From beta to release, Valve’s “Big Picture” took three months to see a final release, and while not too much has changed since we last took a look at it, the end result is very polished. To access the feature, you’ll need to apply the latest update to your Steam client, and after a restart, the mode can be accessed through the very obvious option to the top-right.
The biggest problem I had with the Big Picture beta was that it crashed every time I exited it – not surprisingly, a problem that no longer exists. At quick glance, I can’t tell all of what’s been changed or improved, but I do have to say that the experience is very good, and equipped with a gamepad, the interface is a breeze to manipulate.
One improvement I have noticed is that when you hover over a game that supports a gamepad, it lets you know with the help of a small icon (which can be seen in the shot above). This makes it easy to decide which game to play if you don’t feel like hauling out a mouse and keyboard – though, that might be required anyway in the event that a game doesn’t automatically become playable with a gamepad right from the get-go.
To celebrate the launch of Big Picture, Valve is having a sale to promote games that work great out-of-the-box with a gamepad. Notable titles include Sonic Generations ($7.49), Portal 2 ($4.99), Limbo ($2.49), Orcs Must Die! 2 ($3.74) and Alan Wake ($7.50).