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AshleyAshes
02-03-2014, 09:16 PM
What is it? Steam In Home Streaming is a setup that allows Steam to run and play games on a less powerful piece of hardware while 'the heavy lifting' is done on a more powerful computer elsewhere on your home network. This also allows Linux based Steam implementations such as SteamOS to run Windows games, by having a Windows PC 'run' the game, while the Linux machine remotely displays it and accepts user input. In simpler terms: It's Remote Desktop for Steam gaming. I just got into the Beta for this and I thought I'd share the experience for those who are curious. I'm interested in this, as there is no sufficiently powerful Steam machine on our living room TV, my laptop with only Intel HD 3000 graphics is insufficient, and hauling my AMD A8-3870K/Radeon HD 6850 Server/HTPC/Steam box to the living room is a huge pain in the ass. Use a powerful PC and have it stream to the little laptop? Sign me up!

The hardware:
Host:
i7 4930K @ 4.5ghz w/ Radeon HD 7950
Asus PCE-AC66 802.11ac wireless network adaptor

Client:
i7 2630QM laptop w/ Intel HD 3000 onboard graphics
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 802.11ac wireless network adaptor

There is also an Asus AC66U 802.11ac wireless router connecting these both.

The first interesting thing I noticed is that I can now have Steam fully logged in on multiple PCs at once. This in itself is pretty awesome. Before you ask, no I can not play different games on both at the same time. While I can chat, interact with the store and community, it won't let me use different games from my library simultaneously. The Streaming system, so far as I can tell, only works on a client that is in Big Picture Mode. From the normal Windows GUI, I can't make attempt to launch games via streaming, only for local play if the game is installed.

First Game: The Pinball Arcade.
Pinball is a pretty twitchy game, so I thought this would be a great first test. This is actually playable. There are a few instances of stuttering where I think the wireless network dropped a few too many packets. I'll re test this later using GigE to remove that possibility. All in all, it looks nice. No real noticeable articles and the lag seems to be minimal. Your host machine CAN'T be used for anything but gaming while it's hosting. It actually runs the game it's hosting, full screen, while streaming all of that out to the client. While there is no sound, you can actually use the controls on the host and interface with the game simultaneously. A good way to troll your friends and housemates? With both the host and client next to each other I can see if there's any lag between the two screens. As far as my puny human eyes could tell, both seemed to respond almost instantaneously with each other. Neato. I did however notice that the colors were muted on the client and they aren't muted like this when the game runs off the client's own hardware instead of streaming. So somewhere along this pipeline, some color is getting lost.

While the Steam BPM is all rendered locally by the client, toaster notifies about friends joining games or coming online seem to be rendered on the host and baked into the stream.

Let's try another!

Portal 2:
I actually dunno what to say here. It plays like Portal 2. The only issue is that since the host is rendering the game at 2560x1440, the HUD including the crosshair are scaled for this resolution, then shrunk down for the client's display. This results in the crosshair looking smaller than it should. I doubt this would be an issue on 1080p machines. I've also noticed that user save data is based on the data in the client, not the host. So for non-Steam Cloud games, if your client has no save data but the host does, you'll still be starting fresh with no save data if you launch via the client.

That's about all I have so far. Comments? Questions?

Nightpaws
02-04-2014, 03:55 AM
I've had a stab at it on my desktop with similar specs and a MacBook Pro.

The mac was able to launch the games by clicking the drop down button next to "start" and changing it to "stream" while in regular mode.

Setting the display settings to 1050p resulted in an almost flawless experience in Burnout Paradise, though I needed to use the host to close the web browser which auto-opened.

There's no support for the old tomb raiders though from Legend(and the other similar one I can't remember) to the start.

Runefox
02-04-2014, 08:43 PM
I hate you all over again. I want into that beta for the ability to log into Steam on my MacBook and PC simultaneously.

AshleyAshes
02-04-2014, 08:58 PM
I hate you all over again. I want into that beta for the ability to log into Steam on my MacBook and PC simultaneously.

Just wait, invites are trickling out slowly enough. I wasn't in the first wave but did eventually get in.

