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Subject: General Tech | November 3, 2015 - 07:30 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: onedrive, microsoft, cloud storage
They apparently want, at most, 1TB of it.
Last year, almost to the day, I wrote about Microsoft upgrading their 1TB OneDrive offer to unlimited. Granted, I was about a week late in my reporting of their announcement, but the November 2nd publish date is still amusing none-the-less. Regardless, they have reverted this decision. Unlimited plans will be reduced to 1TB, and free plans will be reduced from 15GB to 5GB. The 15GB “camera roll” bonus will also be removed. These changes will take effect in “early 2016”.
Officially, the change was prompted by users who stored whole movie collections and DVR recordings to the cloud, using up over 75TB of storage. Interestingly, they say that this is “14,000 times the average”. This means that “the average” user stores about 5.4GB of data on OneDrive. Granted, mean values are somewhat skewed by outliers, as the 75TB example suggests. If 14,000 users were on the service, of which only one person used it at all, but that one person put 75TB on it, then the average would be the same. It's a data point nonetheless, though.
After these changes occur, you will have about 12 months before Microsoft will force you to cull the storage that you are using. You just will not be able to add to it until then. Afterwards? Well, I'm not sure how Microsoft will know what is most important to delete. Probably best to do it yourself.
Subject: General Tech | November 3, 2015 - 07:01 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pc gaming
Games Done Quick, a charity that speedruns games on video for donations, has just published their list of submissions for their upcoming session. The PC is well represented with its exclusive titles and ports from other platforms. Awesome Games Done Quick 2016 will take place in early January, from the 3rd to the 10th, and raise money for the Prevent Cancer Foundation.
The list of “green” games is quite diverse, from Mirror's Edge to Alien Swarm, Shovel Knight, Super Meat Boy, Tony Hawk's Underground 2, and Half Life 2. The previous event, Summer Games Done Quick 2015, supported Doctors Without Borders and brought in $1,233,844.10 USD. The Winter events tend to do a little better, though. Maybe this one can cross $2 million?
If you're interested, check out the list.
Subject: General Tech | November 2, 2015 - 09:56 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: windows 10, microsoft
According to NetMarketShare, Windows 10 now makes up around 7.94% of all desktop PCs. For comparison, all versions of Mac OSX combined total about 8% on this survey. It is behind Windows 8.1 and Windows XP though, which sit at 10.68% and 11.68% respectively. Windows 7 is still the overwhelming majority at 55.71%.
The OS has a few controversies associated with it, though. Some are warranted, some are not, and still others lay between. The first issue is that the reservation application has been known to download Windows 10, even without permission to do so (and redownload the several-gigabyte file if removed). This isn't counted on the market share survey of course, since the OS isn't actually installed, but it can be annoying for users will small main drives or metered internet connections. For people with satellite broadband, this will probably ruin your whole month.
Microsoft has also just announced that Windows 10 will be pushed to Windows Update for Windows 7 and Windows 8.x at some point in 2016. It will not automatically install, you will need to accept the EULA, but it will automatically download. Intentionally.
There's also some (many) concerns about privacy and data collection policies. Part of it is because Microsoft is pushing a free operating system without a clear business model, which leaves a lot of room to speculate what the value actually is. Many of these concerns aren't really possible, if only because too many people would need to be involved for the lack of leaks, but some level of concern is useful. For instance, there has yet to be a sufficient explanation of what “AutoLogger-Diagtrack-Listener.etl” does, precisely and specifically. Does it pipe everything you do to every advertiser and government acronym in the world?
No. Of course not.
It is an area that Microsoft, and basically all of their competitors, should improve upon, though.
Subject: General Tech | November 2, 2015 - 08:39 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: treyarch, call of duty, Activision
It's always good when a major franchise decides to add (or re-add) mod support. This time it's Call of Duty. Treyarch, who developed just under half of the titles in the main series, will bring the feature to Call of Duty: Black Ops III for the PC. An unranked dedicated server will also be available, because ranking players using modded content is not exactly... fair... for any reasonable mod tool set, across all possible creations.
