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Steam - There's a sale on


choddo
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So I'm doing the whole "Big Picture Mode" thing. I've got my PC hooked up to my TV, it's set to boot straight into Big Picture and I control everything with my 360 pad.

It really isn't up to being anywhere near a console experience at the moment, I feel. Yeah, it's probably worth it because it's more powerful than my PS4 but things which suck include:

-No switching my PC on from the gamepad.

-Big Picture Mode is generally ugly and looks like it's rendered at the wrong resolution. The game thumbnails especially.

-It's prone to decide to start "syncing" a save and then you're sat there stuck and nothing you press on the gamepad will do anything.

-Screenshots work once with the pad and then after that you just bring up the steam menu. They'll work again if you go to manage screenshots, but again, after every screenshot it stops working until you go back into manage screenshots.

You need a wireless keyboard, basically, which means yet another (relatively large) bit of plastic tat knocking around my living room.

Still, Witcher 2 on the couch and when I get around to them, Witcher 3 and Batman AK in 60fps makes it worth it.

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-Screenshots work once with the pad and then after that you just bring up the steam menu. They'll work again if you go to manage screenshots, but again, after every screenshot it stops working until you go back into manage screenshots.

You're doing screenshots wrong. Don't try to press Home and RT at the same time, instead press and hold Home, then you're free to pull the trigger as often as you want to take as many screenshots as you want.

Also, and I hope this doesn't come across as patronising, but when you say it looks like it's rendered at the wrong resolution, have you checked to make sure it is actually rendering at the correct resolution?

The inability to switch on from the controller is a pain though.

I've only ever had that syncing issue if I've tried to start a game within seconds of waking the computer from sleep. I always guessed it was because it hadn't had a chance to connect to the Steam server yet. I always just wait 10 seconds after waking before attempting to start a game now.

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Screenshots work fine for me. I also just hold the Home button while I pull the trigger. I haven't run into that syncing issue either, but "works for me" and all that.

I set up a NUC over the weekend which acts as my streaming box now, as well as being a Plex server. It boots in less than ten seconds and works a treat! :)

Big Picture mode did default to some horrible low resolution though due to it only detecting a tiny amount of dedicated VRAM. I had to change this manually from Big Picture's display options, not the streaming settings. I have found Big Picture's performance has suffered with Intel's onboard graphics, but it's fine and they handle streaming just great.

As for the streaming settings themselves, make sure they're set correctly on both the host and the client. You want to use hardware encoding and decoding if possible, and set the resolution to what you want. I'd leave the quality set to Balanced.

There is an option in Big Picture mode to just display games with full controller support, and those should work with a pad straight off the bat. TW2 isn't one of them unfortunately, although I basically just used a keyboard to quicksave when I was streaming it.

Finally, while you can't turn your PC on with a pad you can launch Big Picture mode with it. As long as Steam is running, even in the background, you can launch Big Picture by holding the Home button for about 3 seconds. I leave my NUC on all thwellme and don't want it booting to Big Picture, so this is a rather handy feature.

I've found that streaming quality varies from game to game, and not always due to how demanding the game is. Slower paced games tend to fare better though, with Life Is Strange looking like it's running natively for instance. TW2 generally works well, although I get noticeable artifacting when in the more open areas. Dark Souls II looks fantastic.

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Ahem, shouldn't Summer Sale be nigh upon us now?

I just came in to ask exactly the same thing.

I don't know why I want to spend more money on more poxy games. I'm sat here reading about them while a list as big as my penis* sits there waiting to be played. I shouldn't want to add to my shame.

*arm. :(

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2015-04-22-Bargain-Bane.jpg

Mid to late June seems to be the usual time, but I wouldn't be surprised to find it start on any Thursday from now on.

I'd quite like it now, a few big games on the go so I'm not really in the mood to buy much, theory is I'd spend less...

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I streamed a bit of The Witcher 3 yesterday, just to see how well it worked. Unsurprisingly the quality suffered quite a bit using my regular settings, with lots of artifacting and stuff making for a pretty nasty picture. Turning everything down to Medium made things a lot prettier though, and I found that turning the resolution down to 900p allowed me to crank everything up to High with Hairworks off and it still looked good and ran well. I was quite impressed really, but I still wouldn't choose it over running it locally in the study in this case. Clearly I need to upgrade to some kind of ridiculous monster graphics card. ;)

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Thank Tyagi it's Friday!

I have some spare keys going:

Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War II

Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War: Game of the Year Edition

Company of Heroes: Complete Edition

Company of Heroes 2

PM only available to Steam forum regulars.

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It's all about the frames for me. I don't notice much difference in graphics from a PS4 to a PC with a 970 in it but I just can't play something that's not 60fps anymore. It's ridiculous snobbery or whatever you want to call it but it's 2015 and that's where I'm at. It was when I got a Wii U last year and thought, why are all these games so much better than the PS4 games? Aside from just being better games, I realised it was that they're all 60fps and as such just feel so much better. It really does make a huge gameplay difference. For me, a 60fps game feels like a videogame whereas at 30 it feels like an interactive movie/tv show, there's just less immediacy and you feel one level further removed. Probably talking bollocks for most people but there you go.

My Witcher 3 broke last night and wouldn't go above 34fps for a whole boss fight. It feels soooooooooo much worse.

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In an attempt to get my girlfriend into a sexy mood I started explaining frame rates to her and used the in game limiter to demonstrate the difference. I was so shocked by the comparison that I assumed it must be different somehow and that it's not usually that much worse but I'm not sure.

It is worse than e.g. a locked 30 fps on console if you just use the ingame limiter in Witcher 3 set to 30 fps. It will feel noticeably more smooth if you limit the framerate via Rivatuner instead (nvidia's adaptive vsync set to half refresh rate may also work). I read an article about it once, think it had something to do with ingame limiters giving inconsistent frametimes

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It is worse than e.g. a locked 30 fps on console if you just use the ingame limiter in Witcher 3 set to 30 fps. It will feel noticeably more smooth if you limit the framerate via Rivatuner instead (nvidia's adaptive vsync set to half refresh rate may also work). I read an article about it once, think it had something to do with ingame limiters giving inconsistent frametimes

You know what feels even smoother than using Rivatuner? Setting it to 60FPS :P

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In an attempt to get my girlfriend into a sexy mood I started explaining frame rates to her and used the in game limiter to demonstrate the difference. I was so shocked by the comparison that I assumed it must be different somehow and that it's not usually that much worse but I'm not sure.

Nah it is actually that much worse :D

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