Nightpaws
02-04-2014, 09:03 PM
Still just gutted not to have been given a Steambox to play with :P

Runefox
02-05-2014, 01:24 AM
Still just gutted not to have been given a Steambox to play with :P

Nobody outside the US did. :<

Nightpaws
02-05-2014, 05:27 AM
Nobody outside the US did. :<

Sucks but would have probably had to pay a fortune in import tax for it :\

Runefox
02-07-2014, 11:58 PM
Well I got into the IHS beta yesterday and tried it out with my MacBook Pro. Here's my setup:

Desktop (streaming host):
i7 3770K @ 4.7GHz
16GB RAM
EVGA GeForce 680 Classified
Connected via gigabit ethernet

MacBook (streaming client):
i7 2670QM @ 2.2GHz
16GB RAM
Radeon HD 6750 (not that it matters)
Connected via 5GHz 802.11n

Router: ASUS RT-AC68U

I have to say, there's no discernible lag over 802.11n; The first game I tried was Europa Universalis IV, and while it's not a particularly fast paced game, seeing it running on both the desktop and MacBook simultaneously it appeared to be lag-free. One problem I ran into was that the game was running at the resolution I'd set on the PC - 2560x1440 - and that didn't scale down so well text-wise to the 1400x900 screen on my MacBook. Easy enough to fix (I ended up setting it to 1600x900 and that looked pretty acceptable), but it's something I hope can be fixed at some point. Maybe a separate config file for each IHS client.

Just now, I tried out Payday 2 and recorded my findings:

sMyeMr3W7n0

Nightpaws
02-08-2014, 03:16 PM
It's pretty impressive isn't it? Especially considering that most other software of the likes only really gives you 10 fps max and very high latency input.

TeenageAngst
02-08-2014, 08:19 PM
I don't see a use for this. To use it you need a high-end machine anyway, so it's not like it saves you any money. Also it completely occupies that machine, so it's not like you can game in another room while the PC is being used for other things. Also gaming on a laptop is painful to say the least, so if you're going to be playing a game, and you have a high-end computer… why not just play on your PC?

Nightpaws
02-08-2014, 08:35 PM
I don't see a use for this. To use it you need a high-end machine anyway, so it's not like it saves you any money. Also it completely occupies that machine, so it's not like you can game in another room while the PC is being used for other things. Also gaming on a laptop is painful to say the least, so if you're going to be playing a game, and you have a high-end computer… why not just play on your PC?

If you run it on a slim client or underpowered media center you can use your gaming PC as your living room games console! ;) Tried it earlier and it worked great on my TV :)

TeenageAngst
02-08-2014, 08:56 PM
Why would you use your PC as a living room game console, the entire point of a PC is to have it as a multi-monitor display or one really big powerful one. Using your PC on the main TV just occupies the TV and pisses off other people in the house.

Nightpaws
02-08-2014, 09:01 PM
Why would you use your PC as a living room game console, the entire point of a PC is to have it as a multi-monitor display or one really big powerful one. Using your PC on the main TV just occupies the TV and pisses off other people in the house.

Not if you're the only person in the house, and 42 inch Burnout is worth every second :D

Runefox
02-08-2014, 09:03 PM
I don't see a use for this. To use it you need a high-end machine anyway, so it's not like it saves you any money. Also it completely occupies that machine, so it's not like you can game in another room while the PC is being used for other things. Also gaming on a laptop is painful to say the least, so if you're going to be playing a game, and you have a high-end computer… why not just play on your PC?

By that logic, why should anyone have a portable music player or personal stereo when they have a surround sound system in the living room. The idea is that it makes your Steam library more flexible.

I could start a game at my desk, get tired of sitting in a computer chair, and migrate to the living room on the couch and big TV to continue playing with a controller. I could play strategy games with my laptop, or I could hook up a real mouse to it and play whatever I want wherever I want. I could stuff my gaming PC in a closet and set up a nice quiet thin client in its place. In theory, if I brought my laptop to a place with a good connection, I could VPN back home and stream non-twitchy games without adversely affecting my battery or needing a cooling pad.

All a client computer needs as a client is the ability to decode h.264 in hardware. Doesn't even need Windows; SteamOS or Steam on Linux can handle it, and then it doesn't need anything special for storage either. A small 32GB or 64GB SSD (or hell, SD card) would do the job in a silent and energy efficient manner. You can literally throw together such a thing for under $200 (http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2O3Us) (probably around $250 - $300 if you wanted it totally fanless and thus entirely silent).

Nightpaws
02-08-2014, 09:24 PM
I could start a game at my desk, get tired of sitting in a computer chair, and migrate to the living room on the couch and big TV to continue playing with a controller.

That's the part I keep forgetting it can do! I keep closing games for no reason when switching devices out of habit!

TeenageAngst
02-08-2014, 09:31 PM
You still need the $1,000+ investment in the desktop, which is the primary barrier between the console tards and the PC gaming master race, then add in the satellite unit. All for the luxury of being able to play your STEAM games (and no others) on your laptop wherever you are in the house, or possibly over Wifi elsewhere depending on the connection speed at that Howard Johnson. I'm assuming a Hojo because PC gaming in public is one of those things you see on Big Bang Theory.

