Firstly if you have a 3rd party wireless receiver - forget it, I have 2 and have had nothing but issues with these devices. Getting them to install by force loading the driver is not the only bug and the problems just multiply from there ranging from dropouts and constant connectivity issues.
Since I bought an official Wireless 360 controller for Windows I have had not one single issue though certain games like Dark Souls appeared not to work at all.
I purchased Deadly Premonition on Steam which had a patch added recently for controller support - this is the way the game should be played but after launching, just like Dark Souls I could not get my 360 controller working at all, other games like Tomb Raider were fine mind you.
After an extensive troubleshooting crusade which involved disabling things like my G13 and various other USB input devices I stumbled on a legacy controller setting within the Advanced controller properties for my device - which I must highlight, will only be seen if you have the controller turned on.
For Windows 7:
Turn your 360 controller on (important)
Navigate to Control PanelHardware and SoundDevices and Printers
Right click on Xbox 360 Wireless Controller and select Game controller properties.
Select Controller (xbox 360 Wireless Reciever for Win) and then click Advanced.
Now select your 360 controller as your Preferred device for use with older programs.
Games like Deadly Premonition and Dark Souls should now work without issue. This issue appears to arise when you have more than one input game controller. In my case my Logitech G13 was the default legacy device. Changing this fixed my problems and I hope this method works for you too.
Media Room Update: Denon 2313 and Steam Big Picture
Since my old Denon 790 decided to self combust (my fault), I decided it was time to finally finish our media room. The TV is the excellent Panasonic ST50 which I wall mounted a while ago. The extendable arms are a godsend when you are messing with wires and plugs highly worth it over the standard mounts.
From my Study I ran a 15 meter HDMI cable and a 15 meter USB cable which is connected to the TV. As you can see, poking through the wall here is a powered HDMI splitter/extender which was required to eliminate Sparkle caused by loss of HDMI signal strength:
Unboxing the Denon 2313.
Shiny new Denon 2313.
The new AUDYSSEY XT Calibration is even better than on the 790 model, I didn't have to tweak anything.
The Study acts as the information hub with network cables running all through the house, during the build stage I also ran a 15 meter HDMI cable and a 15 meter USB cable (with booster) specifically for PC connectivity. These keystone wall plates accept standard cables and can be interchanged simply by replacing the type of connection insert.
And the end result is a seamless Steam Big Picture console type experience for under $50 for the wall plates and cables:
Steam Engine: My Steam Box Tips.
The Gaming community has been in a frenzy due to this article from The Verge:
Exclusive: Valve said to be working on 'Steam Box' gaming console with partners, could announce at GDC.
Many HTPC users already have such a device though the benefits for something embedded are enormous - especially for those unwilling to invest in the process in creating such a device. I also think Steams Big Picture mode will be defining factor throughout all of this as the Steam Engine is possibly a Hardware Guideline which can be mass produced like most HTPC's or created like the typical PC.
My Idea of the Perfect Steam "Engine" Console
A Small formfactor Mini ITX / Micro ATX HTPC like box mass produced by any interested manufacturer in line with Valves specifications. Possible to have high end , middle and low end configurations and pricing.
Running something similar to Windows 8 Embedded. At around US$25 a license or lower this would make sense. Valve could brand this version of Windows whilst retaining all gaming requirements in regards to existing Windows compatibility and library.
You could also make your own box like any PC and have the option to buy a Valve Windows 8 embedded license or simply use Windows 7.
Steam gets the BigPicture update that allows any user to invoke this mode via their Steam client regardless.
That would be a perfect scenario, a small PC box for the lounge sounds great, throw XBMC on it and you have the ultimate HTPC gaming system with full modding support, and it will be a device that anyone could use (and abuse).
Binary Gamer is an original online game database where you can find, compare and review digitally distributed games all from the one website. It makes buying PC games online easy, especially when you are looking for a specific game with Steamworks functionality.
During the Beta Stage, Binary Gamer are adding more digital games networks to their database in order to offer greater search results and become the ultimate online content distribution directory.
PS3 Portal 2 Steam PSN Fail
I pre-ordered Portal 2 a month ago from the UK and it finally arrived last Friday.
