RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.

Posted on Mar 14th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (wildbil52)
Posted under Video Games, Master Race

Pardon my de_dust Wink

I have an awesome gaming PC if I do say so myself.  Even if the hardware is a few years old, it's still running strong.  My quad core i7 setup with two Geforce 670s in SLI still handles just about everything I throw at it at high settings at a respectable frame rate.  So why haven't I been doing the majority of my gaming on the PC?  As it turned out, all I needed was instant access to my PC Games in the living room.

I do the majority of my gaming on my Xbox One.  I have my cable hooked up through it so it gets turned on every day.  My kids stream Netflix and YouTube on it and I sneak in a quick session of whatever I can whenever I get the chance.  I own several games digitally for the Xbox One and it is pretty nice to not have to go an grab the disc to play them.  I know at the end of the day not wanting to walk to another room to grab a disc is a first world problem, but it's still a factor.  I have one kid running around in circles and another in my arms and I just want to fire something up real quick.  We don't keep the games in the living room because we don't want my young boys pulling crap off shelves they can reach and my wife doesn't want to have any media sitting on wall mounted shelving.  So...the games are stored in the guest room in the basement, where my PC and arcade machine are...See a trend?  I've also requested a small shelf to be mounted on the wall just inside the doorway so that I can always know where the game controllers and remotes are.  That was also shot down.

This spot is so perfect for a controller shelf Sad

I don't really blame her, she doesn't want video games all over her living room.  On more than a few occasions, I fired up a game that I own digitally at least partially because I didn't have to run downstairs to grab a disc.  It's like when the mp3 audio format started gaining popularity.  Sure, you could just pop any number of your CDs into your portable player or maybe the changer in your car, but once all of your music was available digitally, who bothered with CDs anymore?  That's how I've always felt about Steam, it's just that my PC could only be in a place that I couldn't get to on a regular basis unless the wife and kids went on vacation.  Then I got the Steam Link as a Christmas gift, I thought my days of retiring to the basement for a few minutes of PC game time here and there were over.  I thought I would be playing Steam all the time in the living room.  It didn't quite work out that way...At first.  turns out, just like making time for anything else in life, it still takes effort.

Soon, precious, soon

We recently interviewed Pam and Will on the Collectorcast.  After sharing Steam names with Pam, I checked out her profile and saw some very impressive numbers.  What impressed me was not her number of games owned, but hours played.  Duke and Crabby have asked me about my 250+ games owned on Steam and how many of them I actually play.  Because of where my PC is located in the house, I would have to leave my wife alone with our 2 kids at night to be able to excuse myself for some PC gaming so there are a ton of games that I want to play more but haven't.  Pam has almost 160 hours logged in Civilization V.  Super jelly.  66 hours in a game that has been on my wishlist forever: Divinity: Original Sin.  She also has more hours logged in XCOM 2 a few days after its release than I do in the first game that has been out for years.  This got me to do a little self inventory and explore the reasons why I am not making time to play things that I really want to play.  Turns out, the Steam Link wasn't a magic wand that would enable me to drop hours that I don't have into an endless array of games, its just a tool that makes the games more accessible.  I still needed to be the catalyst.  I needed to be the one to say, OK, time to play.

Pam's Steam History.  There is hope..

The next day I said "Sarah, I'm going to sit down and play through an entire game today".  That day I played To The Moon from start to finish.  It was cool to just get to sit down and play a PC game for a while but I felt a little secluded.  I know that's the point sometimes, to escape to another world, but after playing in the basement for hours by myself, I wished that I was sitting with the family, even if they weren't playing, just being in the same room with them would be better.

I decided to try to play a PC game every day through the Steam Link.  Didn't necessarily have to be the same one, just play something regularly.  Almost every day this past week, I played at least one death in Rogue Legacy.  I'm playing Life is Strange via Steam Link for the RFGen PlayCast.  On a whim I fired up Skyrim, my favorite game of all time, and cleared out a cavern that I had never explored.  I fired up Sonic Generations and found the best Sonic game I've played in years.  I turned on Burnout Paradise and won 2 races before switching over to X-COM for a little alien action.  All of a sudden, the almost 300 PC games that I own digitally are available on my TV so that I can play with or near the family.  For the games like Civ that require a keyboard and mouse, I'm planning to bring a wireless combo upstairs so that the strategy games aren't left out. 

