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Steam Link & Steam Controller


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#1 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 25 November 2016 - 04:41 PM

Penny for your thoughts...

I think you can get them both as a bundle for a hundred bucks during the current sale. I've read some mixed reports about how well it works wired and also wirelessly. In my own case, I am using 802.11ac from a cable modem/router in the bird's room which is in between the kitchen where the iMac running Windows 10 is and the TV, etc. in the living room. The distances are short and the floor plan is wide open. I have sliding panel doors between these rooms that I generally leave open all of the time. At the iMac I have no problem getting my full rated speed of 200 Mbps down and low pings (close server naturally) when testing with Ookla. I haven't tested it yet but I easily can with the phone or iPad to see if I am getting the same in the living room but given that is even closer to the modem I expect it is just as good there. While Steam strongly recommends a wired connection I think, it is advertised to work with 802.11ac and I've read some users reporting it works just fine and some not but I suspect given this feedback the differences are at least somewhat about distance to the router and signal strength. Otherwise, some games have issues no matter which way they are connected apparently.

So, do any of you guys have the Steam Link or know someone who does? What the about the Steam contoller for games that were not designed for a controller as well as just in general with games running from Big Picture mode?

For a hundred bucks I am tempted to give this a shot because I was looking at the number of console ports to PC that I own such as the first two Batman games, the first Dishonored game, the Bioshock series and I forget what else now off the top of my head but for what it would run me for these remasters that I doubt look any better than they would on the Mac display certainly and probably not very noticeably when steamed to a 1080p television keeping in the mind the increased distance from the display tends to hide a fair amount of evil. In other words, it isn't likely to be enough difference for me to care about it in any event including if it isn't quite as good.

I'd consider running that stuff on the big screen whilst reposing on the comfy couch to be a good deal in and of itself. Should I also have good fortune trying to run other stuff like say, Warhammer 40,000 Retribution or whatever thanks to the Steam controller with thiis thing that would be a very sweet bonus.

I am hoping one of you guys has some experience with this gear or is more knowlegeable that I am (that part should be easy for somebody) and can advise me here if this is a good thing to try or a fail to avoid.

Thanks.
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#2 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 25 November 2016 - 06:47 PM

I just discovered I can get both the Steamlink and the Steam controller for 55 bucks on Amazon and delivery is free. I think I am going to go for it.

Doh! It's 50 bucks for both from Valve. I doubt shipping is free though.
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#3 Frost

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Posted 25 November 2016 - 06:48 PM

I personally really do not care for the Steam controller. I know some folks who love it, but I'm not one of them. The inputs are just friggin weird even after you've taken the time to get used to them. I'd MUCH rather just use a regular controller for games that have controller support. It's better than nothing though if you really want to play games that only support Mouse & Keyboard from your couch, and it is usable in that regard. Just not my absolute preference. I think that's something unique to each player though; I would say give it a try and see how YOU feel about it.

As far as the SteamLink itself, I think it's friggin' fantastic. I've used it and been immensely pleased with it. The only reason I don't have one is I've got NVIDIA's Shield Android TV, which basically does the same thing plus being a full-featured HTPC and games console in itself and supporting streaming from a PS4. I would definitely recommend the SteamLink for extending your PC gaming experience to your couch though.

Pros:
  • Play PC games from your couch
  • Supports both AMD and NVIDIA GPUs (contrast with SATV only supporting NVIDIA)
  • Extremely low input latency when using ethernet (latency slightly higher on AMD vs. NVIDIA; Steam I believe uses their own streaming tech for AMD, while they use licensed NVIDIA GameStream tech which is faster and more efficient when streaming from an NVIDIA-equipped PC)
  • Ridiculously cheap ($20 on sale is peanuts for the capability it gives, and the only competing product is $200, or $150 on sale)
  • Wired and wireless support for pretty much every major controller out there (contrast with Shield only supporting NVIDIA's controllers natively, and support for others being dependent on what the AndroidTV OS supports)
  • If you have a well-equipped PC, then for $20 it lets you play on the couch on the other side of your dwelling with far higher detail than the Xbox or PlayStation can even hope to deliver
Cons:
  • Megabit ethernet (limits maximum potential quality, contrast with Shield's gigabit ethernet allowing streaming from a PC clear up to 4K60)
  • Wifi is faster than ethernet, but will almost always have noticeably more input latency
  • HDMI 1.4 (contrast with Shield having HDMI 2.0)
  • No 4K support (contrast with Shield supporting 4K 60FPS)
  • No surround sound support (contrast with 5.1 support on Shield)
  • Only supports Steam games. If you can't run it through Steam Big Picture, SteamLink won't run it. (contrast with Shield supporting Origin and non-Steam games as well, and even PS4 streaming via 3rd party app).
Basically, I think the competing product is better, but not by a huge amount and it costs literally four times as much. Or ten times when the SteamLink is on sale for $20 instead of the normal $50. Go for it.
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Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#4 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 25 November 2016 - 07:31 PM

I was hoping you'd stop in, see this and respond. Thank you kindly Frosty One. I'm going for it. I'd be using my PS4 controller for games with controller support such as those I mentioned above that I'd rather play in the living room but don't want to repurchase over it.

To me, the Steam controller has the potential to be quite a fun toy of sorts if I find it actually works well with some games that lack controller support entirely, such a strategy titles like the aforementioned Dawn of War game. That would be quite cool playing that on the couch if I can control the game well with it once I am used to the thing. For the money with it on sale I figure it will be fun to try and I can sell it if I hate it and just do the controller supported stuff I own via the Link and PS4 controller and good enough.

