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  1. I think if this topic has shown anything, it's that people can get very defensive about their purchasing decisions! But then we definitely knew that already. You do realise that PCs have HDMI out, right? My PC spends most of its time connected to the TV. It's only 50" because otherwise it would start to look daft in my flat, but still. As for upgrading - you just have to resist the FOMO, and tell yourself that the parts you already have are fine, because they almost certainly are. I can certainly understand not wanting to invite the temptation, however. I'm almost certainly going to spend an absolute shit-ton of money upgrading my system later this year (but probably even more money upgrading my monitor and TV at the same time).
  2. Thing is there are similar tax credits for film and TV. Tax credits are not actually there just to help struggling devs, but to encourage production companies with big budgets to base themselves here, because we like the network effect they bring. They tend to hire a lot of people on decent salaries, and bring a lot of money to local businesses. We are competing with the likes of Canada for their attention, because they also understand these benefits. It might be that when you look at the big picture it's all still quite difficult to defend, but it's worth remembering why these tax breaks were set up in the first place.
  3. I think unfortunately gyro aiming is probably out of the window, certainly with touch activation, as Microsoft have already revealed the controller for Series X and it's basically exactly the same. Leaks suggest the PS5 controller also brings very few changes. It would need to be supported on both consoles to become popular, I imagine. I do think something needs to be done in terms of making them less massive, though. Having a mainboard which only accepts a GPU daugherboard at a 90 degree angle is very limiting in terms of case design, at least without doing strange things that involve expensive riser cables. The "modular" NUC system that Intel showed at CES seemed promising in a way, but it's really expensive and poor in terms of upgradability. ASRock tried something a while ago (the "DeskMini") that used MXM format GPUs, usually seen on laptops. That ended up being incredibly small, but they are not really a standard, and they're also pretty expensive. To make a "console replacement" a success, you would need to make it as compact and affordable (or at least reasonably close), while still using standard components. Without the former, you don't stand a chance at catching the interest of people who would otherwise buy a console. Without the latter, you lose the people who would just build their own Mini-ITX PC. Unfortunately I don't think it's possible to square that circle at this moment in time.
  4. Steam Machines will never be a thing. We'll continue to see things like the Corsair One and Intel's NUC bare bones units, for people who want basically the closest thing to a console that's still a PC. But not something that comes out of the box ready to play games with no setup. No individual player in the industry has all the pieces available to make something like that happen. Or the billions to spend on marketing, manufacturing and distribution to turn it into a genuine alternative. I'd love to see the Steam Controller, released in support of the Steam Machine initiative, come back though. I understand it was a bit niche - the vast majority of games you're much better off played with a standard XInput controller - but there were some little touches that were great. It offered the only system for controller-based text input I've seen that bettered the one in Beyond Good and Evil (which this offers something similar to). The touch-activated gyro aiming is a wonderful happy accident that I hope the next gen consoles copy. Then there is the ridiculous endless customisability, and the way you don't need to actually do any customisation, because the configs are shareable and someone else has already done all the work. I wonder if they could make a second version with a higher price and nicer build quality, to reflect the fact that it's never going to be a mass market proposition. Kind of like a PC equivalent to the Xbox Elite controller. Unfortunately though, I think Valve are never going to make non-VR controllers again. My PC is the size of a shoebox. I don't think there is much reason to get a massive case unless you have very specific requirements these days. You can get an ATX tower if you want, but there will be a lot of redundant unused space inside. The annoying thing is that cases wierdly seem to get more expensive as you get smaller! I guess because that's still what most people buy, even though the internals of a PC have got much smaller and simpler since the 90s when all these standards were put in place. I was under the impression that pretty much every non-nintendo console that has ever existed was sold, at least initially, at a loss. Reading about it at bit more, it seems this generation has been a bit of a break in tradition in that sense, with a slender profit being made per unit. It seems there is some debate over whether this is still the case with the Pro and the One X though. It would be brilliant if Nvidia were to suddenly become happy with making £10 off each card they sold. That would save me a lot of money.
  5. Again this is something I'm wondering if external GPUs will change, as the tech they rely on becomes commoditised and they come down in price. You could buy one GPU for the family, leave it sitting under the telly, and whoever wants to play just plugs in their laptop. This is assuming they're spoiled enough to have their own laptops of course! Or at least have access to one that they share. Probably depends on whether USB 4 will become a limiting factor. The current gen and next gen consoles both have the CPU and GPU on the same die, with very fast communication between them as a result, and the ability to address the same memory space instead of passing data back and forth. This doesn't seem to have been a limiting factor this generation, but the bandwidth available on next gen consoles will be increased further, and USB 4 tops out at 40Gbps. It really depends on how developers use this, and in turn how they approach PC ports. In terms of the value proposition, I think the difficult thing to overcome is always going to be fact that consoles are usually subsidised, or sold at cost. Obviously their intention is to make their money from you in the long run, but the initial purchase is obviously going to remain very influential when it comes to decision making, particularly when it comes to families as you say.
