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Valve Unveils Big Picture Mode, Now in Beta

By - Source: http://store.steampowered.com/bigpicture/ | B 25 comments

You'll finally be allowed to have Steam on your TV.

While there won't be a "Steam box" any time soon, you'll still be able to experience your Steam library on your TV with Steam's Big Picture Mode.

Valve released a trailer giving a few details of Big Picture Mode's beta.

Valve Steam Big Picture

At first glimpse, it seems that Steam's Big Picture Mode, which can be accessed with a simple click on an appropriately labeled transparent bubble, simplifies Steam's interface to be tile-like (think Xbox Live) to be more easily navigable with a controller.

Big Picture Mode will retain all of Steam's features, including the browser, which will feature tabbed browsing and cloud-saved favorites. Typing with Big Picture Mode has—thankfully—been simplified. Shunning the QWERTY layout, typing on Steam in Big Picture Mode involves the Daisywheel, where four letters are assigned to the four face buttons. Every letter is grouped into four and displayed in a wheel, and each grouping can be cycled between using the d-pad or analog sticks.

For more details, go to Steam's official page for Big Picture Mode.

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  • 1 Hide
    NuclearShadow , September 11, 2012 4:15 AM
    Do want!
  • 2 Hide
    billgatez , September 11, 2012 4:24 AM
    How long until consoles copy the keyboard layout.
  • 0 Hide
    chuckydb , September 11, 2012 4:35 AM
    Works nice...
    Althought, the web browser wasn't doing well on youtube...
    Better than nothing!!!!!
  • 1 Hide
    vittau , September 11, 2012 4:40 AM
    I've been using Xpadder, but I suppose this will work a lot better. :-)
  • 2 Hide
    blader15sk8 , September 11, 2012 4:50 AM
    Don't care. Bring on native Linux support already!
  • -4 Hide
    aftcomet , September 11, 2012 5:28 AM
    FFFFFFFFFFFIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLYYYYYYYYYYYYY

    Does this mean gaming will be easier now on HDTVs? That's the only thing I like about consoles tbh. The ease of using them with an HDTV. With an HPTC I always have to play with the DPI and whatnot.

  • -1 Hide
    Bloob , September 11, 2012 6:02 AM
    This is why Valve doesn't like Win8/RT, because Microsoft's store would be in direct competition in the living room ( Win8/RT works pretty well in HTPC ). I'd even say that the next XBox is going to use WinRT.
  • 8 Hide
    joytech22 , September 11, 2012 6:51 AM
    helltagTypical Valve and doing a half-assed job of Steam. If I wasn't juggling contracts and working on my next game I would create my vision of Steam, I was hoping Big Picture would implement some of my ideas so now that it's clear it's not I might try to clear time later this year.Jerry.


    Honestly, until you or someone else can provide a better service Steam will suffice.
    Improvement doesn't happen by running ones mouth, but by taking action.


    This is just one small step for Steam and their generally well-received services.
  • 1 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , September 11, 2012 7:04 AM
    Oh no more controller crap! hope the rest of the industry doesn't copy that part of the idea!
    Already have too many steam games that are unplayable because of being controller based even on the PC version
  • 2 Hide
    Flying Sq , September 11, 2012 7:04 AM
    I really don't see the big deal here, but I might have a bit of a nonstandard setup. My HDTV sits about 2 feet from my PC, and is always plugged in. If I want to use steam on it, I just kind of...turn it on. Why would I want to navigate my gaming PC, and hardcore gaming platform with a controller? The only thing I really see here is pandering.
  • -2 Hide
    LORD_ORION , September 11, 2012 7:10 AM
    You know what this needs? Wiimote compatability

    Also... how many PC games do you have that use a gamepad? :\
  • 5 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , September 11, 2012 7:17 AM
    LORD_ORIONYou know what this needs? Wiimote compatabilityAlso... how many PC games do you have that use a gamepad? :\

    Way too many. Console ports are all the rage with cash focused publishers!
  • 7 Hide
    back_by_demand , September 11, 2012 7:33 AM
    helltagTypical Valve and doing a half-assed job of Steam. I do interface design work for a living (almost a year working from home, woo!) and was underwhelmed by the big picture mode beta. I hoped from all the talk of wanting to simplify and comfort the pc user that they would have put in a decent effort, guess not..Gabe can cry all he wants about windows and Microsoft, but I think he should consider crying over his own company and it's lack of progress or innovation in regards to Steam. Either they are too big and relaxing at the top, or they're work model of doing whatever you want fails for boring features. Code monkey's are important for this, you need a shit-kicker to do low work for highly requested features like the Scheduler system for scheduled downloads! I mean it's not like that hasn't been requested for over a decade right? Who is honestly going to pick that task over adding their favourite new gameplay mechanic to Source?If I wasn't juggling contracts and working on my next game I would create my vision of Steam, I was hoping Big Picture would implement some of my ideas so now that it's clear it's not I might try to clear time later this year.Jerry.

