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If your use case for a Windows machine is just for the Games; A Xbox is a decent alternative.



It really isn't. You can't use Steam or GOG, you have to pay to play online, the hardware is much lower end than what you can buy for a desktop, they have advertising all over the place, everything has DRM, and it's still another box.


Not to mention playing with a controller is a very different experience. A lot of younger people are probably already familiar enough with them, but I'm a fossil and need my keyboard and mouse.


Consoles support keyboard + mouse but it depends on game support.


>> the hardware is much lower end than what you can buy for a desktop

Tbf, you can recently get the Xbox One X for £360 with few games included(including Forza 7 and RDR2!), and it will let you play those games trouble free in rock solid 30fps in 4K - I can absolutely guarantee that you cannot build a PC to match that within that money. That's not an anti-PC argument, just wanted to point out that for people who don't want to spend a lot of money it really is an excellent option.


I would like to differ w.r.t to hardware price front, concurring with my initial point; my Windows use-case was only casual Gaming & an upgrade to Xbox One X has been impressive for my use as a casual frugal gamer.

1. Freesync support over HDMI gave good stutter free gaming experience on a low end Ultrawide PC monitor. (I didn't have to switch between my workstation setup).

2. Hardware is power-efficient & silent; I'm extremely power/noise conscious & specifically select extremely low TDP CPU's for my work. I'm not sure if I would have been able to build a PC of such low power/silent feature-set & get same gaming experience albeit; for the value.

3. Value - A new windows machine for similar gaming experience actually costs more in my country (at-least was at the time of my purchase).

4. OS - I didn't have to deal with the gripes which I have with full-fledged Windows OS; a toned down version only for gaming such as the one on Xbox is turning out to be a good fit.

5. Apps - Youtube on Xbox plays 4K without dropping frames; where as my 7th gen intel core i5 U series CPU couldn't. Youtube on Xbox is actually has less distractions than one on the web (Like comments, Ads).


> 7th gen intel core i5 U series CPU couldn't

You probably have software issue with that PC. Video decoding should be done in hardware, and your i5 can decode 4k h264, h265, VC-1, and VP9: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Graphics_Technology#Capa...


SW - yes, I've tested across multiple OS's, browsers & I have high bandwidth-low latency network.

1.Chrome 70 on Linux doesn't drop frames for 1080p but 4K is unwatchable.

2.Windows 10 on same PC is better for 4K but drops some frames for 1080p as well.

3.Safari doesn't have VP9 codec; so there's no support for anything beyond 1080p.

So Youtube on Xbox is the best experience I've had w.r.t to quality of streaming. But it zooms by default on my ultrawide PC monitor.


> A new windows machine for similar gaming experience actually costs more in my country

I suppose it depends on your country but in the US it is significantly cheaper to build a gaming computer. The hardware in consoles is lower than most people realize.


AMD Ryzen 2400G, Linux, Firefox thus no hardware decoding, Youtube 4K@30 - 0 drops. CPU price is almost twice short of 7200U which certainly can't deliver.


Modding is also lacking on consoles (limited on some). Fantastic to see Valve etc doing this, I imagine it's the last thing keeping a fair few people on Windows (certainly for me if I can get a fair portion of Steam games on Linux that's it for the Windows partition). Old classics like Everquest I might need to look at GPU passthrough if VirtualBox supports that now).


Am I the only geezer that absolutely detests 'controllers'?

I prefer to play games with WASD and a mouse like God intended.


Racing games feel terrible with KB. Controllers make them much more enjoyable and immersive (though a wheel is still the best solution). Especially the trigger vibration/resistance on the Xbox One controller when playing Forza Horizon 4.. holy shit, it feels so satisfying to drive.


Have you played Dark Souls? While some crazy people have beaten it with such crippled input devices as DDR pads or guitar hero guitars, it's one of many classes of games that just play better with a controller.


The PC port of Dark Souls was really bad, with the KB+M controls being particularly stupid. Since the developer never felt like fixing it, I found that enough to swear off the developer and their games forever.

I'm sure the game would work fine with KB+M if the port developers were competent.


I think I tried the default KB+M controls, and while you could remap them with DSFix (or since it's a PC, whatever program), I just got a controller instead and everything was fine. You're free to reject a brilliant game over such a petty hurdle, I know someone who refused to play Skyrim because they were insulted by the console-ified UI and waited for someone to make a PC-friendly mod, but it is petty...

