Posted in Gaming

Using the Nvidia Shield K-1 Tablet as a Console

Nvidia K-1 tablet displaying on my TV
Nvidia K-1 tablet displaying the FFIV Android App on my TV

 

I noted in my previous post about my Nvidia Shield K-1 tablet that I was waiting on a mini-HDMI cable to come in before I tested it with my TV. Well, the cable arrived yesterday and I had no problem at all hooking it all up to my TV.

I was surprised that the sound control on the tablet did directly effect the output to the TV. It’s not a bad thing, though as the tablet falls silent and the TV takes control of all sound once connected.

The tablet did keep prompting me to go into some sort of console mode whenever I connected. This seemed like an idea thing, given that means the tablet screen shut off and the display would only show on the TV. You could still choose mirror mode if you like.

However, every time I attempted this, the tablet would force me into the Shield gaming center (or whatever it was) and I couldn’t find a way back to my normal gaming apps. So, console mode was pretty useless to me. Mirror mode worked just fine.

Overall performance was pretty good. The display was awesome considering I was pushing an Android app through a tablet to power a 40 inch HD TV. Every now and then I’d get a little input lag – I couldn’t tell if this was the connection between the tablet and the TV or if it had something to do with the wireless controller. Or maybe with the app itself. It only happened during battles, but I did have battle speed jacked up to high on it (like a boss), so maybe turning that down would improve things a bit. I don’t need battles on super speed to enjoy the game.

Overall, I’m very pleased with the Shield’s performance. I just hope I can find more Android apps I want to play that have controller support. I certainly never thought I’d be using a tablet as a home game console!

Last note: I haven’t tried streaming from my PC to the Shield to the TV yet. Once I figure that out, I’ll give it a try.

Posted in Gaming, MMORPGs

Great Game Cleanup: Do You Hoard Games on Your PC?

deleteHaving huge hard drives is great. It’s been a while since I built the computer I have now, but seeing my hard drive says it has a 900-something GB capacity, it must be a 1TB drive. The only issue (for me) with all this space is that I just keep using it up, especially with hoarding games that I someday, in a blue moon, might find myself in the mood to play again. And then, there are those games that are just so large that I wince to think about uninstalling only to want to reinstall again sometime.

Syn gifted me a surprise 258GB SSD for Christmas this year. One thing my PC hasn’t had is an SSD drive, and she’s been raving about hers for years. So, I’m excited to give this drive a whirl, if nothing more but to get my OS running faster on a clean drive.

When she asked me how much space I had on my HD, I noted that of the 900-something GB, I only had about 200 GB free. She was aghast and asked what I could possibly be using all that space for.

I though for a moment and answered, “Games. Games. Games. Games. And more games.”

That’s when I kinda realized it was time to do a game cleanup. MMOs take a lot of space, and I had close to 10 of them installed on my machine.

The Log-In MMOs

Some MMOs are only there because though I don’t play regularly, I log in for daily rewards (GW2) or once a month to hold on to claimed land (Landmark) or make sure the game doesn’t pass my guild leadership off to someone else (GW1).

For a while, I was only logging in to EQII in fear of losing my character names before the server merge. I now log in to LOTRO for that reason, because with these staggered transfer-at-any-time things, someone could choose to merge into my server and swipe my name if I haven’t logged in in too long. I know… I know… I don’t play LOTRO much. But that doesn’t mean I want to lose character names I claimed back in beta!

So, I decided these games would go on my laptop. That way, I could pop on once a day or once a month to get the login credit, and those games wouldn’t be cluttering up my main computer’s HD.

This was easy enough… GW2 was already on my laptop. GW1 is funky and just requires you to copy-paste the GW folder to the new machine (a practice I’ve been doing for a decade now). Landmark was a beefy install, while EQII has that nice streaming install that is smart enough only to download what’s needed to boot up the game and stream the rest when you hit a zone. LOTRO took all night. It always did.

Saying Goodbye (For Now)

Then, there were the games I just had to up and swallow the idea that I’m just not going to play them anytime soon. A bunch of Steam games got cleared off for now – but those are usually easy to reinstall on whim and the save data remains. So I said goodbye to games like Don’t Starve, Kingdom, Skyrim and Civ V.

I kicked the Second Life Firestorm client to the curb since I probably won’t be messing about in SL until Halloween again. It’s a fast download if I ever need it.

MMO-wise, I finally came to terms that I haven’t logged into Neverwinter in two years… and my troop who were playing it along with me haven’t shown any interest in playing it for much longer. So out it went.

Trove. There was still a lot for me to explore in Trove and things I’d have enjoyed building in my club. I hope you don’t eventually lose all of that if you don’t log into it in a while. If so, that might have to go on my laptop, too. I enjoy piddling around in the game, but I just don’t see myself with time to dedicate to it. That also allowed me to get the Glyph crud off my machine.

I hesitated when it came to WildStar and ESO. They’re both still on my main machine, and as much as I’d like to explore them, again, I hear myself saying “one day, maybe.” They both have their fun quirks and all, but between single player games I want to try and FFXIV, I’m just not seeing it.

I also moved Diablo III off my machine because I haven’t played it in so long, but I’m wondering if I should have let it be. It didn’t take up that much space, and every now and then, I do enjoy a hack and slash romp. It sounds like their newest update is going to be interesting… and I still haven’t explored everything in the expansion yet.

Where’s That Space Going?

After cleaning that up, moving all the saved videos, archiving a lot of pictures and files from my art projects, I was able to clean up close to 150GB of space. That’s an improvement, but nowhere near what I was hoping to get. I thought these games took a lot more space than that!

What in the world could be taking up so much space on my HD? I’m going to have to go searching to figure it out. But I do know two games in particular that are quite space demanding.

FFXIV is one. In fact, a new announcement said that with upcoming patch 3.2, FFXIV is going to demand at least 30 GB of open HD space to install. Wow. What could be so large coming in that patch?

But the real culprit is ARK: Survival Evolve. Based on Steam properties, that sucker is taking up 40GB of HD space alone. What??? And yet, I’m loathe to delete it because I do enjoy a romp with dinos every now and then… and man, that long, long download to reinstall hurts.

Both Sims 3 and Sims 4 take a pretty large chunk of HD space… and that’s not including the massive amount of custom content and mods I own. And Sims 4 keeps getting bigger. I just can’t bring myself to uninstall Sims 3 yet.

What about you? Do you have any games just hanging out there because you might get around to them one day? Do you let games pile up on the HD or are you meticulous about cleaning them off when you’re done?