Nightpaws
02-08-2014, 09:40 PM
This is probably mostly aimed at people with a decent Steam Library already. Aka (as you aptly put it) The PC gaming master race. I have a 2k Desktop and a 2k laptop so it's ideal for me (despite me being a console gamer) The PS4 is excellent too and it's remote play functionality is hard to rival in terms of practicality. But I digress...

On a more practical note, nailing this tech would mean that it could be put to more practical uses for those with weaker machines, eventually into cloud hosted gaming which all devices still struggle to do well. It's for science! :3

TeenageAngst
02-08-2014, 09:49 PM
I'm a PC gamer with a decent rig and a laptop and I still don't see a use for it. Then again I don't have many Steam games because unlike most PC gamers I don't worship Linux, I don't like Steam, I think DRM and a necessary connection to the internet to use software is outrageous, and I think Valve are too full of themselves as a development company. The only thing I liked about that Steambox crap was the controller and I can use that on my PC.

Runefox
02-08-2014, 09:58 PM
You still need the $1,000+ investment in the desktop
Try closer to ~$500 (http://pcpartpicker.com/user/Runefox/saved/35d3) (+$100 w/Windows if you don't have a copy to transfer from an older PC (which if you do, you can then run Linux+Steam on the old machine as a streaming client)).


All for the luxury of being able to play your STEAM games (and no others)
It's not officially supported, but Valve says it's possible to stream games added as shortcuts in Steam. Haven't tested it out yet. Steam Music is also coming which will allow you to stream music as well (with the ability to do so simultaneously with gameplay).

TeenageAngst
02-08-2014, 10:07 PM
Try closer to ~$500 (http://pcpartpicker.com/user/Runefox/saved/35d3) (+$100 w/Windows if you don't have a copy to transfer from an older PC (which if you do, you can then run Linux+Steam on the old machine as a streaming client)).

You forgot a monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, fans, etc. Unless console casuals who wanna play on their Macbooks are supposed to magically have these laying around. Also no one in their right mind would be building a dedicated gaming PC tower out of a dual-core i3.


It's not officially supported, but Valve says it's possible to stream games added as shortcuts in Steam. Haven't tested it out yet. Steam Music is also coming which will allow you to stream music as well (with the ability to do so simultaneously with gameplay).

Oh boy, stream music, look out Spotify. And as you said, other games are not officially supported. Which means if you want to play EVE Online or WoW or World of Tanks or Starcraft II or Diablo III or Minecraft or any game that is either not on Steam or that you did not purchase through Steam, you're either subjected to sub-par performance or just outright fucked.

I think we can call this one...

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51BWXV3CKWL.jpg

AshleyAshes
02-08-2014, 11:20 PM
Why would you use your PC as a living room game console, the entire point of a PC is to have it as a multi-monitor display or one really big powerful one. Using your PC on the main TV just occupies the TV and pisses off other people in the house.

I actually use a PC as a living room console. :) Here's a look at it even.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aa37yA_mm_4

I use it exactly like a console, with Xbox 360 controllers employed for gaming. I love it so much in fact, that when GameStop was doing a +30% trade in bonus for Steam Credit, I traded in all my Xbox 360 disc games for $60 in Steam credit. But see, this thing is in my bedroom, and while we've brought it out to use on the 55" Plasma in the living room, it's not the most portable. Now I can use may laptop hooked up to the 55" and play all the lovely console style games I've picked up for Steam. Sonic & All Stars Transformed is a great PC game to pile four players onto the couch for. :D

TeenageAngst
02-08-2014, 11:26 PM
You're one of an incredibly small market, because most people would just play console games on a console. But then again you're also one of those weirdos who, in lieu of using a PS2 controller for their PC, uses a 360 one instead.

AshleyAshes
02-08-2014, 11:32 PM
You're one of an incredibly small market, because most people would just play console games on a console. But then again you're also one of those weirdos who, in lieu of using a PS2 controller for their PC, uses a 360 one instead.

The Xbox 360 controller and's few Xinput using derivatives (Logitech F710 and F310 come to mind) have become the defacto standard in PC gaming controllers, since the Xinput interface is built into DirectX as it is. And it allows for identical controller mapping to the console, out of the box. o.o

And the PS2 controller would be wired... Wires are lame. o.O

TeenageAngst
02-08-2014, 11:49 PM
The Xbox 360 controller and's few Xinput using derivatives (Logitech F710 and F310 come to mind) have become the defacto standard in PC gaming controllers, since the Xinput interface is built into DirectX as it is. And it allows for identical controller mapping to the console, out of the box. o.o

And the PS2 controller would be wired... Wires are lame. o.O

Wires are for people who don't want to tolerate charging/changing batteries or input lag. There's a reason almost all gaming laptops/mice are wired. Also the PS2 controller is widely touted as the greatest controller design since the SNES.

