Poll: What’s your favorite system for gaming in the living room?

Desktop PCs are great for gaming. However, some of us would rather play in the living room, where we can sink into a couch, prop up our feet, and watch the action go down on a big-screen television. Modern gaming PCs work pretty well from the couch, too, but they’re far from the only option in the living room. Consoles also compete in that space, and mobile devices like tablets have become formidable gaming platforms in their own right.

Most folks probably have at least a couple of gaming machines that work on the couch. We’re curious about which one is your favorite. Do you prefer living-room gaming on a PC, one of the various consoles, or a mobile device? You can cast your vote below or in the middle column on the front page.

In our last poll, we asked about your most anticipated new technology releases. AMD’s Radeon R9 290X took the lion’s share of the vote with 39%, followed by SteamOS and associated machines with 23%. Bay Trail tablets, Haswell ultrabooks, Windows 8.1, the fifth-gen iPad, and the Surface and Surface Pro 2 all garnered single-digit percentages.

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    • ET3D
    • 6 years ago

    Tablet is my favourite gaming system, but since this talked specifically about big screen gaming I chose “last-gen console”. This encompasses both the 360 and Wii I have in my living room, and therefore wins 2:1 when compared to my PC. These consoles also win in that they are family entertainment, easily allowing people to enjoy themselves together, while the PC isn’t as good for that.

    • PetMiceRnice
    • 6 years ago

    Not surprised to see “last-gen console” in the lead as I type this. Just because the Xbox One and PS4 are out does not automatically mean that everyone will immediately dump their Xbox 360 and PS3. Heck, I was running an original Xbox as my only console right up until the spring of 2010 and I see myself sticking with the 360/PS3 until at least 2015 before I decide on something new.

    • elmopuddy
    • 6 years ago

    Still using a WII, kids love it, still new games to buy, but most time spent on Just Dance and Disney Infinity.

    • Krogoth
    • 6 years ago

    Muenster Cheese

    The living room is meant for board and card games involving interpersonal interactions.

    • internetsandman
    • 6 years ago

    I said remote streaming, if I could, but right now all I have is a desktop computer and monitor. I’d love to stream content to a TV so I could play Civ V or Borderlands 2 from my couch, possibly with a steam controller.

    If I can just have one powerful box stream everything to all the other screens in the house, that makes a lot more sense than getting each TV it’s own box

    • bthylafh
    • 6 years ago

    Still rocking an umodded (soon to change, see here: [url<]http://lifehacker.com/5830367/how-to-hack-your-wii-for-homebrew-in-five-minutes[/url<] ) Wii, which is used for Netflix and Mario Kart. Nearly all gaming is done on my desktop PC in a different room.

    • f0d
    • 6 years ago

    HTPC for me
    i recently turned it into a project and i am watercooling it – just waiting for my new dremel as i destroyed my old one last project

    it has all my old stuff in it (core 2 quad/6950) but i have done fine tuning on all the fans with speedfan and afterburner (10% fan speed on the 6950) so when playing movies its dead silent but when playing games it ramps up a little to keep things cool (still quiet – quieter than the x360)

    3x 2TB drives has all my dvd collection and bluray collection on it as well as all my music and hundreds of games from steam (and some not steam)
    i even get to play older console and arcade games through MAME and other console emulators

    media remote / x360 controller / logitech k400r [url<]http://www.logitech.com/en-au/product/wireless-touch-keyboard-k400r?crid=26[/url<] for controlling it makes it very easy to use on the couch

      • Deanjo
      • 6 years ago

      As someone that has one, I hate my K400 because of the stupid undersized right shift key. What idiot thought that was a good idea. Replaced it with tk820 which is a far better keyboard / touchpad.

        • f0d
        • 6 years ago

        wow that tk820 is a nice one
        admittedly that button (or the keyboard) has never been a problem for me as i dont use it for any serious typing – usually to just put my name in some games or keycodes, i dont think i have ever used that button actually

        but if i knew about that tk820 before the k400 i would have got it
        is it about the same size? if anything id like a smaller keyboard if possible not a bigger one

          • Deanjo
          • 6 years ago

          The TK820 is a bit larger keyboard (which makes it a bit better to put on the lap as well) but the feel is better and the spacing of the keys is better. Here is a good comparison pic:

          [url<]https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR0mwDtMVTJRovQWJ7XMEYUtbcCHtVyk6yzpoGJZfFxGQDd2KQI[/url<]

    • Skullzer
    • 6 years ago

    I would have loved to pick my HTPC…however I don’t have everything dialed in quite right. I’ve been using WMC for all my media, was able to add Steam to wmc for quick access but I’m still having issues opening and closing steam without using a portable keyboard. Until I can seamlessly use my HTPC for gaming using only my HTPC remote and an Xbox controller, I guess I have to continue gaming with my last gen console (Xbox 360).

    • davidbowser
    • 6 years ago

    I voted Last-gen console because the Wii and XBox 360 still get the “living room only” treatment from me.

