Having been a long term PC gamer, it’s mostly been a solo affair. While multiplayer games do exist, they’ve largely focused on the online aspect of it. Games like MMOs such as World of Warcraft and FPSes like Overwatch come to mind. However, unlike console games, PC gaming often takes place in the bedroom or study room, little thought has been placed on bringing the PC into the living room and replacing the console totally. At least not until recently.
Starting off with Steam and Valve, the company had decided that they wanted a piece of the living room and created a UI for Steam that’s perfect for the living room. If you build it, they will come and the fans (or at least in our view) have arrived. Steam Boxes are essentially mini PCs that look part of your living room and come at really affordable prices due the to customisable aspect of PC building. Combine that with a large library of games, often at times cheaper than anywhere else, you’re not restricted by refreshing hardware in any way at all. Even if you’re not keen in supporting one of the biggest monopolies of PC gaming, there are other options to get games such as Green Man Gaming and Humble Bundle who have been building up a good library of games as well.
Staying true to the openness of the platform, Steam (as the central hub) is able to accommodate all present day controllers because using a keyboard and mouse to play games on the big screen isn’t the most ergonomic affair. With controllers accepted in the form of Xbox, PS4, third parties and even Steam’s very own Steam controller, the options are limitless and they all work together to serve the greater good – bringing entertainment into the living room.
Having been a child of the 80s and 90s, there’s a big difference when you’re playing games with friends online and in a local multiplayer setting. Seeing as to how boardgames are getting a resurgence, we’re not surprised that the need for human interactivity face to face is slowly making an emergence once again. Nothing can beat the feeling of being able to high five a team mate or being able to watch the reaction on your friend’s face when you commit an act of betrayal in game. While mic chat might work to a certain extent, there still is a barrier for interactivity. We like it old school and we suspect that many gamers feel the same way these days as well. If games were played purely online, we won’t be able to witness epic moments like the video and above and hear the crowd roar!
Inspired by this and finding that there is a lack of resources when it comes to PC gaming in the living room, we’re starting a Steam Box series that covers pretty much everything from getting you set up in the living room to finding games that are perfect for local multiplayer, just hit the banner below to explore everything that we’ve covered for PC gaming in the living room!
We’re open to suggestions so let us know if there’s an aspect that you think warrants exploration!