By the way, I need to make up mind so I can buy some stuff on the PlayStation Store tonight for Black Friday and get the most out of 10% additional off the total damage while at it. Titanfall 2 is happening. Between watching your video (not that I can do that) and reading a glowing review of the game that also got into the single player I'm more than sold on a multiplayer shooter for the first time in a long time. There is a deluxe bundle of Titanfall 2 and Battlefield 1 for half off (75 bucks for both) that I am thinking over. I used to like the older Battlefield games and this one also has a short but great SP campaign too I've heard. The multiplayer should be fun as it's a really different kind of experience than something like a Call of Duty game, etc. Both The Division and Destiny appeal to me as well despite some flaws I've read about which don't surprise me much given the MMO-like aspects of each. For me though, grinding missions for upgrades or whatever would be fun enough and great practice with the controller. I've played a little of Singularity recently and made myself use the Xbox One controller I'd bought for the iMac and I was very happy to find myself starting to get it, not that I am good at it at all yet. I was not dying often but then I did also wimp out and choose easy mode because I hate crying. I feel so ashamed after, you know? No, I guess you wouldn't know. Never mind.
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#5 Frost

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Posted 25 November 2016 - 08:17 PM

Titanfall 2: I love it and I can't stop playing it on the PC. The single-player was fun enough that I would not at all regret purchasing even if I didn't like the multiplayer. The game basically takes the on-foot gameplay of Unreal Tournament and Quake 3 and marries it to COD4 (the best COD) with some Mirror's Edge thrown in, then takes the mech duels of MechWarrior 2 and combines them with the anti-infantry vehicle domination play of Battlefield 1942 through Bad Company 2. All while avoiding the downsides of all of those games. IMO it's a masterpiece.

Batlefield 1: Battlefield's big appeal to me was the (moderately) realistic implementation of tank play. I liked 1942 and 2, I FRAKKING LOVED 1943, Bad Company, and Bad Company 2. But BF3 and BF4 making a dude headglitching with a rocket launcher or hiding in a bush with airstrikes or some crap be usually more powerful than an M1A2 Abrams just killed it for me. Battlefield and I had a falling out and I haven't gone back. Don't know how Battlefield 1 stacks up, so can't say yea or nay on that one.

Division vs. Destiny: Destiny is a deeply flawed, but at the same time deeply fun game. The only thing overly wrong with it is they quite literally geared it to psychologically suck you into a skinnerbox of grinding way too much. Don't get sucked into that or you'll just get burned out and disappointed when all your grinding was for naught with the next light level increase. Play more just for fun and you'll get a lot more out of Destiny. IMO it's a hugely superior experience to the Division. UbiSoft basically put out one game in the past year that exemplifies everything that has ever been wrong with the company, and one game that is like a mirror universe UbiSoft where they do a great job, support for the game is great, and they amazingly do everything right. Mirror Universe UbiSoft made Rainbow Six: Siege. Classic UbiSoft made The Division. The Division's biggest problem is it's a bait and switch. The standard game is decently enjoyable; the problems start when you hit max level and start doing endgame content. Be prepared for borefest fights where you're unloading entire HK416 magazines into guys' faces just to bring them down, the grind is over the top, and the whole thing is just generally unfun.

There's also the factor of I will drop into Destiny with you on the PS4 on occasion. :P The Division is dead to me.
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Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#6 Janichsan

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 10:05 AM

Another vote for Destiny. The game has issues, but I'm still enjoying it (even if the last expansion was a bit of a dud).

I played the BF1 beta on the PS4, and it's an absolutely gorgeous game. But don't expect a realistic WWI game: it's more like the Michael Bay rendition. I found the game to be rather uninviting and frustrating, though, not in part due to the controls. I might like it better on the PC, but I still avoid Origin like the plague.

Rainbow Six Siege piques my interest, but since I'm also avoiding Uplay like the plague, I would have to get it for the PS4, which again might be problematic due to the controls.

@ Frost: have you tried The Division after the last patch (1.4, I think)? Allegedly, they have made a couple of fundamental changes that address many of your grievances.

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#7 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 07:24 PM

I will strongly endorse Destiny over The Division. Both games have their issues, but Destiny comes much closer to realizing it's goals as an MMO-lite shooter. Destiny's biggest strength is its gameplay. Bungie have been making fantastic console shooters for years, and Destiny is no exception. The gunplay in Destiny is probably the best I've experienced on a console. The biggest downside to Destiny is the grind, as Frost mentioned, but it is not necessary at all to try to grind up to max light level. Play the game at your own pace and don't worry about hitting the light level cap. The next content update will increase the cap and make it extremely easy to rocket past the old cap.

The story of Destiny used to be a major flaw, but in the past 2 years they have done a lot of work in improving it. It's certainly nothing to write home about, but it's also not terrible. Destiny is by far the most hours I have put into any game on console.

I played Division for around 30 hours when it was released but ultimately didn't enjoy it that much. I just kept comparing it to Destiny and ultimately felt that Destiny just did too many things a bit better then the Division.

Titanfall 2 is fantastic. I own it on PS4 and just platinumed it today actually. The fast-paced gameplay is awesome and the single campaign was short but good.
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#8 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 27 November 2016 - 04:43 AM

Thanks all for the feedback. I did wind up getting Titanfall 2 on the flash sale and the Destiny Collection on sale as well. I also couldn't resist Star Wars Battlefront Deluxe Edition for only 10 bucks. I picked up a bunch of great deals during the Anniversary and Black Friday sales. It was good timing to get the system with so many great games on sale.
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#9 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 03:54 PM

I am impatiently waiting for the FedEx man or woman to arrive with my Steam Link and Steam Controller today. I am eager to try this stuff out and see how well (hopefully) it works.
“The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” — Bertrand Russell