Changing How I Play Games

Changing How I Play Games

For Christmas I was lucky enough to get a new monitor for my PC, a lovely 24-inch BenQ affair. One of the big bonuses about my monitor upgrade? It has an HDMI input, it may sound like a small thing, but it is changing how I actually play games, both on my PC and with my consoles.

A bit of background, my old 19-inch monitor was positioned at an angle on my desk. Why I had it like that, I don’t know, but it would lead me to often sitting at angle with my legs stretched to my side as I lent one side of my body on the desk to see the monitor. It was undeniably awkward, and if I was working like that in an office I would probably get a visit from the health and safety representative who would set things right. In addition, my PS3 was stuck upstairs in my bedroom with a TV sat atop a bookcase which stood a few feet above my bed. With no other place in the room to put the TV, I was let to play on the PS3 from my bed, naturally, due to my low viewing angle the colours on the TV would often appear very dark leading to some a poor gaming experience.

With the size of my new monitor, I had to position it facing square on, this has allowed me to sit facing the monitor face on. No more body contortion required. Further, with the HDMI port, I have brought my PS3 down to my monitor, and what a treat it is. I have always preferred playing games on my PC, one of the reasons being a proximity to the on-screen action, so when playing my consoles at a distance from the screen, I always have a feeling of disconnection from the game.

Being able to sit close to my screen and play my PS3 games gives me a much better feeling for the games I am playing, thought admittedly it does mean that some games are more obviously of a lower visual fidelity than I am used to with the PC. Case in point, Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction which is a 720p title, and from the moment I started to play, it was striking how poor the quality was. Of course, I then played Motorstorm Apocalypse in 1080p and was pleasantly surprised with what I saw, it still didn’t hold a candle to what my PC is capable of, but it was a much more enjoyable experience than playing in 720p.

The advantage of easily switching between input methods on my monitor to switch between the PC and PS3 is also a great bonus, no longer do I need to bring my netbook everywhere I go to keep track of emails, I can just switch input. Of course, the monitor doesn’t have any speakers, so I do find myself using a headset, missing out on my 5.1 set up while using the PS3 is a bit of a shame. I am also now able to use my OnLive microconsole if I so wish (the lack of built in WiFi in that machine has baffled me since I got it) as I am now able to connect it to my broadband directly. However, as I can use OnLive on my PC, I don’t see much need for it at present.

I have also changed how I play on my Xbox 360 in light of moving the PS3, rather than sitting on a large sofa at the back of the room to play, I have taken to moving an armchair closer to the TV when I want to play games in order to give me a similar experience to what I am now experiencing with the PS3. This has also had a similar boost to my enjoyment of playing on the 360, I feel a greater connection with the game I am playing and no longer struggle to read everything on the screen, even when I wear glasses.

One new monitor has drastically changed how I physically approach the playing of games, and will hopefully help with my posture. How do you play on your consoles or PCs?

11 thoughts on “Changing How I Play Games

  1. PC and PS3 connected to 27″ 1080 monitor (the colours are probably not great though). I have this ridiculous ¬£40 Argos desk which I can barely fit my legs under. The monitor wobbles every time I so much as scratch my nose.

    Whenever playing PS3, I roll the chair back a metre or so. Too far and it’s kind of hard to squint and see what’s going on!

  2. Hi Evo

    Glad you are enjoying your new monitor!

    Here’s what I did to get around my speaker/headphone issue I had (I can’t always and don’t always have my headphones on)

    Gaming headphones are plugged into the soundcard at the back of my PC. I have some cheap arsed 2.0 speakers plugged into the headphone jack on the monitor.

    Now, it’s not possible to have both playing at the same time, so I have the ‘Sound’ control from Control Panel short cutted on my desktop, so when I need to switch between the two sound outputs I can quickly open it up and change the default sound output option.

    Here it is:!/Mr_Swerve/status/137508377042485249/photo/1/large the headphones are sitting on the swing arm stand behind the monitor. All very tidy

    1. It rocks Bill :D

      I think you misunderstood me, or I explained it poorly. I want to use my 5.1 on my PS3, but don’t know of any easy way to do so :)

      1. You can split off the sound output in your PS3 settings so it doesn’t route through HDMI so you can output it to your 5.1 system (using a suitable cable)

        I don’t think this solves all your issues though, but it might if you can also route your PC sound through to your 5.1 system and your 5.1 system also has a headphone jack

        It’s hard to work out without knowing what inputs/outputs your 5.1 system has.

  3. I’ve got the same monitor Chris. What I have is a double male to male input jack, and that goes from the headphone slot of my monitor to the Line In on the sound card on my motherboard, then in Windows I have the Line In volume under ‘Playback Volume’ set to high. The only drawback is I have to have my PC on at the same time to hear my Xbox/Blu Ray player, but that suits me fine as I have my PC running most of the day anyway for emails etc.

    So if you set up your 5:1 with your PC with this method, you can have pretty much everything through it.

      1. Think it’s similar, but with mine you don’t have to change the default sound option. Only downside is if I’m watching Live TV on the Xbox and I switch back to PC during a commercial, I can’t hear if the commercial finishes.

  4. I did think about the male to male option to avoid switching the sound output, but that would have meant plugging my headphones into the cheap arsed 2.0 speakers, and I didn’t see the point when I spent all that cash on very good headphones and soundcard

  5. My current setup involves my desktop PC hooked up to a 32 inch TV in my library, and my laptop permanently plugged in in my lounge if I’m planning on watching TV whilst I’m playing. In theory, I can hook up the laptop to my 55 inch TV in the lounge, but most of the games I play on the laptop aren’t visual extravaganzas, so they don’t really need the big screen. XBOX and PS3 are plugged in to the big telly as well, but for the last year or so my gaming compass has been pointing due PC. I have the kit lying around for various dual-screen setups, but I’ve never got much benefit from such things.

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