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360 Controller and Windows 8.1

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hey all. I have been strictly a console gamer since they were invented. With the current pricing of the next gen consoles I am seriously considering building a HTPC instead. I have a couple of questions for you all. I cannot play games with a keyboard and mouse in a dark theater. I am a gaming pad guy period. Is anyone using an xbox 360 controller on their HTPC? Is the functionality as good as it is on xbox? I have seen mixed reviews about issues with the controllers compatibility with windows 8.1. I guess I could go with Windows 7 but if I am going to build a new PC I kind of want to use the new OS. Thanks in advance for your input.
post #2 of 11
I've got windows 8.1 on my HTPC in the basement (read: pitch black home theater) and it works fantastic. I have the wireless dongle which may or not be official (bought off ebay). I am a console gamer that said screw it to the next generation consoles (for the time being hehe) and there's only been one game that's not really working with the controller (Dragon Age: Origins), but it needs lots of keybinds for spells and abilities anyways so you wouldn't want to use a controller. The only hiccup I've ever experienced is when I've pressed the "On" button for the controller at the exact time of booting up the game on Steam. That has caused a game crash. So just wait either until the game has loaded or turn it on before it loads up and you should be gtg. For what it's worth, I just purchased a backlit keyboard with multiple light intensities and colours, so I will finally be able to play Guild Wars 2 with the lights completely off. so if darkness is what's putting you off keyboards, that may be your answer.

A lot of people seem to hate on the new OS, but I like it. If you get an SSD the boot up time is ridiculously fast, and if you install "Classic Shell" which is a free program, you end up with essentially Windows 7 anyway, but with the benefit of a higher level Direct X (11.1/11.2) which may or may not give you better graphics/performance. Just my 0.02.

Oh, and the first time you experience a holiday sale on Steam, you will cry tears of joy. The deals are ridiculous - consoles just can't compete with those deals. So even if you spend more up front for the system, your games will be less expensive and they will look better than even the next gen consoles.

Plus, you will get the added benefit of nerd programmers that, bless their hearts, make great games look and run even better than intended. Graphics suck? No problem, get the texture mod. Cars handle like crap? Don't fret, download the tire and physics mod.

Do your build right, and you will be paying less in the long run anyway. I hope I've convinced you somewhat. This coming from a guy who has had, let's see, The Odyssey 2 (Magnavox), Atari 2600, NES, Super NES, Genesis, N64, PS1, PS2, PS3, XBOX, and XBOX 360.

Good luck and do the right thing, build a HTPC. smile.gif
Edited by blastermaster - 2/9/14 at 8:04pm
post #3 of 11
I bought an official adapter and use a xbox 360 controller quite well with one to two players except for the occasional hiccup with windows 8.1 , I started as a pc gamer then moved onto consoles and have been slowly coming back to pc
I still have a console 360 and a ps3 but now with all the constant pc game sales they will slowly be phased out and I have no intention of buying either next gen console.

The only problem they don't solve is having enough time to play!
post #4 of 11
Quote:
I am a gaming pad guy period. Is anyone using an xbox 360 controller on their HTPC? Is the functionality as good as it is on xbox?

Yes and no. In many games, you get great input automatically, and for the ones using Xinput, any button icons even show up as the correct looking ones. For older or indie games, when games support the controller it's generally using DirectInput. Generally this usually works almost as well, but isn't quite as seamless. You'll sometimes find games that have jerky sensitivity this way, for example. Still very much playable, but it's not always as perfect. And then of course there are a ton of games that don't support controllers at all. Sometimes you can use a program to map this out with a third-party program, but it's going to be much more work than any console.

With Windows 8 you also get the benefit of a handful of Windows Store games that support the 360 controller natively as well. A notable one is Dragon's Lair, which the version on Steam doesn't support a controller at all, and there is a small number of Microsoft exclusives that are worth it (Project Spark and Halo Spartan Assault are probably the only two worth mentioning).