This is neither here nor there though. This technology changes nothing significant. PC gaming is still expensive for quality hardware, this technology is currently pointless, and Valve is chasing marketshare at their own peril. I hope Steambox fails horribly so that GabeN will go back to making video games like he's supposed to and stop trying to fuck shit up for PC gamers.

AshleyAshes
02-08-2014, 11:57 PM
Wires are for people who don't want to tolerate charging/changing batteries or input lag. There's a reason almost all gaming laptops/mice are wired. Also the PS2 controller is widely touted as the greatest controller design since the SNES.

This is neither here nor there though. This technology changes nothing significant. PC gaming is still expensive for quality hardware, this technology is currently pointless, and Valve is chasing marketshare at their own peril. I hope Steambox fails horribly so that GabeN will go back to making video games like he's supposed to and stop trying to fuck shit up for PC gamers.

You're free to have that opinion, but I feel that Steam Big Picture Mode has turned my PCs into game consoles and made it pretty great. Nothing more fun putting everyone on the couch for some games like Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed, Castle Crashers, The Pinball Arcade, Duck Tales, Fez, Skull Girls or anything like that and take joy from knowing that none of those games cost more than $5. (Lie, I've put $90 into The Pinball Arcade. D: But the rest were $5 or less. XD)

Though still waiting on the chance to bring these into use with the machine.

http://www.thebuzzmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/hori-ex2-arcade-stick.jpg

TeenageAngst
02-09-2014, 12:07 AM
See I'm partial to sitting around playing 360 games with my friends, mostly because it doesn't require restricting yourself to Steam games that happen to be multiplayer and support controllers, but also because XBL Arcade has vastly more/better party games. If I'm playing PC games with people it's at a LAN party where you drag your gaming rig out like a tuner to a meet in a Target parking lot.

AshleyAshes
02-09-2014, 12:26 AM
See I'm partial to sitting around playing 360 games with my friends, mostly because it doesn't require restricting yourself to Steam games that happen to be multiplayer and support controllers, but also because XBL Arcade has vastly more/better party games.

I've actually found that a good portion of XBLA titles have found their way to Steam with quality support and integration of Steam's features like Steam Cloud. Though I do wish that Ms. Splosion Man would lose it's Games For Windows Live integration removed, this is happening soon though. Toy Soldiers: Cold War is still out there on my 'Steam to Get List' though. I have like $65 in my Steam account still, but I'm waiting on a sale. Though downright, Castle Crashers has to be my favorite to get everyone around the couch on. And it was only $3.74. :D ...And yet I waited 6 months from buying it till I tried it on a whim one night when we were hanging out in the living room one night.

Runefox
02-09-2014, 02:27 AM
You forgot a monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, fans, etc. Unless console casuals who wanna play on their Macbooks are supposed to magically have these laying around.
The idea is that this is dedicated to streaming and you use the PC you already have. Because you have one. Because everyone has one.


Also no one in their right mind would be building a dedicated gaming PC tower out of a dual-core i3.
What would you put in it at that price range? Considering the i3 outperforms every AMD on the market right up to the "8-core" flagships, I'd say it's a good fit. A single hyperthreading Haswell core is equivalent to two AMD modules in floating point performance (gaming!), which is "four" cores.


Oh boy, stream music, look out Spotify. And as you said, other games are not officially supported. Which means if you want to play EVE Online or WoW or World of Tanks or Starcraft II or Diablo III or Minecraft or any game that is either not on Steam or that you did not purchase through Steam, you're either subjected to sub-par performance or just outright fucked.
Jesus fucking Christ, there's no pleasing you.

"It ONLY streams STEAM games, HARRUMPH"

>It streams non-Steam games and other stuff too.

"OH BIG WHOOP IT STREAMS OTHER STUFF"

>????

The streaming method is exactly "capture Direct3D output, forward input". Streaming non-Steam games is not officially supported because they can't verify that it'll work. It doesn't mean "hur hur Valve will make it so you get half the frames on world of tanks".


