Steam Big Picture mode goes live

Valve's TV service for Windows and Mac now available for Steam's 50 million members; week-long sale includes Portal 2 for $5.

Steam's Big Picture mode is now available for all. Developer Valve announced today that the mode is out of beta and available for Steam's 50 million members, following a trial period that began in September.

To mark the occasion, Valve is discounting numerous titles through Steam until December 10. Deals include Limbo for $2.50, Alan Wake for $7.50, and Left 4 Dead 2 and Portal 2 for $5. For more on the special promotion, check out Steam's website.

To access Big Picture, players will need to connect their dedicated PC or Mac, laptop, or desktop computer to a high-definition television with an HDMI or VGA cable. Users will need Windows Vista or later to run Big Picture, as well as 1GB of RAM. For the full system specification requirements, check out the official page.

Steam users can play their games with either a keyboard and mouse or controller. Additionally, Big Picture adds a first-person Web browser, which Valve calls the first of its kind.

Further, Steam's Big Picture features a "Daisywheel" for typing messages and surfing the Internet with a controller. Valve says the traditional QWERTY setup works best for keyboards, with the new interface more finely tuned for use with a controller.

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Discussion

96 comments
Localjoe
Localjoe

So let me get this strait... steam is going to render pc games on server farms then use a minimal content delivery for viewing and controls.... how can a xbox or ps3 compete with that ..no wheres near the gfx and physx capibilities let alone the whole pc multiplayer end for bf3 and the cod junkies...

.... this is sweet

Katz
Katz

Steam will take over the console world...Goodbye Sony PS4, Goodbye XBOX 720

Icepick_Trotter
Icepick_Trotter

Article is misleading.

 

Now commenters argue about how "playing PC games in TV is nothing new! YAAAWWN!"

 

Of course it's not. That's not what Big Picture does.

 

What it does is provide you with a console-like dashboard so you can effectively use your PC as a console, and I for one, think that's damn brilliant and they beat everyone else to it.

 

Hopefully this finally kills and buries Games For Windows Live once and for all.

wexorian
wexorian

Next step "Steambox" OR Steam OS compatible with Direct X.

Kunakai
Kunakai

Again, why the freaking hell would anyone use a game pad in steam? Sure you might want to play an FPS but you can pick up the pad after launching the game, or pick up the keyboard to chat, there really is no benefit, obvious or discreet that warrants demands this extension of functionality.Valve, why not try making some new goddamn games or toppling EA? Leave the pointless apps and extensions to indie devs. 

toddx77
toddx77

It says you need a TV to access big picture but I launched big picture on my lap top screen just fine.

qioden
qioden

first step to a steam console?

OJ_the_LION
OJ_the_LION

I tried it out during the trial. I still use the regular mode, but I only wish 360 or PS3 had such a fast, user friendly and attractive UI (although PS3's come close as far as attractiveness, at least). I may switch to using it now, it doesn't punish you for having a keyboard and I play all of my steam games with a PS3 controller nowadays anyway, so it's a great feature.

eoin
eoin

Just tried it last night. I use KB+M and Xbox controller for my steam games so its good that you don't have to change between both if you want to browse steam while using the controller. XBL and PSN were not half as appealling or user friendly at launch than this is.

Codzprc
Codzprc

Have people NOT been playing games on 1080p bigassed TVs?

 

And hold on here, "The world's first first person web browser", from watching the video on Steam's site, the only thing that makes it "first person" is the reticle - otherwise, it looks just like Dreamcast's web browser 2.0 - if you put a reticle icon into DC's browser:: same damn thing. It's an icon - a symbol. So by Valve's reasoning, I could replace the Mercedes hood ornament with a reticle hood ornament and have "The the world's first first person car".Actually... I would love a reticle hood ornament on any car... Reticle Hood OrnamentTM 2012 © Codzprc Industries  

 

gamingfrendly
gamingfrendly

phase 3 in gabes plans to control the world is done lol.

starduke
starduke

Funny thing is, I've been using a TV connected to my PC as a monitor for as long as I've had it. Still, I have to admit, Big Picture mode is pretty. 

billlabowski
billlabowski

I've been enjoying it since the beta. Being able to play full 1080p PC games on my TV has always been an easy task but this makes it easier and more convenient. No real reason to own a console except for overhyped, low-res exclusives. Far Cry 3 console gamers, eat your heart out :P

leimonides
leimonides

Hooking up a computer to a TV is something that has been able to do for years now. And hasn't the ability to use console controlers on a computer been around for quite a few years as well? Is this something that needs to be baught or download....for something that can already be done?

jedediahpelland
jedediahpelland

To all you STEAM users out there check out humblebundle.com, if you dontate $5.75 or more you get 7 STEAM games, Saints Row 3, Red Faction Armogeden, Metro 2033, Darksiders, and 3 Company of Heroes games, no shittin I just did it yesterday, and 3 of my friends did it too.

cbeck002
cbeck002

Anyone getting the feeling Valve may be getting ready for a console entry of their own? I would welcome the extra competition, especially if they managed to make a plausible all digital console (I'd love to be able to transfer my steam library to my living room.)

jedediahpelland
jedediahpelland

Basicly it just makes the steam interface more like a console interface, not bad if you like using a controller. I have my PC hooked up to my 47" TV and actually like the regualar interface just fine using the keyboard and mouse, of course I have a wireless keyboard and mouse set up on a modified "TV tray" while sitting in a computer chair, but for people sitting on their couch that have a pc xbox wireless dongle this is excellent. And yes I have tried it with the controller, and it does defiantly  turn steam into a console like experience.