  6. Yes but you have to add them yourself, which I would say is probably impossible to do with just a controller. I've played games from the Origin store using Steam with big picture mode, I had to disable Origin's overlay for Steam's overlay to work, other than that no problems Xbox controllers are pretty much the de facto standard on PC. As long as the game has some sort of controller support, it will work flawlessly with an Xbone or 360 controller. Any XInput compliant controller will work though. Steam's excellent overlay also lets you easily use other types of controllers (e.g. PS4, Switch, or even Valve's discontinued but excellent Steam Controller) and remap things to your heart's content. Yes. Windows tries to be smart about not doing anything major if you're actually using the machine, but of course there is a certain baseline RAM usage even when it's not doing anything else. Don't leave a Chrome instance open with all your tabs, etc. As soon as you open Steam, it will check for updates. You can see what is downloading, what is queued, and pause / cancel / start downloads from big picture mode. The Steam Overlay (which you can open up using the central button) handles all this. Of course, that doesn't help you if all your mates have an Xbox.
  7. Definitely consoles. I wouldn't worry about this unless you just leave it on constantly though. Based on typical usage, we're probably talking a couple of pounds a year difference.
  8. Not really very reliable from what I understand. Even built in "detect settings" buttons in games can be a bit hit and miss. There isn't really any substitute for tweaking things yourself, which not everyone enjoys. As I said though, VRR should make this way less dicey, as the penalty for getting it wrong won't be nearly as severe.
  9. Requiring certain software to run a game is much less of a hurdle to jump than requiring certain hardware, though! For instance, recent titles like Sekiro run just fine on Linux through Steam's compatibility system. Hardly any performance penalty even. DRM throws a spanner in the works for other games, but that's much less of a barrier than having to reverse engineer hardware. Last gen emulators like Xenia and RPCS3 only just recently started getting decent, from what I understand.
  10. Is there a specific game you have in mind that would actually benefit from the specific amount and type of RAM you're insisting on? Bear in mind that the One X has a single pool of memory shared between the CPU and GPU.
  11. @Revival No-one would design a system that's as lopsided as the One X from scratch. I expect the build I linked to would provide a much better gaming experience overall. If you set out wanting the PC build to look bad, of course it's not hard to make it look bad! It's much rarer for console releases to have such serious issues on launch though. I think it's partly an issue of priorities - PC gaming is bigger than ever, but still not as big as console gaming. Ports happen years after, and publishers see them as a nice way to get extra cash off a relatively small investment, not as a central part of their strategy. You might pay full price for a game which is basically a beta that might get fixed (see RDR2) or might not (see Arkham Knight). I guess this also partly explains why refunds are so much easier to get on PC. It also works fine if you don't activate it at all.
  12. Yeah, I think this needs some qualification: I would say that it is generally true that the PC version has the potential to be the best. Just that this is only the case if there isn't some bug that doesn't play nice with your hardware, and if they haven't implemented DRM which takes up half the system resources. Or if you hardware is powerful enough to just brute force through any such issues. For instance the recently released version of Detroit: Beyond Human seems to run dreadfully on most PCs, massive CPU usage. Which is pretty unforgivable when the game runs fine on consoles which has 2012-era laptop CPUs. Who knows if this will actually get fixed or not. @Revival TF are you doing. This would be a much better starting point: https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/guide/DHTwrH/entry-level-amd-gaming-build
  13. I do think it's worth mentioning that the PC gaming landscape is much more consumer-friendly than consoles, which I assume is because of the competion between storefronts. We have a massive thread on here about difficulties people have had getting refunds from Sony, for instance. I'm not sure if they've improved their customer service since, but the main reason I got into PC gaming in the first place was because I bought a game for the wrong platform (PS Vita instead of PS3) and they just flat out refused to refund me. So possibly mainly out of spite, I've tried to minimise my investment in their platform.
  14. Consoles still provide a better gaming experience for the money. I couldn't really reccomend that someone spend less than £400 on a gaming PC build, and consoles are available for about half that. This isn't even factoring in an OS purchase. Of course, the upside is that you get a general purpose computer as part of the deal. Also you know that the games you buy will always be playable, even if you upgrade your hardware down the line. You effectively get free "remasters" (akin to The Last of Us, not Ratchet and Clank) when you do so. Another oft-stated benefit of consoles is that they provide a fixed target for developers, so you know you're getting the same experience as everyone else. With PC, you get to choose the experience you want - e.g. deciding if you want to prioritise framerate or visual quality. For instance I usually just want console-equivalent visual settings, but at 1080p and 60fps, but getting there but this usually involves menu diving and running benchmarks (or the actual game) to make sure I've set it up right. I suppose I could just buy really expensive hardware that's so powerful I knew it would make light work of whatever settings I picked. I think some of this could change in the coming years. USB 4 should make external GPUs a mainstream prospect - meaning if you already own a laptop with a decent enough CPU, you won't have to buy an entire separate computer to run games, but just a GPU. So the value proposition vs consoles should become much more even. VRR TVs will make it less of a big deal if you don't have your settings dialled in exactly, because an uneven 60fps won't look worse than a solid 30fps. To be fair, this tech stands to improve the console experience too. Surely console gaming is not terribly different these days in terms of updates, patches etc is it? Admittedly you do need a keyboard and mouse. Steam has a great "big picture" mode and I think there's a way to get that to just open on boot, but these days of course there are plenty of great titles that aren't on Steam! I see the lines blurring generally. In the next console generation, you're likely to need to choose between various "tiers" of hardware. If you buy the premium tier, you're likely to be presented with options about how you want to use that power, much like PC. It's a controlled set of choices, not the endless analysis paralysis that PC gaming can sometimes be, but still.
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