This is neither here nor there though. This technology changes nothing significant. PC gaming is still expensive for quality hardware, this technology is currently pointless, and Valve is chasing marketshare at their own peril. I hope Steambox fails horribly so that GabeN will go back to making video games like he's supposed to and stop trying to fuck shit up for PC gamers.
Uhhhhh, considering the gaming PC I put together above will more than outdo current-gen consoles at or around 1080p, I'd say you're just bitching for the sake of bitching because LOL STEAM IS DRM HOLY FUCK GUYS DRM OH SHIT HOW DARE DEVELOPERS USE THE LEAST OBTRUSIVE DRM METHOD ON THE MARKET TODAY GIVE ME BACK MY STARFORCE, SECUROM, GAMES FOR WINDOWS LIVE, AND SONY ROOTKITS

Not that you actually care about what Gaben does to begin with, since without Steam you haven't legitimately played a Valve game on PC in nearly a decade.


See I'm partial to sitting around playing 360 games with my friends, mostly because it doesn't require restricting yourself to Steam games that happen to be multiplayer and support controllers, but also because XBL Arcade has vastly more/better party games.
Why can't this be the case with a PC? What unearthly force is preventing this?


If I'm playing PC games with people it's at a LAN party where you drag your gaming rig out like a tuner to a meet in a Target parking lot.
Which is kind of why this is a good thing? To get away from that kind of elitist bullshit?

Seriously, I don't get what you're so pissed off about with regard to putting PC's in the living room. It is literally no different than using a 360 or whatever, except OH SHIT IT'S STEAM. Nevermind that Microsoft's DRM is a fuckton more restrictive than Steam's ever will be.

AshleyAshes
02-09-2014, 03:14 AM
He seems bitter about PC gaming NOT being a snobby pursuit requiring high end hardware and technical skill. o.o

Nightpaws
02-09-2014, 11:09 PM
He seems bitter about PC gaming NOT being a snobby pursuit requiring high end hardware and technical skill. o.o

How dare things be fun and new!?! :P

TeenageAngst
02-10-2014, 04:37 PM
The idea is that this is dedicated to streaming and you use the PC you already have. Because you have one. Because everyone has one.

No, people have laptops. Laptops that they're looking to use this technology on presumably. Buying a PC for a console tard means they would need to buy *the entire thing*.


What would you put in it at that price range? Considering the i3 outperforms every AMD on the market right up to the "8-core" flagships, I'd say it's a good fit. A single hyperthreading Haswell core is equivalent to two AMD modules in floating point performance (gaming!), which is "four" cores.

I wouldn't build a gaming-dedicated PC in that pricerange. I'd build it in the $1000+ pricerange because that's what you need for an entire system of adequate performance for high-end gaming.


The streaming method is exactly "capture Direct3D output, forward input". Streaming non-Steam games is not officially supported because they can't verify that it'll work. It doesn't mean "hur hur Valve will make it so you get half the frames on world of tanks".

If you're good at something, never do it for free. If Valve makes this work it will be for Steam and only for Steam to ensure marketplace dominance against competitors, because is chasing the golden goose of market share.


Uhhhhh, considering the gaming PC I put together above will more than outdo current-gen consoles at or around 1080p, I'd say you're just bitching for the sake of bitching because LOL STEAM IS DRM HOLY FUCK GUYS DRM OH SHIT HOW DARE DEVELOPERS USE THE LEAST OBTRUSIVE DRM METHOD ON THE MARKET TODAY GIVE ME BACK MY STARFORCE, SECUROM, GAMES FOR WINDOWS LIVE, AND SONY ROOTKITS

Not that you actually care about what Gaben does to begin with, since without Steam you haven't legitimately played a Valve game on PC in nearly a decade.

Outdoing current consoles is something most PCs made during the Vista generation could do. They're not the benchmark, as that's not the point of PC gaming, because if it were, you'd just buy a $300 console and call it a day. And personally I don't like DRM. I do have some Steam games, and they're "meh".


Why can't this be the case with a PC? What unearthly force is preventing this?

It can, but why would you want it to?


Which is kind of why this is a good thing? To get away from that kind of elitist bullshit?

I don't think you understand what makes PC gaming fun. Attitudes like that are why WoW sucks now and why DIII was such a goddamn disappointment. Mainstream gaming is all about instant gratification and getting everything all the time, which is why Pay 2 Win is so popular. It's a cancer on the industry. High quality, deep, interesting, and long-lived games are almost non-existent anymore. There is no modern Starcraft (SCII is meh), no new AoE II (they had to HD-ize the old one), CoD games are switched on a yearly basis because they go stale so fast. It's a money machine now.


He seems bitter about PC gaming NOT being a snobby pursuit requiring high end hardware and technical skill. o.o

I'm bitter that the only remaining platform for complex gameplay is being threatened by the Call of Duty-yearly-buying, 5 button pressing, ADHD Xbox Live 10 year old console tards. Playing WoT on PC is challenging because everyone there tend to be older and more experienced. WoT on the 360 is a joke. If you know what to do, you can steamroll an entire team of kiddies single-handed, but the double-edged sword is you get the same Randy BKs in your team and they all clump up on the end of the bridge in Westfield and DON'T FUCKING MOVE while you're trying to scout and then your flank gets annihilated.

