One of my favorite things reading on the c-blogs is the various gaming setups. I believe it tells a lot about what type of gamer you are. Since I have not posted in a very long time (i.e. June!) and I motivating a friend of mine to write more, I thought it would be fun to show everyone what my gaming setup looks like. I get a ton of ideas on refining my setup from various posts, and I hope this gives a few of you ideas on your gaming setup. So with out further delay, here are various images on my setup:
Everyone’s setups are slightly different due to various issues (i.e. cost, size of room, electrical connections) and my unique circumstance is that I live with a non-gaming fiancée (who loves HGTV a little too much). Because of this, I have to ensure that my setup is clutter free and matches the rest of the room. Hence why there are no games lying around! Also this is the only TV in our condo so it needs to be functional for all of our needs. Here is the previous image with some labels to clarify everything.
The TV is a 32” LCD Vizio brand, which is nice for the price of the TV. In the future I would like to pick up a Samsung LCD that may be a little larger, but 30-40” is perfect for my viewing distance. I have installed a small backlight behind the TV for watching movies in the dark, which really helps out in reducing eye strain. The one thing I really wanted to do is make sure everything is connected to both the TV and the 5.1 Receiver. This way I can use Dolby Pro Logic decoders to get surround sound on some of my games (i.e. Wii, cube, and PS2 games). I got two 1980’s wood grain 3-channel side speakers, a subwoofer, a center channel and two rear satellites (see couch picture below). Those old speakers are still perfect after like 25+ years of use and I love how they look. I have really paid a lot of attention in get the audio setup working, and I am really proud of it. It really paid off when I got to play Twilight Princess and Okami in surround sound. I think you really do yourself a disservice when you skimp out on the audio aspects of gaming, and I would encourage everyone to try Okami in 5.1, it is simply amazing!
The gaming computer is hooked up to the TV and receiver as well so I can play various MAME arcade games with people via gamepads using a USB hub. Is also lets me play most of my PS1 games via emulation (more on that below). I have connected my PSP to the entertainment center too, since I did not picked up a PSP for “on the go gaming” but because of the great library they have coming out. Other notable things include that the NES, SNES, Cube, and PS2 are connected to an upconverting DVD recorder, which then outputs to the TV and receiver. This method actually removes a lot of pixel artifacts and color distortions people often complain about when they connect their older systems directly to their TVs. When I get some more time I am going to post a blog about this in detail (but who knows whenever that will be!). In a nutshell, the upconverting DVD player applies a software filter to the video signal when converting it to 480p, which actually removes a lot of the issues that people have experienced. I hear also VHS recorders can do this too if you don’t have a DVD recorder. Sadly I don’t have a 360 or a PS3 yet, and I am still debating which system I am going to pick up.
Above are two pictures of the seating arrangement of the room and various notable artworks. I can’t really put up all my video game posters, so instead I framed some of my favorite artwork. This actually works well with non-gaming friends who come over since most of them treat this as regular artwork (like paintings and photos) and are great conversation starters. Also in the couch picture is my gaming buddy, Brock Samson (of Venture Bros. fame). Some of his favorite games to watch me play are Twilight Princess and Okami, I think because he likes seeing and hearing the dog-like sounds!
Below are pictures of my most notable games for the various systems of mine:
(really proud of this collection)
(another collection I am very happy with)
(yes the greatest 2D fighting game of all time is there!)
Besides that I got a pretty extensive emulation selection for older systems (i.e. Dreamcast and older). I actually prefer to play all of my PS1 games via emulation instead due to better upscaling, sound compatiablity, and load times. What I really like is that since I got my gaming computer connected to the entertainment center, my playing experience fells authentic to the console (i.e. TV, game pad on couch). Besides the normal collection of NES, SNES, and Genesis collections, notable PS1, Saturn, and Dreamcast games I have recently imaged from friends:
(Really proud of this collection)
Castlevania Symphony of the Night
Dragon Quest VII
Final Fantasy Tactics
Final Fantasy VII
Lunar Silver Star Story Complete
Lunar 2 Eternal Blue Complete
Star Ocean – The Second Story
Tales of Destiny I
Tales of Destiny II
Well besides that I got a nice collection of older computer games (X-com series, Syndicate, various D&D games,…) but I am really proud of my console collection. In the future I plan on picking up a 360 or a PS3 as well as getting two more large 1980’s speaker sets (still stored at my parent’s place). I hope whoever reads this blog gets some inspiration to work on their gaming setup, because this setup is a product of the ideas I got from Destructoid. Also I am open for suggestions on future improvements and feel free to contact me for any questions on my setup or help on your own setup. Thanks for reading!