Valve is launching a beta test for its new Steam service called Big Picture mode. This version of Steam will allow you to play your Steam games directly on your television. In their hands on preview, Kotaku reports that it is “sleek, intuitive, and groundbreaking in several ways.”
Watch Valve’s Big Picture trailer here…
Steam Big Picture features a brand new interface, specifically designed for viewing on your TV in your living room. Increased font size… low screen clutter…. Yet it manages to have all the Steam features fans of the service expect including member chat, the online store and playing you games. To take things even further, it also includes in Valve’s own words, a “web browser for the TV that doesn’t suck”. The entire interface has been designed for controllers, although you’re welcome to use your keyboard and mouse too (hopefully wireless).
Kotaku asked Valve’s Greg Coomer, head of the Big Picture team about the possibility of a Steam/Valve console to which he replied, “What we really want is to ship [Big Picture mode] and then learn,” Coomer said. “So we want to find out what people value about that. How they make use of it. When they make use of it. Whether it’s even a good idea for the broadest set of customers or not. And then decide what to do next. So it could be that the thing that really makes sense is to build the box that you’re describing. But we really don’t have a road map. And we think we’re going to learn a tremendous amount through this first release.”