August 15, 2023
I thought I’d step over on the lighter side of smart home this week. I always enjoy posting about the entertainment side of smart homes so I’m going to share a little on gaming consoles. I wish I could say I was great at playing video games, but I can’t even claim mediocre. In a recent game of ‘Mario Kart’ with my grandson he turned to me when the game was over and said “Grandpa, you are really bad at this game.’ In my own defense it was the first time I played it. But yeah, I was pretty bad, but it was still fun.
Though smart home technology and console gaming are two distinct concepts, they can intersect and complement each other in many ways. Smart home refers to a residence equipped with various interconnected devices and systems that can be controlled remotely or automatically to enhance convenience, comfort, energy efficiency and security. Common components of a smart home include smart lighting, thermostats, security cameras, smart speakers and more. These devices are typically controlled through smartphone apps or voice assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Apple Homekit.
Console gaming involves playing video games on dedicated gaming consoles such as the PlayStation, Xbox or Nintendo Switch. These consoles are designed specifically for gaming and often offer higher processing power, better graphics and exclusive gaming titles compared to other devices like PCs or smartphones.
Smart home technology can enhance the gaming experience by providing various conveniences and optimizations. Obviously, internet connectivity is first and foremost important to the gaming experience. This can be accomplished through WiFi or an Ethernet connection. As consoles are frequently connected to big screen TVs and don’t move, an Ethernet connection is ideal due to the increase in speed and better stability over WiFi. But WiFi is improving and speeds are faster with WiFi 6.
If you do opt to connect your Xbox and PlayStation 5 to your TV, there are games that may target 120 frames per second with their performance modes. So, make sure you have a 120Hz TV if you want to make use of this. This may also be labeled ‘high frame rate’ mode.
When you have a 120Hz TV you’ll get perfect frame pacing and see every frame within the content. If you’re serious about cinematic content released in 24 frames per second, a 120Hz TV has a place in your home entertainment system, even if you never plan to play video games on it.
You can also integrate smart lighting systems with your gaming setup to create immersive lighting effects that match the ambiance of your game. For example, if you’re playing a racing game (like Mario Kart), the lights could flash and change colors to enhance the atmosphere.
Maintaining the right temperature while gaming is important for comfort. Smart thermostats can be adjusted remotely to ensure the room remains at an optimal temperature, allowing you to focus on your game without distractions.
Many smart home devices support voice control. This can be handy during gaming sessions, allowing you to adjust settings (like volume) or control devices without needing to pause your game or leave your gaming position.
Some smart TVs and gaming consoles can be integrated into your smart home ecosystem. This allows you to control your entertainment setup through a single interface, potentially simplifying your gaming and media consumption experiences. Automations can be put in place that close smart blinds to darken the room to enhance the video experience as you fire up your game.
Smart home security systems, including cameras and motion sensors, can help protect your gaming equipment and other valuables, giving you peace of mind when you’re away from home.
Smart home technology can help you manage energy consumption by automatically turning off non-essential devices when you start gaming or by adjusting energy settings based on your activity.
While the integration of smart home technology and console gaming can be beneficial, there are a few potential challenges:
- Ensuring that your gaming console and smart home devices are compatible and can communicate effectively might require some research and setup.
- While smart home technology can enhance convenience, it might also introduce distractions if notifications or alerts pop up during your gaming sessions. An example might be picture in picture on your TV if someone triggers your front door camera.
- Managing both smart home devices and gaming consoles might require additional technical knowledge and setup, which could be overwhelming for some users.
All things considered I doubt there’s any question that smart home technology can augment the console gaming experience. Very much like more traditional smart home technology, the integration between the two provides convenience, customization and automation. However, it’s important to also consider how these technologies are integrated to avoid distractions and maintain a seamless gaming environment.
I’m curious if you have integrated your gaming consoles into your smart home? What is your favorite console to play? How was the setup and integration with other technologies experience? How do you like it? What would you change about it? We’d love to hear your solutions with lighting, audio, automations and more.
Let Debbie and I know in the comments, DMs and emails as we really enjoy hearing from you. Thanks again to all those following Debbie and I through our home building journey. It’s great to hear your success stories and suggestions as we move through the process. And if you like the content I’m posting each week, don’t forget to ‘Like’ and ‘Follow.’
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