Unfortunately due to PSN being brought to its knees by insecurity I am unable to use the supplied PC code and activate it. I had really no intention of playing it on the PS3 other than to check out steam on it and maybe let my son play it with me.
I bet valve is none too happy about the issue because as of now:
Steam is not working on the PS3.
Possible Steam Account information leaked for those that activated before PSN went belly up.
Valve previously praising the PS3 for being the definitive console version for 3 now having to eat their words.
Not much has been said (nothing really) about potential Steam account information being leaked but I guess now would be a good time to change your Steam password and to enable Steam Guard.
Valve Community Finally relaunched
When I learned Phillip of PlanetPhillip fame was closing down Valve Community I just couldn't resist the opportunity of keeping the site alive. If you are a fan of Valve and Steam in general, ValveCommunity was always an excellent source of websites and communities dedicated to the creators of Half Life, Portal and Left 4 Dead.
After a chat on PlanetPhillip in this post, I finally bring you the:
Valve Community Relaunch
Steam Vs Console thoughts.
As an Owner of a Gaming Specced PC, A RROD 360 I fixed off Ebay, A PS3 Slim, A Wii and a DS Lite the thing that sticks out the most noticeably for me in the gaming realm is Steam and Valve's philosophy in general, and not just because of the Digital Delivery concept. A few points to make:
Steam is becoming platform indifferent.
We currently have Mac and PC clients and there is talk about an upcoming Linux client – there is your PC console in a small box. I have my lower specced Windows based HTPC running Steam and it works nicely as a TV gaming machine.
Valve has created games where piracy of said game is pointless – TF2 anyone?
Constant updates, community derived input and additions have created possibly the most successful single evolving game. TF2 as it stands is nothing like it was on release and pirating it is pointless.
Steam embraces the indie and modding community.
Probably the biggest reason why PC gaming will and never should die. Highlighting gaming brilliance and bridging the gap between the gamer and developer. Counterstrike Source was a mod after all and in the console realm this would never be possible.
Steam games are also cheaper than any console. (Bar Activision localisation)
Valve, Steam, Sony and PSN thoughts
The recent E3 Valve and Sony Entertainment surprise has been an absolute gaming mind explosion. Who would have thought that the once anti Sony Cell architecture bashing PC gaming elemental, Valves very own Gabe Newell, would be announcing his new found love for the "now?" Open Playstation 3?
Hang on a minute, didn't Sony just remove the ability to install Linux onto its console due to the potential open hackability presented by an individual named Geohot?
Regardless of recent events, the clues into this current gaming evolution, have been manifesting themselves for quite some time. A few thoughts on the topic:
I can see some sort of PSN and Steam crossover deal happening. Sony and relative parties on Steam via the PC and Steam and relative parties via PSN. The PC still owns the MMORPG market which is simply THE most profitable gaming genre on the planet at this time - Sony obviously understands this. Gabe has shown his love for the MMORPG numerous times so it pretty much makes perfect sense for the grand master of Valve also.
The Mac entry just strikes me as bizarre as most Mac users are definitely not gamers and appears to be more a one finger salute directed towards Microsoft, well lets face it, they give their biggest platform not much gaming love due to their 360 interests. Windows Live is a mere stop gap in the scheme of gaming and not very good.
As Gabe recently said, the Mac as a so called open platform for gaming - This just strikes me as a generic and pointless marketing exercise due to the completely un-open nature of Apple hardware and the profit fueled philosophy behind it. Why would you pay double for hardware which is older and less powerful and completely restrictive than the alternative?
Gabe also points out the stability of the Apple Mac in recent Steam collected Data - Maybe because Mac users are playing the 8 revision of the games available.
What also irks me is the target crowd Valve now seems to be directing their attention at. The new TF2 startup screen reeks of pure consolification and Mac centric elements. The dumbed down nature Valve Software is playing with in this regard is completely lost of fans such as myself, I don't need cues on how to game with a simple FPS! Considering your existing market has absolutely no use for this - At all.
Unfortunately I doubt this sort of simplification process will ever let up with todays game developers, Valves emphasis on the excellent though also casual friendly Portal franchise, is evidence of this change, at a time when 90% of their fans were crying for the long awaited next chapter in the Half Life franchise.