So I guess it wasn't the Steam Link that changed the way I played PC games, it was more of an enabler.  Now if Microsoft would only enable Valve to use the Xbox One Wireless Controller adapter on the Steam Link so that I can use this beauty on Streaming Steam games.  Oh well, it's back to the transforming D-Pad 360 controller for now.

Why, Microsoft, why can I not use this with the Steam Link?  You opened the adapter up to Windows 7, do it here too!

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I still need you to schedule a time with me to get a bootable Win10 install on an external drive for my Mac. Nice article.
Since we have similar but different setups and problems to overcome, I'll talk about my situation a little.

We have our main PC in the living room but opposite the TV area. Most of the time we (wife or I) can be near each other if we are entertaining ourselves gaming or watching something. Sometimes though, it's nice to play PC games on the big screen with the big sound.....to do that we got a long HDMI cable, 25ft I think. Most of the time the cable is wound up nicely by the TV but I can easily unwind it and hook it into the PC across the room. The wireless Xbox controller works fine whether we are on the couch or over by the PC desk. The PC area has it's own keyboard and mouse and the TV area has it's own wireless set. Since the little USB receiver for the mouse/keyboard doesn't work real well at that distance, we have a 10 foot USB port extender, which is simply a wire that is male usb on one end and female on the other. We can then get the usb receiver close enough to the couch that it works fine. Also there is a mouse pad over by the couch too, I may try gluing a piece of sheet aluminum to the bottom of it, haven't decided yet.

The Steam Link seems to be great for your uses. If you can't get a cable from your PC to your TV, it seems like the next best thing. If you don't own your house or can't make holes in your walls to route wires around.....

I would love to leave our HDMI cable hooked up all the time but the only option to do that at our place, without leaving it running along the floor or taped to the ceiling, is going under the house. Our "crawl space" is only about 8" at some points, and I just don't fit to route cable down there. Hooking it up whenever I need to isn't all that bad, Windows recognizes the TV as a 3rd screen right away, sometimes I have to choose "HDMI" as the audio output manually, but that icon is in the taskbar and only takes a few seconds.

You said at one point. "I've also requested a small shelf....That was also shot down." My mind is blown. My wife's idea of interior decorating is basically, 'how many bookshelves can you fit in the house?' haha! I always have a shelf of some sort being built in the garage. Maybe my wife can talk to yours and try and get her on your side?  Tongue

Oh, one more thing, my wife is up to 861 hours on Civ V
Man, I still haven't jumped into Steam Link Land yet.  It may be a while longer yet due to a big family vaca coming down the line.  It isn't all bad, as I'm taking full advantage of steaming in my house with one of my "table" laptops.  But to see the whole collection on a large screen TV in Big Picture mode and playable with a Xbox controller...  That would be awesome.  Oh, well.  Almost.
If I wasn't jumping down the rabbit hold of RGB I would buy a Steam Link. I would like to be able to play Freedom Planet or Civ V, or Tie Fighter in the living room. 
Duke, we can do that in September FORESHADOWING

Nupoile, Thats my setup downstairs, the TV is right next to the PC so I HDMI to it for gaming sesisons down there.  Living room is a different story.  No monstorus PCs in the adult living space.  If it was in the next room over I might have just run a redmere HDMI cable through the walls and attic to get a direct connection to the TV but honstely, the $50 steam link saves me a lot of work and the performance is fantastic.  Super Jelly of that many glorious Civ V hours.  Once I get my mouse/kb in the living room I'll do my best to catch up

bombatomba, I really hope you spelled Steaming like that on purpose.  If that's a thing, I hadn't read it yet.

Addicted, you can play at my house in September.  Again, FORESHADOWING
Did I say September? I meant October
Oh, man.  I just got the de_dust thing.  Nice, bil.
I don't have a big Steam library, but for what I do have, this would be fantastic.  Most of the games I own would work well with a controller, and the couple I don't I could get a wireless keyboard & mouse setup for, because my PC is in the room next to the living room.  Looks like I need to add a Steam Link to my list of things to buy...

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