Steam Big Picture Mode goes beta in September

Living-room-friendly interface news joined by Mann vs. Machine update to Team Fortress 2, cooperative levels in Portal 2 puzzle creator.

It has been a busy week for Valve. The company announced that Steam's Big Picture television-friendly mode will enter beta in September, debuted a new cooperative mode for Team Fortress 2 dubbed Mann vs. Machine, and revealed that Portal 2's puzzle-creating Perpetual Testing Initiative can now manufacture stages for the game's cooperative mode.

BLU or RED, they're all made from the same gibs.

Big Picture Mode, which was announced last year, reformats the Steam experience for the living room. The GameTrailers TV interview with Valve's Greg Coomer revealed some details on the new interface, which is designed for easier usability several feet away from the screen and is fully navigable with a controller. Steam will be able to easily switch back and forth between its normal interface and Big Picture Mode, and all games will be playable from either regardless of whether they support controllers.

Team Fortress 2 continues to receive significant updates even as it nears the fifth anniversary of its October 2007 release. A new game mode pitting six players against hordes of encroaching robots dubbed Mann vs. Machine went live this week, in the largest change to the class-based shooter since it went free-to-play in June 2011. A special Mann Up mode offers guaranteed special loot after successful missions, though it can be accessed only with $1 tickets, which are consumed upon victory; $2 Squad Surplus Vouchers can also be used to award an extra piece of loot to everyone on the team after winning a round.

That wasn't all Valve had for fans of cooperative play. It also announced this week that its puzzle creation suite for Portal 2 can now make test chambers for the game's co-op mode, meaning players will no longer be limited to single-player for user-made levels. Valve also introduced a quick-play feature, which automatically queues up highly rated stages, allowing for a seamless experience from one puzzle to the next. Owners of Portal 2 have been granted 75-percent-off gift coupons for the game to enlist their friends.

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Discussion

0 comments
JTisTrue
JTisTrue

NO doubt we can agree amongst ourselves that this is certainly an example of  P2P, since you have to....you know... pay to play it? Regardless, it sucks

Shawn45
Shawn45

"...Though it can be accessed only with $1 tickets..."

 

WOW, are you serious? That is such a blatant cash grab, more so than the crates and keys... Geez, I can't believe people buy this crap when you can already get it from the game for free...

mrmime777
mrmime777

Gaming on my PC just got a little more attractive - time to pop a pillow on the computer chair, lean back, grab the controller, and go to town.

SolidTy
SolidTy

This is a nice addition for one of those rare times I hook up one of my four PCs in my living-room to take advantage of my HD Plasma 7.1 surround sound setup.

dark_surge
dark_surge

Can't wait to try it out.  I've had my computer hooked up to a TV for the past 7 years and it'll be interesting to see how they change the interface.

DrKill09
DrKill09

Living room friendly bullcrap not needed.

 

Fine the way it is.

sortajan
sortajan

I just had a flash in my mind where Steam became the supreme overlords of Earth

somberfox
somberfox

Between this, the sale of non game software, and the new Steam community, it's going to be a pretty interesting month for Steam.

Petman8246
Petman8246

 @Shawn45 The article is worded terribly here. You can play it for free, but the $1 ticket is if you want to go to Valve servers that drop exclusive loot.