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.