That's another thing. Expensive PCs mean only people with money who care about the hobby get to play on them. Meaning Randy BK doesn't get one for Christmas, he gets an Xbox or a Playstation, which keeps the gene pool clean. And don't try to tell me there's just as many Randy BKs in PC gaming as there are on PSN or XBL. Not even during Burning Crusade WoW did I see such levels of bad players as I have in these console lobbies.

AshleyAshes
02-10-2014, 06:14 PM
I wouldn't build a gaming-dedicated PC in that pricerange. I'd build it in the $1000+ pricerange because that's what you need for an entire system of adequate performance for high-end gaming.

This is the kinda thinking that hurts the PC gaming industry. You really don't need a monster high end box to game on. The requirements have somewhat plateaued in fact. Even so, idealy, if you were building a typical gaming PC, you'd go in $200 for an i7 4670, $100 or so for the mobo, $150-$250 for your graphics card of choice, maybe another $100 for the other odds and ends. $1000 would be pretty high end and it's the belief that that's the kinda dollars you need to spend to get into PC gaming is not accurate to current trends. You also don't even necessarily need that much power. My beloved Steam box is an A8-3870K (Essentially a Phenom II x4 3ghz, since it's integrated graphics are disabled) and an old, hand me downed Radeon HD 6850 (Which is why the integrated graphics are now disabled) and 8GB of RAM. It's by no means a remarkable machine, you could build an equivalent machine for a pretty low price. It plays a huge swath of games for me nicely. Sure, it only played Tomb Raider at 'Normal' graphics level, on par with the PS3 or 360, but I played it in the comfort of my own bed with it hooked up to the TV.

And I think that this is GREAT for the industry. Systems like Steam and others have given us automatic updates, cloud saving, and brought developers to better support their PC games. Sales of slightly older games, from a year or older, get nice discounts. PC gaming has never been more approachable and it's wonderful.



If you're good at something, never do it for free. If Valve makes this work it will be for Steam and only for Steam to ensure marketplace dominance against competitors, because is chasing the golden goose of market share.

You, uhh, might wanna look at the Steam Beta Client changelog from a few days ago...

"In-Home Streaming Beta
- Added streaming support for non-Steam games with mixed 32-bit and 64-bit binaries "

Yeah, Steam is supporting non-Steam games for in home streaming. o.o


Outdoing current consoles is something most PCs made during the Vista generation could do. They're not the benchmark, as that's not the point of PC gaming, because if it were, you'd just buy a $300 console and call it a day. And personally I don't like DRM. I do have some Steam games, and they're "meh".

I don't think you understand what makes PC gaming fun. Attitudes like that are why WoW sucks now and why DIII was such a goddamn disappointment. Mainstream gaming is all about instant gratification and getting everything all the time, which is why Pay 2 Win is so popular. It's a cancer on the industry. High quality, deep, interesting, and long-lived games are almost non-existent anymore. There is no modern Starcraft (SCII is meh), no new AoE II (they had to HD-ize the old one), CoD games are switched on a yearly basis because they go stale so fast. It's a money machine now.

I'm not sure how to respond to this really. You seem to be upset that PC gaming is growing more diverse instead of being a narrow area for 'Big shooters', 'Big RTS/4X', and 'Big MMOs.' I adore Civilization, owned every version since Civ1 which came on three floppies, but there's also space for more options than that. PC Gaming is better now than it ever has been. It's the home of wonderful indie games, clever smaller titles, platformers simulations of everything from farming to fighter jets, shoots, strategy games and tonnes more. Developers put more EFFORT into their PC ports than ever as well. PC Gaming has never been more plug & play even; With Xinput support and the standard 360 controller layout that comes with Xinput, I don't even have to configure my controllers anymore, they're mapped 'just right' with the defaults the moment I turn it on. You don't fight with drivers and other bullshit nearly as much like you once had to. Even the specifications playfield has been largely leveled. A great number of delightful games have little more than 'Dual core, DX9, 4GB of RAM' listed on their specs. You could run them on a Toaster if that toaster had an HDMI port.


I'm bitter that the only remaining platform for complex gameplay is being threatened by the Call of Duty-yearly-buying, 5 button pressing, ADHD Xbox Live 10 year old console tards. Playing WoT on PC is challenging because everyone there tend to be older and more experienced. WoT on the 360 is a joke. If you know what to do, you can steamroll an entire team of kiddies single-handed, but the double-edged sword is you get the same Randy BKs in your team and they all clump up on the end of the bridge in Westfield and DON'T FUCKING MOVE while you're trying to scout and then your flank gets annihilated.