They intend to allow custom maps and game modes, which leaves a few open questions. Are custom assets a part of “custom maps and game modes”? What sort of scripting options will be available? Does this mean that users cannot add custom weapons (or even vehicles)? Then you can get into more specific questions, like HUD possibilities and such. Thankfully, we have enough options for “Total Conversion” mods these days, with Unreal, Crytek, Unity, and others letting just about anyone access top-tier tools, in a variety of languages and platforms.
Treyarch is planning to release a closed alpha of the mod tools in March.
Subject: General Tech | November 2, 2015 - 12:31 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: windows 10, microsoft, market share
Of the total PC market Windows holds just over 90%, Linux 1.57% and Mac around 8% which is about what it was a year ago. The release of Windows 10 has not created a surge in Microsoft users, nor has it caused the migration to Linux that so many claimed they would do after the EoL of Windows XP. Worse news for Microsoft is that there are more people using Windows 7 than there were 12 months ago, 55.71% compared to 53.05%. Even Windows 8 users are not shifting in any significant amount, 13.22% compared to 16.8% last year. Even with the dearth of new hardware to spur an upgrade cycle the numbers show that consumers have little to no interest in updating to Microsoft's newest platform. Perhaps the negative press surrounding some of the contentious features which Microsoft introduced in the new OS have harmed the upgrade cycle in addition to the lack of a driving reason to do a full system upgrade. For more on these interesting times in the PC market you can check the original story at The Inquirer.
"Things are almost stagnant elsewhere, which is a worry because it seems that, although Windows 10 is gaining ground, very slightly, it doesn't seem to be at the significant expense of anything else."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
Subject: General Tech | November 2, 2015 - 09:45 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Warner Brothers, Warner Bros Games, steam, refund, console port, batman arkham knight
In a move that does nothing to inspire confidence in the future of console ports to PC, Warner Bros. has issued a statement apologizing for the continuing issues with Batman: Arkham Knight, announcing the availability of full refunds for anyone who purchased the game on Steam through the end of this year.
The refund offer has no restrictions on play time, allowing those who purchased the game at any time to get their money back. This unprecedented move, coming after the removal of the PC game for sale on Steam and subsequent re-release last week, dooms the PC port of Batman: Arkham Knight. With the announcement Warner Bros. Games appears to be withdrawing support, as they previously had been promising fixes for the problems plaguing the game.
It remains to be seen if Warner has simply decided to cut their losses and rely on console sales for the latest entry in the Batman franchise. The question going forward will be whether Warner attempts to port the next installment to the PC at all after this disastrous release.
Subject: General Tech | October 30, 2015 - 07:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: input, MX780 RGB, G.Skill, ripjaws
Trying to keep branding straight in your mind is not an easy task, especially when companies mix old branding from competitors with their own current branding for a completely different type of product. Branding aside, the G.SKILL Ripjaws MX780 sports eight fully customizable buttons and the height, length and width of much of the mouse can be adjusted via screws as we first saw back in the Cyborg Rat 7 and other similar devices. The software from G.SKILL allows you to program the buttons, polling rate, DPI sensitivity and the seven different LEDs on the mouse. Check out how well the mouse performs at Overclockers Club.
"The main problem I found with this mouse is with using cloth mouse pads – lifting the mouse would cause it to stop working momentarily when sat back down as if it were recalibrating. Using a hard surface the mouse worked perfectly. I used a Ratpadz hard pad, an XTracGear Ripper cloth pad, and a Corsair Gaming Mouse Mat cloth pad. Only the hard plastic pad worked reliably when lifting the mouse and setting it down."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Razer BlackWidow Ultimate 2016 Edition @ Bjorn3d
- Cooler Master Xornet II @ Kitguru
- MSI ThunderStorm Review: Your Desk on Top of Desk @ Modders-Inc
- Logitech G920 Driving Force Racing Wheel @ Legion Hardware
- Cooler Master Quickfire Rapid-i Keyboard @ Benchmark Reviews
- Ozone Strike Pro Keyboard Review: Clarity of Purpose @ Modders-Inc
- Tesoro Excalibur Spectrum RGB Mechanical Keyboard Review @ OCC
- ThermalTake Poseidon Z Keyboard @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | October 30, 2015 - 01:25 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: chrome, Android, google
It has been long suspected that eventually Google would merge their two operating systems into one and we now have a rumoured date, 2017. An Android runtime for the Chrome OS already exists and almost any Android app can be modified to run on a Chrome powered device but we now have confirmation that the two will finally merge under the Android brand. The new OS will remain open sourced and programmers may be enticed into programming more applications as they would only need to make one application instead of needing to write two versions. Pop by The Inquirer for more speculation.