I really don't think you can make Dark Souls work well with any KB+M combo, at least without fundamentally changing the gameplay for the worse. Literally every input on an Xbox controller has a purpose (with the exception of left analog press, I think, in later games in the series though they made either that or the classic tap-certain-button-while-running to jump, and I don't recall if they backported that to the 'Remastered' version) and some purposes are contextual.

But maybe you know of another game I could look at that does it right with KB+M, which also meets these constraints: need to move camera freely, need to move 3rd person player freely at variable speeds from a sneak to a walk to a jog, need to toggle-lock enemies, need to 'activate' light action and heavy action for both left and right arms, sometimes at the same time (e.g. spear attack while shielding), need to switch between up to two held items for both left and right hands, need to switch between several spells/hexes/etc. that determines the selected one used when an arm holding the right item is activated, need to switch between several consumable items, need to have a use action to use the currently selected consumable, need a generic action for opening things / dialog selection / etc., need an action to toggle two-handing the right-hand weapon, need an action to trigger back-step, rolling, running fast, and jumping-while-running, need an action to open the game menu for item equipping and other menu things, need an action to open a list of taunts/gestures to use, oh and all of this needs to be done without pausing the game or having some sort of bullet time effect.

Listing it out, I might be able to make something work for myself (as in, I could maybe beat the game despite the controls, I'd give up any sneak attacks) but it'd be using my mouse that has several buttons on it (which incidentally cost about as much as a controller). Common three button mouse? More skeptical. And still I don't think it would be as comfortable for when actions such as holding shield, toggle lock, strike, strike, heavy strike, roll, parry, strike are called for, let alone what I can do if I need to quickly swap equipment for some situation.


> You're free to reject a brilliant game over such a petty hurdle

I'm more rejecting the developer. That port was outright insulting in how bad it was. That'd be forgivable, except that the developers didn't ever deign to fix it. That's an unacceptable level of disregard for your customers in my opinion.


Maybe you'll try out Sekiro when it comes out? Or at least read if the problems look similar from your perspective. There's always a question of how much blame to allocate where, putting it all at the developer's feet doesn't seem fair -- Sekiro differs from Dark Souls (and Demon Souls/Bloodborne) in that it's From Software + Activision as publisher, rather than From Software + Bandai Namco + Sony.

I also wonder if your viewpoint has any room for forgiveness? When I got a friend to try the Prepare to Die edition on steam, it worked without any issues (he used a controller though), he didn't even need to install DSFix, so clearly through patches they made the port acceptable. The 'Remastered' version also works without installing anything extra (except on Linux, you need to install a dll yourself) plus you get reliable 60 FPS. I don't know what Dark Souls 2 or DS3 looked like for PC gamers on launch day but when I got them I had no problems, but I don't know if they would pass your criteria or signal a sign of improvement.

What amazes me is why the Xbox 360 port was so bad with respect to framerate in one particular area. Even the Xbone X drops down to 15 in a small portion of that area (but at least is rock solid 30 pretty much everywhere else, unlike the 360 or the classic Xbone emulation).


> I also wonder if your viewpoint has any room for forgiveness?

Sure, when they patch the game themselves so it isn't broken. Since that hasn't happened and likely never will happen, I'll take my money elsewhere.


> That port was outright insulting in how bad it was.

Only in that the keyboard and mouse control was sub-par. I bought it a few years ago and as my first exposure to the series, I will say I was an instant convert. I have an Xbox Controller for Windows controller, which is what I ended up using, and that has a lot to do with it.

I know that for sure, because I got busy and stopped playing for a few months, and when I started back up I forgot to use the Xbox Controller (I don't use it for much, it's just for those games that it makes much more sense, especially emulated console games), and I was really frustrated and it took me good hour or so to realize it's because that's not how I played it before. The contrast is incredible.

> That's an unacceptable level of disregard for your customers in my opinion.

As opposed to those companies that don't bother to provide a port at all? I mean, I assume I would like Red Dead Redemption given what it's supposed to be (Grand Theft Auto as a western), but I've never played it, and haven't owned a console it's available for.