That's another thing. Expensive PCs mean only people with money who care about the hobby get to play on them. Meaning Randy BK doesn't get one for Christmas, he gets an Xbox or a Playstation, which keeps the gene pool clean. And don't try to tell me there's just as many Randy BKs in PC gaming as there are on PSN or XBL. Not even during Burning Crusade WoW did I see such levels of bad players as I have in these console lobbies.

From here, it seems your problems are more with an evolving gaming culture that has left you behind. Crossing your arms and crying out 'Fuckers!' isn't going to put you any less behind.

TeenageAngst
02-10-2014, 11:18 PM
And I think that this is GREAT for the industry. Systems like Steam and others have given us automatic updates, cloud saving, and brought developers to better support their PC games. Sales of slightly older games, from a year or older, get nice discounts. PC gaming has never been more approachable and it's wonderful.

Not really. You don't own the games, you own licenses. I can't sell my Steam games which makes me *extremely* hesitant to throw money at them.


I'm not sure how to respond to this really. You seem to be upset that PC gaming is growing more diverse instead of being a narrow area for 'Big shooters', 'Big RTS/4X', and 'Big MMOs.'

Look, if you want approachable gaming that anyone can pick up and play, you have consoles. If you want a platform that runs high end games, you have PCs, which is why the high price tag (because you people still keep forgetting people need to buy mice and monitors and stuff). If you dumb down the PC to console levels, there's no more high end gaming. As VG Cats said, "Why try for great when good sells?" There won't be a platform to shoot for anymore cause every BK in the market will have a Steambox or equivalent thereof. Why make a game that takes or uses hardware beyond that? It's a waste of time from a marketing perspective. This has been the lament of PC gamers since 2008 and Steambox is just going to solidify that notion of mediocrity.


From here, it seems your problems are more with an evolving gaming culture that has left you behind. Crossing your arms and crying out 'Fuckers!' isn't going to put you any less behind.

If by "evolving gaming culture" you mean evolving market trends, because the evolution of gaming over the past 10 years has made me think the universe is punishing me for liking *things*. Much like the NES days, the limitation of the technology is what forced game designers to get creative. When you can throw out shovelware and have it make a profit with full DRM protection and no need to worry about people buying it second-hand, then you have no incentive to make a great game. If you can patch it later, you can put out broken garbage on launch day. This is seen again and again and would have NEVER flown as early as the 16 bit era and as late as the PS2. If you'll recall, shoddy quality control in the market is what caused the video game crash of the 80s in no small part and is one of the major reasons Nintendo became so popular. I can't fault the industry for chasing the almighty dollar, but as a hobbyist I don't like where the industry is headed.

So yeah, if you enjoy listening to 10 year old BKs on the mic while playing Captain Bland's Monotonous Adventure, or are one of those weirdos who games on a trackpad, have fun with your living room Steam PC. Just leave the high end titles out of it.

Krespo
02-11-2014, 09:51 AM
...what is a 'BK'?

As for the in-home streaming, I think it's a cool concept. But seeing as I only have a moderately good laptop I'm not too excited about it. Ashley, have you tested out any resource-intensive games yet? Not sure if this is bullshit I read, but visual quality and/or framerate dips to compensate for a slow connection?

AshleyAshes
02-11-2014, 10:59 AM
...what is a 'BK'?

As for the in-home streaming, I think it's a cool concept. But seeing as I only have a moderately good laptop I'm not too excited about it. Ashley, have you tested out any resource-intensive games yet? Not sure if this is bullshit I read, but visual quality and/or framerate dips to compensate for a slow connection?

Googleing it seems to mean 'Badkid'. It originated on the Bungie/Halo forums as a replacement for 'Noob' when that word was banned there. 'BadKid' was later banned as well. So basically, it's an extra elitist way of saying 'Noob'.

And yes the streaming can, by default settings, reduce framerate or resolution to deal with local network congestion. However if you'd like, you can lock the resolution, framerate and even the bitrate settings if you desire.

Runefox
02-11-2014, 02:33 PM
TA, I honestly don't care about your views on what the PC gaming world "should" be and what the console world "should" be because you want to feel special for buying a gaming PC. With that in mind, I'm only going to respond to the one relevant thing you've said in that sea of text between those two posts:


Not really. You don't own the games, you own licenses. I can't sell my Steam games which makes me *extremely* hesitant to throw money at them.
You've never owned the games, not even on a console. And thanks to the business models that followed single-use copy protection from the early 2000's, you can't sell PC games at all. The rare services that let you "trade in" games like Green Man Gaming give you something like $2 trade-in credit on a $10+ game.

