on Aug 25, 2008
Some people were asking about my particular console / gaming setup. Ok, two people asked. But I want to put this up so I can link back to it later.
I haven’t had this setup running since the HD crash a few weeks ago, but when things are working right my gaming environment is thus:
I do all my console gaming on the PC. I have a TV Tuner card, which lets me plug my Gamecube and PS2 into my PC, and run games in a resizeable window. (Or fullscreen.) This lets me get the screenshots I need for this website and for comics. It also lets me game from the comfort of my computer chair on my nice “big” monitor. I have direct access to hint guides and whatnot, if the need arises, and I can even put the walkthrough / map in a window right next to the game, which is really nice. This also lets me play adult games, like GTA, which would be inappropriate for the living room. (I have 3 kids.)
When I get my Xbox 360, (after the price drop) I’m going to have it next to my other consoles, about six inches from my router. So, I don’t have to worry about paying one hundred freaking dollars for the Xbox wireless adapter. (I’ve mentioned elsewhere that we own a Wii, but that’s in the living room, and so I can’t really use it for making comics / blogging unless I move it, which is just too much hassle.)
The downside is that the TV Tuner card I’m using is old and cheap. I only paid $10 or $15 for it. It doesn’t support HD anything. It’s basically a television with a mild degradation in color quality as a result of either the conversion from analog to digital, or from the cheapness of the card. This GTA IV comic was made by plugging my friend’s PS3 into the card. If you’ve seen the game in all its HD glory, you can probably see the reduction in color depth. The color banding on the red background is a result of the conversion, not JPGing.
In either case, it’s pretty much going to be unacceptable for using with my Xbox. The reduction in resolution makes it very hard to make comics, since I can’t zoom in on things without them looking like pixel soup. And GTA IV showed me that next-gen games are hard to read on a “television”.
So, I need a new TV Tuner card, which is a purchase I’m dreading. Mild rant follows:
TV Tuners have been around for years, but they still have that “new technology” feel to them, with price and quality fluctuating all over the place at random as if waiting for the shakeout that will stabilize everything. Maybe this is a result of the shift to HDTV, which may have thrown things into disarray and sent all the engineers and manufacturers back to square one. I’m not sure.
At any rate, that’s my setup. For the people saying, “Get a PS3” – my plan is to eventually get all 3 consoles, but the Xbox is cheaper and has a larger library, so getting it first makes the most sense.
So that’s my setup.
Shamus Young is an old-school OpenGL programmer, author, and composer. He runs this site and if anything is broken you should probably blame him.