyond making games free.

    You're also not taking subjective value into game subscription services into account. Doesn't matter if Game Pass has 230 games if 225 of them are shit I'm never going to play. It's the main flaw with game subscription services, you're only ever going to get what they feel deigned to give you, whether it's good stuff or bad stuff. Sure, MS might offer some decent choices themselves (like offering the MCC on PC when it launched, that was a nice touch), but everyone has different tastes, so you can't make the blanket statement "230 GAMES IS A GREAT VALUE! THEREFORE, NO MORE PIRACY".

    You also shouldn't use sale prices as your base price for a service if you're going to go a whole 3 years out. Game Pass Ultimate is $180 a year when not on sale, which takes your "151 dollar!" value and makes it a whopping $540 over 3 years. Even if you don't use Gold and decide to just go for regular Game Pass, that's still $120 a year, or $360 over 3 years, which is still a substantial amount for a "huge selection" of games I most likely don't want.
     
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  16. 6adget

    6adget GBAtemp Regular
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    The one thing you can always count on here at GBAtemp is how nice everyone is to each other. I mean, I made sure to say "I respectfully disagree", and tried to keep it litehearted. you must be one classy guy, Tom. Why, the way you tickle the keys of that keyboard you must be like a ninja jedi monk.
     
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  17. Taleweaver

    Taleweaver Storywriter
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    I don't game on xboxes, but that's a nice analysis there, @contezero. Congratulations. :)

    Granted: I personally don't agree with the perspective. Piracy has always been a factor in video games. IMHO, this isn't so much a tool to fight it as it is how the market evolves (in which piracy is but one factor). Video games have on average a much longer consumption time than movies or books, so in order to make money, it's important that developers get their brand known. That's why it's common to see reductions and bundles after a while: it's a method to draw the attention when newer games fight for their spot in the limelight. In a bit longer run, this is a race to the bottom, as for each game you play there are thousands that you aren't playing (in that same genre, even).

    But even with this different view, it isn't so much an argument against the OP as it is another way of looking at it.

    It's not much different on PC's, really. I pretty much gave up on piracy, but not so much because it was the ethical thing to do (which it is) or because developers deserve pay for their work (which they do), but because it was just too much hassle. Scour shady sites to get the right files, download it, be careful for virusses/malware (and decide whether or not it could be a false positive) and end up with a program you can't update or play online (and that isn't that great once you've got it working). And while humble bundle bumped up their prices, they're still incredible worth for your buck...if you're not counting the many freebees many stores give away to lure you to their online platform.
     
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  18. Tom Bombadildo

    Tom Bombadildo Dick, With Balls
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    I disagree 100%. Much like how purchasing PC games has gotten substantially easier over the years, so has pirating them. There are like...maybe 10 major sites that exist these days that pretty much everyone uses to grab stuff, none of them shady in any way. If anything, there are very few "shady sites" that aren't obviously shady these days, and the ones that exist only really prey on people who can barely work a computer and were probably prone to getting malware anyways.

    10 years ago, yeah, the pirate community was extremely fractured and there were half a billion sites around that were difficult to tell if you were gonna get a game or a porn toolbar, but those days are pretty much long gone.

    EDIT: Also, updates get released all the time for major games, as does multiplayer using Steam Emus these days. Granted, you won't be playing against legit steam users, there are still usually plenty of people to play against so it's a non-issue.
     
  19. notimp

    notimp Well-Known Member
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    I've something to add, and some personal deliberations. :)

    Always online as a concept also is partly employed to kill piracy, and its pretty much foolproof. Because time to update can be easily made faster than time to exploit, this essentially means end of piracy -- if not by a freak chance, an exploit like on switch is discovered that gets you in at the before bootloader stages (== isnt patchable).

    (edit: on closed systems - so not PC)

    Whats interesting here is, that f.e Amazon with their Kindle eReader line, has closed down the ecosystem to a point, where every time the device goes online, it wil auto download, and then also auto deploy updates, without asking the user, and without making it possible to prevent the update even with some technical expertise (methods like fake naming empty updates and similar work arounds - have all been patched out) -- the interesting part is, that removing DRM from their content, and using pirated content is not removed from their ecosystems on purpose. So basically - they have tight control, but they dont remove piracy and - remove DRM usecases.

    What they do instead is to increase 'effort'. So to remove DRM you have to go through an online portal and chose a 'by cable' transfer method and... And for using pirated content, at least one format conversion is usually needed.

    Now - I'd have bet big on that they would small change by small change take those options away from users over time, but so far they havent.

    Why?

    Presumably they are seeing that piracy is a considerable part of the culture, but doesnt cost them sales necessarily. They might use it as advertising and a stepping stone onto their platform (my friend has books, I want to 'borrow'), but as long as 'just buying a book' is easier through the onboarded store ecosystem - most people will opt for that.

    Thats a trend that we have predicted 10 years ago, btw. make it drop dead easy to purchase legally, and most people wont care about piracy. (At around a certain price point).
    -

    Piracy - traditionally always had an advertising context/angle to it as well - if you were talking about 'getting into a market' as soon as you have a monopoly, a slightly different logic applies. And yes, this still can destroy artists, but 'free' increases distribution reach. So the intelligent content providers always play with it as an advertising tool as well it seems (think HBO and Game of Thrones).

    For platform holders its a little different I suppose, because they are under pressure from other publishers to safeguard pricepoints.

    Also -- no, no its advertising, doesnt work as an excuse, if you pirate, just know that you can drive smaller publishers out of business, by pirating. Its just an added angle. ;)
    -

    On 'Gamepass' - I have to say, that the PSN premium membership (two free games every month) has entirely removed my 'want' for pirating on the platform. Opportunity cost is now too high (jumping through hoops, accepting reduced featureset (no online f.e.), and forgoing 'easy to download' "(not quite) free titles" -- is too much of a tradeoff) -- so in my case 'it worked' (on that platform).

    And in the end its always about raised opportunity cost vs. digital download/streaming - this alone, is enough to move people to legal venues, and should be the main driver, for piracy being on the decline (which it is (even in russia, for the first time.. ;) )).

    That said, the trade off the enduser often doesnt understand he or she is making is - no real ownership anymore. (You get license rights, not product rights. Those can be updated away, are non transferable, dont mean, that you necessarily will be able to redownload, dont allow you to take your game onto a different medium (resell opportunity, ..) and so on, and so forth.)

    Also lack of ownership means, no gaming culture anymore - that isnt corporate culture. I've heard youtubers talking about, that they'd rather want to experience old titles as a remake, and an easy download...

    So - if thats your mainstream, it still doesnt have realized, that reboots can be worse, and corporations are horrible at playing the nostalgia game - because somehow their imagined version of that always follows the internal logic of a cash grab to them.

    Also how much can something really be called 'culture' that is siloed and entirely corp owned? Answer it cant.

    So on some level - removing all piracy, and also ownership - somehow also feels like them shooting themselves in the foot - longterm. (Preservation aspects, culture, ..)
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
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  20. Hern4ndeZzz

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    There's a reason every user who is saying it's "laughably easy" is from the US.
    You need to add an extra 100€, minimum, to every part you list if you want to buy it in my country. And that's me being extremely generous, because it's not uncommon for stuff like GPUs and RAM to go for nearly twice the amount you guys normally pay.

    That said, I could still build a system with integrated graphics for 300€. It just wouldn't be worth it since I just bought an Xbox One S (Regular, not All-Digital) for 135€ on Black Friday...
     
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