Steam's 'big picture' mode beta launching in early September

By on August 20, 2012, 11:00 AM

Steam’s Big Picture mode, a new full-screen option for the PC client aimed at bringing your game library to the living room, is set to launch in beta next month. Speaking on last Thursday’s episode of GameTrailers TV, Valve designer Greg Coomer said you'll be able to hop into the beta early September, and with the click of a button, see Steam reformatted for your TV and usable with a PC game controller, or a mouse and keyboard.

Coomer pointed out that some games are better at supporting controller input than others, so those will be the best experiences in the living room, but promised “everything will be there so you don't have to give up your favorite stuff once you walk from the den to the living room.”

Valve first teased Steam's big picture mode during the 2011 Game Developers Conference as part of their efforts to reach more even mainstream gaming audiences. Not many details were available at that point, which later sparked speculation that the company could be working on it own gaming hardware platform. Valve CEO and co-founder Gabe Newell was even quoted by Penny Arcade as saying: "Well, if we have to sell hardware we will." But marketing director Doug Lombardi later clarified that the company would not be making any hardware, or partnering with other hardware makers anytime soon.

Big picture mode will be available on Steam’s Windows and Mac clients. Valve is also expected to release a beta version of the Steam client for Linux fairly quickly and has already shown some progress.




User Comments: 8

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Cota Cota said:

"once you walk from the den to the living room"

And there goes my respect for Valve...

I personally had been having mixed feeling about Valve, they seem to be a company that does actually thinks but some times they just seem like potheads.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

I can see Steam being more of a multi-platform software option for the upcoming open source game consoles, instead of creating their own hardware.

An Apple TV app for Steam for example would kick ass.

RH00D RH00D said:

"once you walk from the den to the living room"

And there goes my respect for Valve...

I personally had been having mixed feeling about Valve, they seem to be a company that does actually thinks but some times they just seem like potheads.

What exactly about supporting a gaming experience on a big TV in the living room makes you lose respect for them? Valve has shown that they remain respectful to PC gamers because Valve has been developing for consoles for quite a while yet they still support the PC first and to the fullest. Not mention, this Big Picture mode thing they are talking about doesn't mean they are moving more towards consoles or whatever else. I really think it's too early to make judgements like that just yet.

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

What exactly is this exactly? A new set of menu's? The old 2011 announcement was vague. We've had the ability to connect a PC to a TV for years so I'm having a hard time picturing what this product is.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

What exactly is this exactly? A new set of menu's? The old 2011 announcement was vague. We've had the ability to connect a PC to a TV for years so I'm having a hard time picturing what this product is.

Not sure about all the details, but I'm expecting 1080p hats.

Guest said:

I will be so unimaginably happy if it can interface with Windows Media Center.

DanUK DanUK said:

What exactly is this exactly? A new set of menu's? The old 2011 announcement was vague. We've had the ability to connect a PC to a TV for years so I'm having a hard time picturing what this product is.

A bit of a punt at the console market share? Not sure really, don't see the harm in it though if it just making the experience better for existing steam users.

Guest said:

Hey, not sure if people understand what they are reading about this article but Steam is working on an "Interface" that will be more user friendly on a big screen for use with a controller. I think this is a great addition because I use Steam sometimes on my projected 92 inch screen and using a mouse and keyboard on a 92 inch screen is terrible especially since I'm on the couch, but once a game starts you can use your controller so I've dealt with it. I am very picky with PC controls and I try really hard to use only 360 controller unless it's a hardcore shooter then I use mouse and KB.(I played through Crysis 2 with the controller) I like having the full experience with my big screen and surround sound setup when playing games but using a wireless mouse can be annoying when you are trying to use only the controller , so I am highly anticipating this.

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