Plenty of horrible games are released with horrible control schemes. Dark Souls happens to be a masterful game whose default control scheme on PC is horrible unless you have a controller. That's slightly different, and it might actually be that after having developed it for the console, it would require significant differences in the content to allow for a good keyboard and mouse control scheme. I actually think that's completely possible, and in fact likely given how much attention went into everything in that game.

You've heard it from the others, so I'm just repeating it, but you really owe it to yourself to give it a chance with a good controller (Xbox controller for windows is amazing, I suspect a PS4 USB/bluetooth controller is just as good), especially if you tried it in the first place because you thought it was something you might like. Otherwise you're just that guy complaining that Quake is a crap game because it's too hard to play with your keyboard like you played Doom, when really the problem is that you're not playing it as it was meant to be played. I was that guy, for a little while at least. Don't be that guy. The only person you're punishing when you are is yourself.


> As opposed to those companies that don't bother to provide a port at all?

Yes. Because they didn't put a product on the market in exchange for money. If you are asking people to exchange money for your product, you should endeavor to produce a good product, and if you fuck it up you should at least try to fix it instead of just leaving your customers to rely on community fixes.

I get the impression that you don't understand just how bad the port was. It's not that KB+M was an inappropriate input method for the game (though that may well be true to an extent), it's that they fucked up how mouse input works.

"With a mouse, the angle of the turn is a function of the distance the mouse is moved. With an analog stick, the angle of the turn is a function of both time and stick displacement (with a relatively small maximum displacement value) . The problem when mapping a mouse to an analog stick should be be immediately apparent, then: when the mouse is moved very quickly, the maximum displacement value is immediately achieved but the duration of the input is much shorter, resulting, counterintuitively, in a shallower turn angle. " [0]

Additionally it had numerous graphical issues, including being locked to a low frame rate and a low internal resolution. To say it was a lazy port would be to give the porters too much credit. As far as I'm aware, the developer never lifted a finger to fix any of these issues and everyone relies on DSFix.

[0] http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~petska/dsmfix.html


> I get the impression that you don't understand just how bad the port was.

An interesting way to put it. I've already gone on record as playing it on PC. A lot. The port is the only thing I've played, and I found the mechanics worked quite well, as long as I used a controller.

Additionally it had numerous graphical issues, including being locked to a low frame rate and a low internal resolution.

I think you're nitpicking here. 30 FPS is generally considered acceptable, as long as it doesn't go below that. There's a big difference between a game that plays at an average of 30 FPS unlocked, which will undoubtedly drop much lower, and a game that plays at 30 FPS locked, which is capable of much more. The latter will be a much more stable experience. That said, since the dsfix stuff that unlocks the framerate ends up causing gameplay issues if you allow the framerate too high (e.g. you walk through ladders), it's both obvious why that happens, and why they locked it. The collision detection is based on it.

As for the internal resolution, that's exactly how it works on the Xbox 360 as well. That console is only capable of 720p at the most natively, so 1080i and 1080p are upscaled from the base resolution.

I get it, when they ported it, they didn't change a bunch of stuff to make it more PC specific. That's still a port though, and there's been plenty like it in the past. You can either accept that as long as your computer is power enough you get the exact same behavior as the console, or you can complain that it's a horrible port because they didn't change the game. It's obvious you chose the latter, that that's your right. I just think it's a shame because you focused small technical issues that all stem from the original targeted platforms, and decided it must therefore not be worthwhile.


> I think you're nitpicking here.

If it were the only issue it might be a nitpick, but it is just one of many issues screaming "we put forth the least effort possible to port this". In other words, the developers do not give a shit about the customer's experience on the PC. I mean seriously, mapping a mouse to an analog stick input like that? I'm a little shocked they didn't just hardcode the buttons to be XYAB while they were at it.

And the worst part, the most damning and unforgivable part, is that they never bothered to fix it themselves. I honestly don't know how people can defend this behavior. Be a fan of the game all you want, I hear it's pretty good, but this is bullshit and you know it.

> That's still a port though, and there's been plenty like it in the past.

Some people make crap software. This does not excuse making crap software.

Frankly, if they're going to do this bad a job porting a game, they should just not have bothered.


> I mean seriously, mapping a mouse to an analog stick input like that?

