Ask Q23: Convering a PC into a Console-like Setup

I have been a hardcore PC gamer for 25 or so years? I converted to consoles 2 years ago because I would much rather sit back on a couch to play rather than upright at a desk.

So… I am sure this has been done (well) already… henceforth, therefore, thus I am asking for a setup to convert my upstairs TV room into a PC gaming room where I can use a console joystick (xbox) to control PC games.

I have a 55" Samsung 6500 (2011) model LCD, receiver (2011, HDMI) and surround sound.

I want to buy a win8 PC (when win8 is released) a kick butt gfx card, etc and my plan is to purchase games off Steam (since they are cheaper than the Xbox console versions)

and use a headset to talk to buds over the internets (wifi) and purchase console controller for playing certain games that favour the use of console games

  • can anyone out there attest to this setup?
  • can anyone provide advice/feedback?

essentially I want to sit on my couch after work and play PC games… this is the best setup I can think of


Works great, and if the steam TV interface ever materializes it will be even easier. The 360 Wireless controller is pretty much plug and play these days and has great range.

I use a video distribution system to keep everything out in the garage and the controller still reaches through a wall, refrigerator, and about 25 feet.

You don’t need a whiz bang computer either. My HTPC that I play on the TV just has an ATI 5870 but since you are limited to 1080p on a TV I can still max everything, even in Skyrim.

Word of caution: make sure you feel comfortable reading computer text on the TV at 1080P at couch distance before you buy anything new, okay? Please make sure of that.

Playing with the Windows DPI settings to enlarge text/icons across the OS will seriously fuck up some games, and since it requires a reboot to change that setting, it’s sort of a bitch to flip back and forth between “Read the titles of my games” and “Actually run my games” zoom settings.

Other than that ,Gendal’s got it. It’s a fucking blast.

Weird, never had an issue with games and cranking up the DPI. There may have been one, I think, that I had to go into its shortcut and check the “disable windows DPI settings” box or whatever. But that was an outlier.

Mmm, there were at least two that refused to start on my dad’s PC. Given the relatively small number of Steam games I installed over there over the various breaks and such that I’ve visited, they had to be some subset of Bejeweled 3, Plants vs. Zombies, Turba, Chime, Skyrim, Alpha Protocol, and Civilization V.

My figuring was that 2 out of the above is a sufficient quantity to make messing with DPI a concern. The idea of a console-like PC experience is easiness and simplicity. Once you have to start tinkering with PC-esque stuff to do your basic operations, it loses a lot of that livingroom appeal. That’s actually what killed the HTPC operation for him: getting the various DVR software suites to properly talk to his satellite box was hellish, and after a couple of weeks of fudging, he tossed the whole idea and moved the PC back to the bedroom.

I mean, most people in this world have a higher patience threshold than my father, don’t get me wrong. But no need to cause yourself pointless annoyance in the pursuit of leisure activities.

I guess I would need some time of xbox controller wireless receiver plugged into the back of my PC for it interact with the xbox wireless controller? advice?

also is Switchblade the best software out there? ( ) or is there something more new? (Switchblade is win XP compatible! old, no?)

I play pc games on my 50" plasma via win7 htpc. It’s quite nice. You get all the benefits of a PC: nicer graphics, option to use mouse/keyboard (I use a lap desk), fast loading times, cheaper games, no discs, full featured browser. I’m currently playing Skyrim, looks soooo good on my plasma.

I do wish I could make Steam chat text bigger.