    My kids, however, play iPod and 3DS games while sitting on the couch, or just about anywhere and those devices get the most play by far.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 6 years ago

    Currently I’m a PS3 guy. Best console games are naughty dog games.

    • UnfriendlyFire
    • 6 years ago

    Nintendo Gamecube.

    Though I stopped playing Mario Kart Doubledash ever since I got involved with SAE Baja. I find it more enjoyable driving an actual off-road racing vehicle on rough terrain and hoping not to break something, such as the gearbox (which happened during a race, of the gears lost all but one of its teeth).

    • burntham77
    • 6 years ago

    I still have a big wish list of Xbox 360 games that I want to play, which is neat for me since prices are low on most titles. I love PC gaming, but I also love hitting the couch for a few hours to play a console game. Lately, I have been playing through the Mass Effect series, and it’s been a blast.

    • PenGun
    • 6 years ago

    You left out “none” in the list. I play almost exclusively FPS games.
    The couch is death for FPS games, it is uncomfortable, offers little support and my practice of playing for many hours at a time makes it pretty well useless.

    I need a good chair, solid placing for my mouse and keys and my monitor filling my field of view. Then I get lost in the game.

    • DeadOfKnight
    • 6 years ago

    PS3. I want an HTPC though, or maybe a nVidia shield for streaming from my desktop.

    However, I expect we’ll eventually be able to access any screen in our home via wifi.

    Got my eye on Steam Machines too, but even if it does well I’m not going to adopt it early.

    • JosiahBradley
    • 6 years ago

    Rig is hooked up to my TV in the living room. That way I get to use my sound system for gaming too (old Hi-Fi system). I can always plug in my wired 360 controller for the games that support it, and I have a mini fold out table for keyboard and mouse. Even though 1080p is a little low resolution for PC gaming, it’s a decent experience on such a large screen. Now to upgrade my TV for one with 4:4:4 chroma sampling and less ghosting on blacks.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 6 years ago

    PS3 and an OG Xbox for me. Hoping the 2014 bonus is enough to get a nice TV (something nicer than the 32″ 720p Westinghouse we have right now) and a PS4 with MLB The Show.

    • TDIdriver
    • 6 years ago

    While I would prefer and currently use a PC for this purpose, the lack of split-screen multiplayer games is making me reconsider a console.

    • HunterZ
    • 6 years ago

    Softmodded Wii. My wife originally bought it for fitness games, but I’ve turned it into something more respectable. My almost-3-year-old loves to play Kirby together on it, which is cool. She also likes the N64 and IDE hotswap modded XBox that I have in the office.

    I’ve also experimented with games on the HTPC, but it’s an Intel Atom + NVIDIA ION box that runs XBMCBuntu so it’s a bit limited.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 6 years ago

      Those things are awesome old-school console emulation boxes. We have a soft-modded Wii attached to an old 27″ CRT TV that does perfect emulation of pretty much every console from the 16-bit generation or earlier, plus the N64. The Wii Classic Controller is perfect, and using just a plain old Wii-mote is great for NES controllers.

    • glacius555
    • 6 years ago

    Gouda. What else?

    • snook
    • 6 years ago

    other: my gaming PC is in my living room. I use it for “tv” and movies. I have a bedroom in my apartment and spend only time enough to get clothes out of it, etc.

    • brunascle
    • 6 years ago

    The only gaming I do in the living room is some casual arcade emulation via MAME4droid on a nexus 7. Mostly Tapper, as it’s one of only a small handful of arcade games that isn’t severely hampered by the touch screen in place of a joystick.

    • Voldenuit
    • 6 years ago

    “Other”. Favorite gaming device on the couch is my Playstation Vita. Technically, my desktop PC is also in the living room, but it is not couch-friendly.

    • crystall
    • 6 years ago

    I’ve still got a Dreamcast and a Saturn hooked up to my TV. Old school gaming FTW!

    • Meadows
    • 6 years ago

    “Other”. I do *not* game in the living room.

      • Milo Burke
      • 6 years ago

      Neither do I. I selected Home-theater PC because I do stream movies, TV shows, and watch YouTube on my TV with my laptop. I suppose there isn’t an obvious voting choice for us, is there…

      • SomeOtherGeek
      • 6 years ago

      Same here…

      • RickyTick
      • 6 years ago

      + 1 ^ this

      • Deanjo
      • 6 years ago

      Bachelor suite eh?

        • Krogoth
        • 6 years ago

        It is called having a social life.

          • anotherengineer
          • 6 years ago

          I don’t have one of those since I have a family.

            • Krogoth
            • 6 years ago

            The two items aren’t mutually exclusive, but it is certainly more difficult to have a social life while trying to raise a family (especially if the kids are young).

            • anotherengineer
            • 6 years ago

            2 & 5, and wife is shift-work so works 2 weekends a month, occasionally 3. Then there is dance class for my 5yr old, and my part-time teaching job on top of my full time job, so it’s fairly busy. Just wish my wife would let me cancel the cable and sell the TV.