    If you think you could do better you should step up, until then you just sound like a big crybaby
  • -4 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , September 11, 2012 8:56 AM
    helltagTypical Valve and doing a half-assed job of Steam. I do interface design work for a living (almost a year working from home, woo!) and was underwhelmed by the big picture mode beta. I hoped from all the talk of wanting to simplify and comfort the pc user that they would have put in a decent effort, guess not..Gabe can cry all he wants about windows and Microsoft, but I think he should consider crying over his own company and it's lack of progress or innovation in regards to Steam. Either they are too big and relaxing at the top, or they're work model of doing whatever you want fails for boring features. Code monkey's are important for this, you need a shit-kicker to do low work for highly requested features like the Scheduler system for scheduled downloads! I mean it's not like that hasn't been requested for over a decade right? Who is honestly going to pick that task over adding their favourite new gameplay mechanic to Source?If I wasn't juggling contracts and working on my next game I would create my vision of Steam, I was hoping Big Picture would implement some of my ideas so now that it's clear it's not I might try to clear time later this year.Jerry.


    Despite all the flag you're getting I have to agree with you. Valve's been exceptionally lazy with regards to the ui. The search feature in the library is useless, the search in the shop is marginally better and even the simplest of options is missing and has been for years. For native english speakers most of the steam service is viable, but if you're german or french or something you're even worse of.

    However. I am reasonably capable of english and sufficiently technically inclined to find workarounds for most of the steam issues except for the shop filters.
  • 5 Hide
    irh_1974 , September 11, 2012 10:04 AM
    neiroatopelccDespite all the flag you're getting I have to agree with you. Valve's been exceptionally lazy with regards to the ui. The search feature in the library is useless, the search in the shop is marginally better and even the simplest of options is missing and has been for years. For native english speakers most of the steam service is viable, but if you're german or french or something you're even worse of.However. I am reasonably capable of english and sufficiently technically inclined to find workarounds for most of the steam issues except for the shop filters.

    There is moaning about someone elses work, then there is saying "If I wasn't so busy I would do it myself", well with 50 million customers at stake he is just running his mouth off. He shouldn't say he can do a better job, he should do a better job, then he can lord it over us with his first billion dollars instead of being a bleeding heart
  • -2 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , September 11, 2012 10:26 AM
    irh_1974There is moaning about someone elses work, then there is saying "If I wasn't so busy I would do it myself", well with 50 million customers at stake he is just running his mouth off. He shouldn't say he can do a better job, he should do a better job, then he can lord it over us with his first billion dollars instead of being a bleeding heart

    I haven't got the slightest doubt that I could do a better job than whoever did the steam ui, so I'm confident so could that dude. I can't concentrate long enough to actually make it a working product though, but I definetly know ways to improve the functionality without adding complexity.
    I won't claim that I'll do it, cause frankly nobody will be allowed to. Valve doesn't allow for third party clients and they don't want to read feedback on their own forums.
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , September 11, 2012 11:00 AM
    Problem here is you can't please everyone, every time you add a new feature some dingbat will jabber on about Steam becoming even more "bloated" and slowing down his crappy Pentium 4 PC, like the world hasn't upgraded it's machines in the last 10 years
    ...
    The march of progress is never fast, for anyone, even for Microsoft or Apple it seems like even the smallest improvements happen over long time periods, this feature is good, but not epoch making by any means, but any progress is good as it gives us all a chance to absorb it and get used to it before the next minor improvement is made but also if the feature is not received well it can be improved or moved accordingly
    ...
    I already use Steam on the TV and sitting 10 feet away as opposed to 2 feet away is a huge difference
  • -1 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , September 11, 2012 11:06 AM
    sure you can't please everyone, but why would it be a problem if one could search for genre in your library search or filter your shop search to only display products in your favored language, or an option to not suspend downloads during gameplay, or a feature to throttle the download speed if it exceeeds a certain bandwidth, or maybe an option to download serveral titles at once, instead of having to go thru the space allocation bit one title at a time etc.
    I'm not nessecarily talking radical design changes.
    A radical change would be to have a library of 3rd party libraries and runtimes so it wouldn't try to install directx and vc2008 every time you install a new product but only for the first one using a specific library. I have 600+ titles. Imagine how many dxsetup's and .net 3.5 installations I might have in my common folder.
  • 0 Hide
    jaquith , September 11, 2012 11:42 AM
    I love steam, but I fail to see the 'big' difference other than a browser. You still need your PC and you can already use Steam on multiple PC's. We find it easier to use an SSD and move it around, maybe 'this' makes copying data easier, but there's little detail.

    More info:
    setup - http://store.steampowered.com/bigpicture/setup
    site - http://store.steampowered.com/bigpicture/
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