"ALPHABET SUBSIDIARY Google (still sounds weird, right?), is reportedly planning to merge Chrome OS and Android into a single platform."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
Subject: General Tech | October 30, 2015 - 12:05 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: KATAR, gaming mouse, DPI tuning, corsair, ambidextrous, 8000 DPI, 1000 Hz polling rate
Corsair has introduced their new Katar gaming mouse, designed with input from professional gamers and boasting an 8000 DPI optical sensor and 1000 Hz polling rate. And the Katar also features an ambidextrous design and a retail of just $39.99.
Not many gaming mice are geared towards both right and left-handed players, and Corsair’s compact Katar mouse is also very lightweight – which may not be everyone’s preference, but still a feature for longer sessions.
“Katar’s compact and ultra-lightweight 85g ambidextrous design makes it supremely comfortable to play with all day, whether you’re left or right-handed, and its rubber side grips mean gamers always have a firm hold, no matter how intense the action gets.”
The mouse also features “Pro Player Mode”, which Corsair explains “allows gamers to take advantage of pre-configured performance and tuning settings used by the world’s top players”. There are also 4 programmable buttons and on-the-fly DPI tuning on top of the 1000 Hz polling rate and 8000 DPI sensor, making this seem like a very capable little gaming mouse.
Here are the specifications from Corsair:
- Designed for winning: Created with the help of top pro-gaming teams around the world.
- Pro player mode: Get up to speed with preconfigured performance and tuning settings customized by the world’s top players.
- Compact, ultra-light weight design: At just 85 grams, it can help you react more quickly and reduce fatigue.
- 8,000 DPI optical sensor: Extreme accuracy for FPS and MOBA gaming.
- Zero lag interface: 1,000Hz polling rate pushes the limits of the USB protocol.
- Ambidextrous Shape: Optimized textured rubber sides grips for left and right handed players.
- Four programmable buttons: Take control with extensive customization -- anything from simple remaps to complex macros.
- On-the-fly DPI tuning: Instantly adapt your mouse speed to the situation for total command of any environment
- MSRP: $39.99
More information is available at Corsair’s product page, and the Katar will be available for purchase in November. Corsair has a pre-order page up here, and Newegg already has a product page up, with availability listed as November 16.
Subject: General Tech | October 29, 2015 - 09:36 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: microsoft, xbox, windows 10
As some have noticed, my recent “Just Delivered” post for the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller was not very... wireless. Simply put, the Elite does not come with a wireless adapter for Windows, because that would be useless for the console-only crowd, and its price was already high enough. While it was released on October 20th, the Xbox Canada website gave a server error for its product page until the 22nd.
It seemed like a bit of a rushed launch, to say the least.
Well, when I popped into EB Games on my walk today, I was surprised to find that they have stock. Yay. Installation was relatively simple. Open the box, stick it into an available USB port, wait for Windows 10 to recognize it, put batteries in your gamepad, turn the controller on, press both sync buttons, and wait until the Xbox logo (on the controller) turns a solid glow. From then on, you just need to turn the gamepad on and off by pressing and holding the Xbox logo, which takes about a count of fifteen to turn off.
A couple of additional notes. First, the adapter is said to support up to eight controllers. This is great, especially for indie developers who are interested in party games. Also, the ability to update controller firmware will be added via the “Xbox Accessories” app from Windows Store, which is the same one used to rebind gamepad inputs. That update will be available on November 12th (see "Headset audio issues through the controller"). Thanks to an anonymous comment for this info!
Also, this means that you pretty much should not get Xbox One accessories unless you're planning to run Windows 10.
Subject: General Tech | October 29, 2015 - 06:23 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: microsoft, windows 10
It's unclear which changes will make it into the general release November update, but Insiders are still getting features early. Microsoft has just published Build 10576, which contains a few interesting additions, but one that stands out. Microsoft Edge will be able to cast (unprotected) content to any Miracast and DLNA device on your network. This could be something like a WDTV Live or an Amazon Fire TV. It might even work with the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Xbox One, but that's just speculation from a quick Google search.
