Valve has just introduced its ‘Big Picture’ mode for Steam, and while it wasn’t much of a secret that it was coming, there are a couple of surprises to be found here. Despite its goal to bring your PC game collection to your television, Valve has designed Big Picture with a gamepad in mind, even crafting a special way to type (using a combination of the analog stick and A B X Y buttons).
In addition to offering you your complete Steam collection while kicking back on the couch, Big Picture also includes a brand-new Web browser, totally unlike the one used while in-game on the desktop. It features a 3D UI and again, is designed to be used with a gamepad (mouse and keyboard are fine too, though).
With Steam’s Big Picture mode, Valve is likely paving the way for Steam to become an all-around media center. The company is already half-way there; what’s needed next is a tie-in to a video service and hopefully a way to allow users to import their own (and MKV support would be nice, but I am really getting ahead of myself now). If Valve has its way, we’re going to be looking at Steam in a very different way going forward.
As of the time of writing, the beta isn’t quite available yet, and there’s no information on how to opt-in for it. If it’s like previous betas, you’ll simply need to adjust the option inside of your Steam “Settings”, then restart the client. Once the beta goes live, there will be a big button up top to enable the mode.
Who’s planning to take this for a spin?