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Valve Announces ''Big Picture'' Mode

Monday Valve Software said that it will be adding a "Big Picture" mode to Steam at a later date. This new feature will offer controller support and navigation designed for televisions, allowing Steam gamers to enjoy their library "on more screens throughout the house." Valve said that more will be revealed during the Game Developers Conference this week in San Francisco.

"Our partners and customers have asked us to make Steam available in more places. With the introduction of Steam on the Mac, and soon in Portal 2 on the PS3T, we've done just that," said Doug Lombardi, VP of marketing for Valve. "With big picture mode, gaming opportunities for Steam partners and customers become possible via PCs and Macs on any TV or computer display in the house."

In addition to the new "Big Picture" feature, Valve will also discuss the numbers generated from the new Steam Microtransactions launched late last year within Team Fortress 2. An in-game economy can now be readily created by partners using the microtransactions system within the Steamworks SDK, the company said.

"We've come to understand what type of content sells well in TF2's in-game store, and the various price points at which players value this content," said Robin Walker, game designer at Valve. "Our players are continually teaching us what works and what doesn't. Much of this feedback can be generalized to other titles on Steam, so we're looking forward to sharing what we've learned with partners at GDC. We're also interested in seeing partners get up and running with their own in-game economies, so they can collect game-specific data to inform their design decisions."

The Game Developers Conference is already underway, and will conclude on March 4, 2011.