So basically, it works with YouTube, Facebook, Pandora, and other sources. It will not work with Netflix or Hulu, which use EME, though.
There are quite a few Known Issues with this build, though. Volume gets ducked when the system gets a notification, some devices will bluescreen if their display resolution is odd, a few codecs are still missing (although that last issue was around for a couple of builds).
If I were to guess, I would expect that these features are targeted for Threshold 2 in November. I doubt that we have seen anything scheduled for Redstone 1 yet, but I could be wrong.
Subject: General Tech | October 29, 2015 - 05:40 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: twitch.tv, twitch, bob ross
Today would have been Bob Ross's 73rd birthday. He passed a little over twenty years ago, in July 1995, after a few years of battling lymphoma. He was best known for his long-running TV series, The Joy of Painting, which aired on PBS (and elsewhere) for just over eleven years.
I mention this because Twitch broadened their horizons a bit, creating a category for users to broadcast creative works, called “Creative”, such as painting and pumpkin carving. This seems like a large pivot from playing games, although it isn't really. For a long time, Twitch allowed users to publish game development in their Game Development “game”. I, personally, have been doing this for a little under a year, creating a game called “Check It!” entirely on video stream (it's like Chess, but with designed levels that could be even based on a 64 x 64 or larger grid, have holes and corridors, etc.). The “Creative” channel is really a just a tip-toe away from that. It's also something that people have been doing on sites like LiveStream (and probably even Justin.TV back in the day) for a long time.
Kicking off the “Creative” group is a channel for Bob Ross. Twitch purchased all 403 episodes of The Joy of Painting, and are playing them in a marathon that started at 5pm ET. As of this publishing, they just started episode 2. I don't know what they will do when they run out, but we'll probably find out in a little over a week. Hopefully it will be on a loop or something.
Hopefully, now more people will know it's there.
Subject: General Tech | October 29, 2015 - 03:22 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, video, Samsung, 950 PRO, NVMe, asus, ROG Swift, pg279q, g-sync, nvidia, amd, steam, steam link, valve
PC Perspective Podcast #373 - 10/29/2015
Join us this week as we discuss the Samsung 950 Pro, ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q, Steam Link and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano, and Sebastian Peak
Program length: 1:25:18
Week in Review:
News item of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
Subject: General Tech | October 29, 2015 - 02:16 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: open source, arm, Cortex A9, debian, Novena
A pair of engineers in Singapore, Andrew "Bunny" Huang and Sean Cross, have developed a working laptop which was designed to be completely open sourced, with no proprietary drivers or software of any kind. The Novena laptop is powered by a Cortex A9 and an FPGA and runs Debian, even communications are handled by a software-defined radio board. This is more of a proof of concept than a marketable machine but the links at The Register will take you to the details on how you could build one yourself. Even the bezel is open source and modifiable, it is a laptop with an upgradable screen!
"This week, the pair developing the Novena open laptop have provided an update on their work. The idea is to develop a usable system that is completely open to customization and scrutiny – from the electronics to the firmware to the operating system to the applications."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Ex-Microsoft craft ale buffs rattle tankard for desktop brewery @ The Register
- Siri Won't Answer Some Questions If You're Not Subscribed To Apple Music @ Slashdot
- Microsoft fires Arrow, it's first official Android Launcher @ The Inquirer
Subject: General Tech | October 28, 2015 - 10:02 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: xbox one, xbox, pc gaming
The Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller launched yesterday, and mine arrived in the early afternoon by mail. It was not a review unit, I bought it at retail, but I intend to publish my thoughts on the device in the near future. I am currently thinking up tests and benchmarks to run it through. Be sure to look out for that. It will be told from the perspective of a PC gamer who does not own an Xbox One console, and who does not intend to get one.
I have been using it over the last two days, off and on, however. I must say, it is pretty solidly built from what I can tell. The thumb sticks rolls around with basically zero grinding sensation, and the D-Pad feels precise (although that will need to be actually tested). It does feel just a bit awkward for games that center on the D-Pad though, because my left thumb feels more natural somewhere between it, the left thumb stick, and the “view” (back) button. It is certainly better than a standard Xbox 360 gamepad for “16-bit” style games, but probably not a step-up from USB-based knock-off SNES controllers for enthusiasts who go for that sort of thing.