You know, I just loaded Dark Souls up and that's completely wrong. I'm not sure if it was a very poor initial version and got updated, but that's not how it functions on my system. The mouse rotates the camera exactly as you would expect. Just as Tomb raider and every other 3rd person PC game does. I'm not using any third party tools.

> And the worst part, the most damning and unforgivable part, is that they never bothered to fix it themselves.

Well, someone sure did. Maybe it came with the DLC pack for the first one. I got it as a bundle in the Prepare to Die edition which includes the DLC. Then again, I'm pretty sure the Prepare to Die edition was the only PC version.

> I hear it's pretty good, but this is bullshit and you know it.

Yeah, I sorta don't, because at this point I'm not sure how much you've even played the game, because you seem to be getting details that are core to your argument completely incorrect.


According to Steam, I did my best to give it a chance for just over an hour. This was with DSFix mind you. I purchased the game in 2013, but the changelog mentions nothing about having fixed any input and DSFix is still front and center on its PCGaming wiki page [0]. Honestly I'm having a hard time believing anything you say, since it seems to be backed up by liking the game enough to overlook the port's obvious flaws.

[0] https://pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Dark_Souls:_Prepare_to_Die_Edi...

> Yeah, I sorta don't

If they have indeed fixed it (despite all evidence to the contrary), then good for them and I can forgive them. But if they haven't, and you don't think that's bullshit, then your judgement is highly suspect.


There is a mod that fixes it. Dark Souls was the best game I played in the last 5 years, it's worth the hassle.


Last I tried that mode still had screwy mouse input, but even assuming that it corrected it completely I don't feel I should reward a developer for producing a product that the community had to fix for them.


Well it's up to you. I think in this case you lose waaay more than the developer does.


It depends on the game.

Batman Arkham Asylum is the game that made me appreciate controllers.

And it is one of the first games, if not the very first, that works seamlessly using keyboard + mouse, or controllers, of several kinds I guess.

If I play with the mouse + keyboard, I get hints for the actions with the key or mouse button required. Without changing any setting, or restarting the game, or anything that interrupts my game, if I just pick up the controller, all the hints are now controller related.

After that, I use the controller for Batman games.


I've switched to controllers when I can to avoid hand and shoulder pain. I've found that, ergonomics aside, which is better depends on the type of game you are playing. I'd agree that, mostly, mouse + keyboard is the superior input mechanism. But the 'WASD' bit fails when the controls require two analog inputs rather than 1 analog and one digital (driving games, flight sims).

I'm still looking for the 'best' controller though, as I don't think it exists yet. I don't know if you can combine a device like a mouse suitable for 'twitch' FPS games with controls suitable for a 6 degrees of freedom game like Descent, Elite or Star Citizen (which currently require two joysticks, pedals, and ideally voice control to play in 'advanced' mode).


> I prefer to play games with WASD and a mouse like God intended.

Yeah, that works for some subset of games. If you're doing is playing FPS games and some workable subset of side-scrollers, sure. But games designed for a specific control scheme generally play much better with that controller.

I've played my fair share of emulated NES/SNES games, and while workable on a keyboard, let's not kid ourselves and say it's just as good.

And I remember playing DOOM not with WASD (because I don't think anyone was at that point), but with the numeric control pad so I could easily strafe (when the default most people seemed to use were arrow keys), so it's not like WASD came out fully formed and obvious from the start.[1]

Control schemes change, and people usually end up adopting what works best for a specific genre (or specific game, if it's genre-bending enough).

Don't get me wrong, I abhor the idea of playing a FPS game with a controller as well... but not all games are FPS games.

1: https://www.pcgamer.com/how-wasd-became-the-standard-pc-cont...


No. Many classes of games are better with a keyboard (even those which don't heavily rely on mouse input, i.e. FPS/RTS/MOBA). In addition to a mouse's advantage, you can use all five fingers, instead of making the thumbs do almost all of the work.


Personally, I feel that platformer games work well on gamepads, while RTS and FPS games work well on keyboard and mouse. Fighting games work well on arcade sticks (trying to pull off a 360 or 720 motion on a keyboard is definitely not what God intended).


No there are a lot of us.


Depends on the game. Totally agree for FPS, but e.g. EA Skate was basically designed to be played with two sticks.


Not if you like games like "Baldur's Gate", as per parent comment.


A windows license is a lot cheaper than an XBox.




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