Now, with that said, compared to console pricing, Steam is pretty swell. Even regular prices are generally $10 or more below retail on the console market, and that already is about as much as you'd get back by selling/trading in your games or by buying used. Get it during a Steam sale and you're looking at 50-75% off a lot of major titles, which is way beyond what you'd ever get back by selling your games. It also has the side effect of letting you keep the game. And unlike single-use DRM, Steam's evil DRM lets you install and play your games wherever you've signed in, with cloud saves, and in-home streaming is a natural extension of that.

EDIT: I tried out Steam In-Home Streaming with non-Steam games and it runs like a champ. Because it's not designed specifically to favour Steam games. Check it out:

VYwKUF83jL0

Interestingly/amusingly, it also works with applications like Photoshop, Internet Explorer, and I imagine pretty much anything you want to run, though performance is mediocre for streaming things like IE (which isn't running through Direct3D); Something like 15fps, which is still pretty good as far as desktop streaming goes, particularly since the delay is still minimal.

TeenageAngst
02-11-2014, 05:37 PM
Randy BK = Random Bad Kid. It's like when Call of Duty releases in November, you only get a month to play good matches before "Randy" shows up after Christmas when mom and dad buy the M-rated titles for the BKs. Randy is usually playing mainstream games like Halo, WoW, CoD, and GTA V, but also adores F2P games such as World of Tanks and League of Legends. Thankfully, most niche genres like racing (Forza III my favorite) and fighting games (MK9) are off limits because the skill curve is too great and/or the players can dictate the handicaps allowable in each match. Also private servers like Minecraft or private WoW servers tend to repel Randy as they either require some setup or the GMs don't tolerate their bull. Randy is usually either terrible at the game and drags the entire team down while whining about it the entire way through, or uses only the most cheap/irritating tactic. If there is a glitch, it will be exploited. If there is a min/max, it will be min/maxed. These are your powergamers. Here's a RL BK in action:

sL90fCgOrcE

You can clearly see the frothing at the mouth, the tantrums, and the inevitable pooping of the pants.


You've never owned the games, not even on a console. And thanks to the business models that followed single-use copy protection from the early 2000's, you can't sell PC games at all. The rare services that let you "trade in" games like Green Man Gaming give you something like $2 trade-in credit on a $10+ game.

You can jerk off to Steam all you want and try to talk semantics about game ownership, but if I wanna ebay my 360 version Mass Effect trilogy I can. My Steam library? No such luck, I am in no uncertain terms fucked in that regard. Steam sales are the only time I dare buy a game because $30+ for a game I can't trade or sell is bullshit. As for downloading anywhere, that's useless to me. My library sits on my desktop because that's my gaming PC. I don't use games on my old laptop nor do I install games on other people's computers. As for the downloading, it takes HOURS to do most of the time, whereas if I had DVDs it'd be done in 20 minutes tops.

I am elitist about PC gaming, I don't think it should be inclusionary to the point of consoles because it was never designed to be. That's why we have consoles, and I'm not going to be convinced that opening the floodgates to the BKs is going to bring about a better, healthier gaming atmosphere on the PC. Just like when WoW started pandering to the casual crowd, it's going to take established franchises and invite hordes of screaming BKs in to whine and complain that it's too hard or too complex and it's going to go into a death-spiral.

AshleyAshes
02-11-2014, 08:00 PM
So, uhh, anyway...

I'm curious how low the specs for the receiving box of Steam IHS has to be. I wish I had one of those little AMD E-350 or E-450 boxes to test out. If one of those little darlings could do IHS, at 1080p@60hz, it'd turn a tiny little box into something pretty impressive.

Anyone have anything decidedly low end to test on?

Edit: Looks like someone has and it ain't pretty. http://steamcommunity.com/groups/homestream/discussions/0/540732347235808327/

I wonder what the minimum threashold while still getting 1080p@60 is.

TeenageAngst
02-11-2014, 11:06 PM
If they concentrate on high-fps low-res gaming they could infiltrate an entirely new market #netbookgaming

Runefox
02-11-2014, 11:22 PM
Hmm, that E-350 setup was done in SteamOS; I wonder if they actually had the driver installed. The E-350 should have hardware h.264 decoding, but at 20fps with "slow decode" notifications, I bet it's trying to decode on CPU rather than IGP. I'd like to see something with non-SteamOS Linux or with Windows on that hardware to be sure. Unfortunately I don't have anything that low end to test myself, but it works fine with the Intel HD 3000 on my MacBook Pro when I switch it to integrated-only mode.