      • DPete27
      • 6 years ago

      Same, it just works better for me to retire to my man-cave and play on my more powerful desktop when the wife wants to watch TLC and E! shows. But yes, I have an HTPC. Closest choice wins.

        • Bonusbartus
        • 6 years ago

        Exactly!
        Long live the Man-Cave!

    • Milo Burke
    • 6 years ago

    We’ve got five votes for “Other” so far. What does that mean for you five?

    Edit: Must be multiple accounts for Patrick Stewart, trying to up-vote using Cerebro in the living room.

      • Helmore
      • 6 years ago

      I voted “Other” for the simple reason that I haven’t played a game in the living room in years. I’ve only played games on my PC in the last couple of years and that’s in my bedroom.

      • Beelzebubba9
      • 6 years ago

      I do most of my living room gaming on a laptop, and that wasn’t one of the options. 🙂

      • xeridea
      • 6 years ago

      I would say GameCube. Nintendo needs to hurry up and get the next Zelda out.

      • travbrad
      • 6 years ago

      I don’t really play games in the living room. The only working consoles I own are NES and SNES, but I rarely use them because an emulator is easier. The newest console I bought was a PS2 but that died years ago.

      I could see myself using a HTPC + controller for a few games if I had a HTPC, but most of the games I play (mainly FPSs, strategy, and simulators) just don’t work well with a controller, so I can’t justify the cost of a HTPC. My bluray player can already stream videos directly from my PC over the network too (or sneakernet it with USB flash drives), so I already have that part of the “HTPC” covered.

      • yogibbear
      • 6 years ago

      The only gaming system hooked up in my living room is my OUYA with a bunch of SNES roms on it.

    • not@home
    • 6 years ago

    I had to put other because I do not have a TV. I use my computer for everything. I have a projector that I connect to my PC via a long HDMI cable, but I have not had it set up in over a year.

    • gmskking
    • 6 years ago

    I still play the older systems like SNES, PS2, 360. The new consoles give me no reason to buy them.

    • ronch
    • 6 years ago

    I voted Last-gen Console expecting to be part of the minority. To my surprise, it stands at 24% as of my vote.

    Personally my favorite game console is the Playstation [b<][u<]2[/u<][/b<]. Next to the PC, I think it has the most fun games. Forget about graphics -- games are all about having fun. I have an Xbox 360 as well but I have yet to finish more than one game on it. I finished more than ten games on the PS2.

      • homerdog
      • 6 years ago

      There are some really swell PS2 emulators available on PC that allow you to play those PS2 games with massively increased IQ, performance, and most importantly load times. You should give it a shot.

        • Deijya
        • 6 years ago

        I can’t find an emulator that supports my PS3’s ability to play PS2 games. I have an MGS4 edition PS3 btw.

        • Narishma
        • 6 years ago

        There’s really only one working PS2 emulator: PCSX2. And it only really works well for popular games.

        • ronch
        • 6 years ago

        Thanks, dude. Emulation is such a godsend. Although I still have my slim PS2 tucked away somewhere, it’s already almost 9 years old and it could just suddenly die anytime. I still play old NES, SNES, Genesis, and even DOS games (via DOSbox, of course) once in a while. Unfortunately I have yet to come across a decent PS2 emulator, then again, I haven’t looked around for a while.

          • Krogoth
          • 6 years ago

          There are a few decent PS2 emulators now, but they require a hefty system to get anywhere near PS2-like performance.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 6 years ago

            I don’t think I’d call a Core 2 Quad a hefty system nowadays. Any Sandy Bridge i3 or up is more than adequate for PS2 emulation. I’ve got a USB box that you hook a real Dual Shock 2 up to and my PC can play the games. The ones I really care about, though, I can play on my 250GB PS3, so it doesn’t see much use. My i5 3570K is way overkill; the CPU graphs don’t come close to maxing out.

      • NeelyCam
      • 6 years ago

      Still the only way to play GTA5.

      • travbrad
      • 6 years ago

      The PS4 and Xbone are still really new so not a lot of people have them yet, so it makes sense that so many people voted for last-gen consoles. Consoles tend to sell at a relatively steady pace over their lifetimes. As the prices go down more and more people buy them. We think of consoles as being “cheap” but $400-500 is a lot of money for some people, especially parents who buy a lot of these consoles for their kids.

      The Playstation 2 for example had “only” sold 10 million systems in North America after the first 1 1/2 years, but went on to sell over 50 million systems over it’s liftetime in North America.

    • Deanjo
    • 6 years ago

    WTF? No Atari 2600 choice?

      • blastdoor
      • 6 years ago

      I assume that’s what everyone who voted “last gen console” had in mind

        • Deanjo
        • 6 years ago

        Are you implying that the 2600 isn’t current anymore?

          • UnfriendlyFire
          • 6 years ago

          And I thought that one guy with a Windows 98SE gaming rig was frozen long enough before being thawed in late 2013…

    • Milo Burke
    • 6 years ago

    In other news, a recent poll on popular computer hardware site TechReport, haven for computer enthusiasts, shows that a staggering 90% of the globe prefer PC to consoles in their living rooms.

    =]

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