It's definitely the best offering that I've used for titles like Super Meat Boy, though... even as far back as Windows 98/XP era. Granted, I didn't dip too far into the niche companies.
So keep an eye out for our later review. It will probably be one of the few that exclusively focus on the PC, and was written by someone who could potentially see themselves buying one... because I did. A word of warning though -- the controller's firmware still cannot be updated without an Xbox One console (although the Xbox Accessories app to customize it is available for free in the Windows Store). I've reached out to Xbox PR asking for any update on that situation, and the answer will probably be a big part of the review.
Subject: General Tech | October 28, 2015 - 02:04 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Star Wars Battlefront, gaming
EA continues to tease us before the November 17th launch date of Star Wars Battlefront, now with a brand new launch trailer which you can watch below. Enjoy the trailer, fondly remember the open beta and put that credit card down! If you don't want Day 1 DLC, games that are only mostly ready for Primetime at launch and Deluxe Pre-order Editions that cost over $100 then don't pre-order games! If you don't encourage them by buying things sight unseen then the problem will go away.
"This is the News You Are Looking For."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Kooky Ooky: I Am Bread & Goat Simulator Team Up @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Spooky games, spooky deals @ GoG
- Become A Weapon: Deus Ex – Mankind Divided @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Total War: Warhammer Out April 28th, Bringing Chaos @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- No Man's Sky lands on PC and PS4 in June 2016 @ HEXUS
- Vaporware Dreams – Infinity: Battlescape On Kickstarter @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | October 28, 2015 - 01:00 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Star Wars, AT-AT, 3d printing
You will need some experience to build this AT-AT successfully as there are a total of 69 individual parts in 28 STL files and you will need to wire in a 9V battery, a 90 rpm motor, and a switch to make it walk. The finished design will stand about 12" tall and walk on flat surfaces, you will need to modify the design if you want sound effects or a lightsaber created hole in the bottom to insert explosives but the basic design is more than impressive. You can see the AT-AT in action at MAKE:Blog and the creator, Dan Olson, has posted the full project at Thingiverse if you want to build your very own.
"This is a walking model of an AT-AT from the Star Wars films. It is powered by a 9V battery, a 90 rpm motor, and a switch. Everything else is 3d printed using roughly 750 grams of filament."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Google is reportedly following in Apple's footsteps and making its own chips @ The Inquirer
- Oracle Java 'no longer the greatest risk' to US Windows PC users @ The Register
- Oracle ships first Sparc M7 systems with security in silicon @ The Inquirer
- Intel sprinkles Saffron on its chips, to satisfy its Big Data appetite @ The Register
- Template Management in LibreOffice 5 @ Linux.com
- Micron’s had its chips … and expects even more. Thanks Intel! @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | October 27, 2015 - 05:17 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: MakerBot Replicator, 3d printer
Some university boffins have been using their melons to modify a commercially available 3D printer to print out a variety of organs with collagens, alginates and fibrins. They modified a MakerBot Replicator with a custom syringe-based extruder, which they made on the MakerBot and have provided the STL files for anyone who wants to make one. Their process is much different than current organ printing techniques, instead of printing live cells on a existing scaffold they print the organs in a hydrogel support bath which keeps the cells alive and also acts as a support structure. They call the bath FRESH and it is of a consistency that allows the print head to move through the gel easily but holds the extruded cells firmly where they are printed, making it possible to print with much greater accuracy and flexibility that you would when printing freely suspended in the air. Their full article is available to those who are interested if you click through the link at The Inquirer.
"A RESEARCH TEAM FROM Carnegie Mellon University has hacked a commercial 3D printer to create models of hearts, arteries, bones and brains out of biological material."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Immersion Cooling Drives Server Power Densities To Insane New Heights @ Slashdot
- Ubuntu 15.10: Wily Werewolf – not too hairy, not too scary @ The Register
- Android Security: How's BlackBerry going to fix it? @ The Register
- Mac OS X applications are leading the PC @ The Inquirer vulnerability war
- ARM64 Vs ARM32 -- What's Different For Linux Programmers? @ Slashdot
- ASRock G10 Gaming Router @ Kitguru
- With Intel at Shoreditch Studios, London @ Kitguru
- Oracle and Intel team up to torment IBM @ The Inquirer
- Russian subs prowling near submarine cables: report @ The Register
- Tech ARP 2015 Mega Giveaway #8 : Dell Portable HDD!