As for the OS itself (as well as media apps such as Netflix if those matter to you), there is zero support for the controller built in. You need third-party software to handle that if you choose to. Either that, or just boot directly into Steam Big Picture mode and then you don't ever see the Windows interface anyway.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies! This has resolved A LOT of my resistance to go to PC. I have to be able to play with a controller. By the time you by a Xbox one, a second controller and a couple of games. It just seems like it makes more sense to me to build a mid level PC. Plus Xbox live is 60 bucks a year on top of that. I am going to miss my friends but I am going the PC route. Thanks all.
post #6 of 11
I game on my HTPC on my 50" plasma (new 60"on the way smile.gif ) and have been doing it for years. PC connected to my TV via a 35' hdmi cable. PC sits in entirely different room. BT mouse and KB for when I do need it, and 360 controller with the official xbox wireless adapter. Windows 8.1. There is certainly an adjustment to Windows 8.1, but you can bypass most of the crap. I game in comfort from my couch just like any console but I pay a LOT less for my games that look a LOT better in the PC.

The days of squatting at a desk and a small monitor to play games on a PC were gone years ago. I've even used my setup to work from home when sick. That being said, a console has its purpose as well. Just easier to use for the family and friends. But for my own gaming, PC is my preference.
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by clskinsfan View Post

Thanks for the replies! This has resolved A LOT of my resistance to go to PC. I have to be able to play with a controller. By the time you by a Xbox one, a second controller and a couple of games. It just seems like it makes more sense to me to build a mid level PC. Plus Xbox live is 60 bucks a year on top of that. I am going to miss my friends but I am going the PC route. Thanks all.

There's a Q&A for ya in my sig. wink.gif
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well. I am responding on my brand new HTPC! So Far so good. I built it last night and have spent basically all morning getting the software set up. A few minor driver issues but nothing I couldnt figure out myself. Windows 8 is gonna take some getting used to. But I am looking forward to learning the new OS. It is so cool typing a reply on a 106" screen smile.gif I played a little bit of Assassins Creed earlier and the game pad seems to work great on that game. I was able to run it with full graphics. We shall see how it performs on BF4 in a little while. For those of you contemplating building a HTPC. DO IT! You wont regret having it as a piece of your home theater. I spent just under $700 after rebates. I saw an add yesterday for XBox One. It was the console, Kinect, 2 controllers and 1 year of Xbox live for $670. For around 20 bucks more I now have a full pc in my theater. I think I made the right choice. Now to get everything stable and then its time for overclocking. Here's my rig:

FX6300
ASrock 970 extreme4
EVGA GTX760 Superclocked
Samsung 3TB HDD- Great deal at Micro Center right now!
ThermalTake 600 watt power supply
Cooler Master CPU cooler
$12 DVD drive....I am keeping my BluRay player for movies.
Cheap DiabloTek case

Thanks for the help all!
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by clskinsfan View Post

Windows 8 is gonna take some getting used to.

Congrats on your new build! cool.gif

re: Windows 8 - if you decide you prefer Windows 7 better, I highly recommend trying Stardock's Start 8 with Windows 8. Well worth $5 to get the best of Win8's new tech while retaining Win7's look and feel.
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaverJ View Post

Congrats on your new build! cool.gif

re: Windows 8 - if you decide you prefer Windows 7 better, I highly recommend trying Stardock's Start 8 with Windows 8. Well worth $5 to get the best of Win8's new tech while retaining Win7's look and feel.

Great advice Daver. For the life of me, I don't know how or why Microsoft failed to make this an optional feature on Windows 8 or 8.1. Just blind, boneheaded arrogance and self destructive stubbornness IMO.
post #11 of 11
Grats on the new rig! I just bought the steelseries backlit keyboard and I'm loving it. Future Shop had a great sale on it as I think they are being discontinued, but I love the angled section on the left to reduce the likelihood of tendonitis for MMO gaming:

http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/product/steelseries-steelseries-merc-stealth-gaming-keyboard-marc-stealth/10133039.aspx?path=9247512623d49946149dfa8d6c35b4f7en02

It's great to have in a pitch black man cave.

Edit: I also am a distance away from my computer, but I bought a usb extender and it works great.

I got the EVGA gtx 760 as well and it chews up and spits out everything I throw at it so far. Best bang for your buck Nvidia card. You will now be playing with a setup that's more powerful than either of the next gen consoles. Have fun!
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