How to play SNES games from Steam (with the Steam overlay)

In my quest to build the best console ever, I’ve decided to start with Steam as a base. Moving from Xbox to a custom built console means losing the overlay that lets me do things like chat with friends. Steam provides things like that, and I buy most of my games via Steam, so it makes sense to start there. And with Steam’s big picture mode, it will work perfectly with a controller.

Steam Big Picture Mode

The first challenge, then, was setting things up so I could launch my emulated games as easily as my modern games. This is how I did it. read more

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My quest to build the best console ever.

I’ve gone back and forth between being a console gamer and a PC gamer a few times in my life. Most recently, I loved my Xbox 360. When the Xbox One and Playstation 4 were announced, I had to decide which one I was going to buy. After a lot of consideration, I decided not to buy either of them. They were all too limited. I’m going to build my own console. One that does everything I want.

Here are some of the things I considered along the way.

1. Buying a console locks you into a particular company’s ecosystem.

I had been playing my Xbox 360 for a while – so I had a lot of content stuck in Microsoft’s ecosystem that couldn’t be moved anywhere else. Customized avatar, game purchases, friend list, achievements, etc. I thought that all of my stuff was on Xbox, so I should stick with Xbox. When I realized that, I got a little mad. A game is a game, right? But a game for the Xbox is a separate thing from games everywhere else. Somebody playing Portal 2 on the Xbox 360 can’t play with somebody playing it for PC, because Valve was not allowed to include Steam in the game. Sony let them do it, but not Microsoft. This kind of thing happens everywhere. If I buy a new console, my achievements, purchased games, and other things can’t come with me. The only company that seems to have any interest in breaking this model is Valve. I can buy a Steam Machine, and then buy a different one, and everything comes with me. I know it’s still locked into Steam, but at least that’s a step in the right direction. read more

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