Subject: General Tech | October 27, 2015 - 11:22 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Strafe RGB Silent, mechanical keyboard, keyswitches, keycaps, gaming keyboard, corsair, Cherry MX Silent, Cherry MX
Corsair has introduced the Strafe RGB Silent mechanical keyboard, which is the first keyboard to use the Cherry’s new MX Silent keyswitches.
“With a sophisticated noise dampening system integrated into each key, the Strafe RGB Silent offers all the legendary precision and feel of German-engineered Cherry MX mechanical key switches, but up to 30% quieter.”
Corsair says that “you simply won’t find a Cherry MX Silent keyswitch anywhere else”, so if the noise from mechanical key-switches bothers you (or those around you) this looks like a great alternative. So how is it silent? Corsair explains:
“Rather than using rubber O-rings or other quick-fix external fittings to reduce key noise, the Cherry MX Silent uses a patented fully-integrated noise reduction system built into every key, greatly reducing key bottoming-out and spring-back noise. The result is a keyswitch that’s up to 30% quieter, making Strafe RGB Silent the ideal choice for gamers that demand the tactile feel of a mechanical key, but prefer a quieter operation to not disturb their partner, kids or co-workers.”
The keyboard also features full RGB lighting powered by Corsair’s on-board controller, and offers “individual multi-color dynamic backlighting for nearly unlimited lighting customization, effects and personalization”. Lighting profiles can also be downloaded using Corsair’s RGB Share service.
Corsair lists these other features for the new keyboard as well:
- USB pass-through port allows the easy connection of a mouse, gaming headset or phone to a PC
- Full-length soft-touch wrist rest offers comfort for even the longest gaming sessions
- Gaming grade circuitry provides 100% anti-ghosting and full 104 key rollover ensuring every critical key press registers
- Two included sets of custom textured and contoured keycaps, vital keys offer enhanced grip and feel for FPS or MOBA games
The Strafe RGB Silent carries a 2-year warranty from Corsair and is available now with an MSRP of $159.99 from Corsair’s web store, or exclusively at Best Buy (in North America).
Subject: General Tech | October 26, 2015 - 12:08 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, valve, steam link, steam hardware, Steam Controller, steam, game streaming
Last week we posted a video that looked over the new Valve Steam Controller and I offered some feedback and input on the new hardware. It was interesting, to say the least, and took some getting used to, but in the end I was surprised by how easy some things were, and how different other things felt. It's an interesting experiment for $50 or so, but it definitely is not a product I recommend all of our readers invest in immediately.
But what about the Steam Link device? This second piece of the puzzle is a small unit that sits near your TV or entertainment system, with an HDMI output, USB inputs, integrated wireless connectivity and Ethernet support. The goal is to stream Steam games from your primary PC without the need for a second computer. Instead, much like the NVIDIA GameStream technology that we have seen for a couple years now, the Steam Link receives a video stream from the gaming PC, accepts input from a controller or keyboard/mouse, and loops it all back.
Specifications (from Valve website):
- 1080p resolution at 60 FPS
- Wired 100 Mbit/s Fast Ethernet and Wireless 802.11ac 2x2 (MIMO) networking abilities
- 3 USB 2.0 ports
- Bluetooth 4.0
- HDMI out
- Supports Steam Controller (sold separately,) Xbox One or 360 Wired Controller, Xbox 360 Wireless Controller for Windows, Logitech Wireless Gamepad F710, or keyboard and mouse
In the Box
- Steam Link
- Power cable and adapter
- HDMI 2.0 cable
- Ethernet cable
To get my full take on it, and to see me test out a handful of games using the Steam Link in our office, check out the video above. The short answer is that game streaming technology is still hit or miss: some titles work great others are an immediate turn off. Want to play a fast paced FPS game? You're going to hate it if you have any kind of PC gaming experience already. Maybe you need to catch up on those recent indie games released on the PC but want to sit on your couch? Steam Link will do the trick.
Again, the device is only $50, so it's not a significant investment for most people, and it might be worth trying if you have some time and are interested in checking out the technology out for yourself.