Nintendo_Man
Nintendo_Man moderator

I hope you abandon your current keyboard you are using and get one that doesn't have a broken caps lock. :P

SOME1AWESOME562
SOME1AWESOME562

I HOPE MICROSOFT AND SONY ABANDON THEIR CONSOLE AND CONTRACTS WITH THE PLATFORM RELEASES AND FOCUS ON STEAM BIG PICTURES LIKE MOVE THE KINECT TO THE STEAM AND SONY MOVE WERE THEY WILL HAVE A BIG ADVANTAGE ON THE PC SINCE THERES LIMITATION ON THE CONSOLES PC WILL OPEN MORE DOORS FOR GAMES ON THE PC THAN CONSOLE  ALL THEY HAVE TO DO IS DESIGN PC MEANT FOR GAMING  UNDER THEIR NAMES CAN BE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS PC OR OVER PRICE PC LIKE ALIEN WARE OR PC THAT ARE CUSTOM BUILT LIKE ME MY PC I BUILT IT WITH MY HANDS PUT IT TOGETHER LIKE A PUZZLE AND FAR CHEAPER THEN BUYING ONE ALREADY BUILT AND PRICEY MY CUSTOM PC IS COMPARED TO AN ALIEN WARE PC. 

 

BIG PICTURE IS MEANT TO DRAW CONSOLE PLAYERS AND FOR PC PLAYERS THAT WANT TO FEEL THE COMFORT OF COUCH SITTING WITH CONTROLLERS BOTH WAYS TO PLAY PLUS FREE ONLINE SERVICES OF GAMES AND FAR SUPERIOR GRAPHICS AND GAMEPLAY. 

 

PS. NO MORE WATING OUTSIDE OF GAMESTOP BE AT HOME SLEEPING OR EATING, WATCHING MOVIES WHILE YOU WAIT FOR PREORDER GAMES, HALF PRICE GAMES ON HOLIDAYS OR WEEKLY.

ranzikiel
ranzikiel

i was planning to buy left for dead 2 for $19.99 last week but bought dishonored instead as there was 50% off...but now there is no need think..instabuy l4d2 for $4.99 ^_^!

kakotan
kakotan

I really enjoy this update, messed with it today and the only thing that was buggy , was when i loged into FB it would crash steam( you can log in through steam), but i like how you can go in and play games and look up stuff about games better almost like PS3 or xbox, lol but still looks better :p

 

Jebril
Jebril

It works on Linux too, just not officially yet lol. I'm saving up money to invest in a gaming PC instead one of the next gen consoles, in the long run I know I'll end up saving money on overpriced software and be supporting companies I actually like instead of the big three. I'm sick of them at this point.

Daian
Daian

It's useless for people like me who prefer m&k (it's one of the benefits of playing on PC, far superior controls) but for those that are used to gamepads it's great. 

 

I'm cool with whatever brings more people to PC gaming, consoles and PCs can live in harmony, no reason to not play on both.

firstfist
firstfist

 @Kunakai

 For me, I start up steam big picture, plug in my hdmi cable to my living room set, grab my controller and walk into the living room without the keyboard and mouse.  Then the big picture works like a console GUI.

d_khan
d_khan

 @qioden

 

Or maybe just a STEAM Operational System to run on your PC, one that will utillize the Power of a strong PC, and give users the usabillity of a console.

This is also a possibillity.

johnnyshiv
johnnyshiv

 @farcorners I could not agree more. What a game. Twice the size of it's predecessor and an absolute joy in terms of its gameplay and sense of humour. Belter!

snaketus
snaketus

 @Codzprc Who said we haven't? We have played with that resolution for ages now, and some lucky people have been enjoying better resolutions already.

 

And don't forget that some games like Civilization V for example is more playable by sitting front of yor monitor. Computer displays still have better image than those TVs, no matter what resolutions they have.

snaketus
snaketus

 @cbeck002 I don't think so. They are bringing Steam to even Linux now. They are expanding the system base not vice versa. Maybe they are bringing all digita Steam console, but I highly doubt and hope it's not going to be mandatory.

Tremblay343
Tremblay343

 @Daian Lets be real for a second m&k are only better for fps and rts genres really.  If you're playing a third person shooter where the camera is independent of the aiming (pretty much everything but the mass effect series) or a racing game, a controller is a far better option.

 

It always rubs me the wrong way when people say m&k are superior.  I think it's mostly because I have a friend that refuses to play any of the need for speed games (the good criterion ones) or burnout paradise on anything but a keyboard and I think he's crazy.

mateyman
mateyman

 @Daian I know it's a hassle, but you could always set up a desk in front of the tv to use the mouse and keyboard. Though personally, screen size isn't a huge factor so I probably wouldn't do it myself.

mateyman
mateyman

 @mrboone01 Only reason I prefer controller is when I just want to sprawl on the couch and not have to move anything other than my fingers. I'll use either method though, I'm not picky.

shadow580
shadow580

 @snaketus  it depends what computer monitor you have. My main monitor is crap and is nowhere near my TV in regards to color, contrast or brightness. My secondary monitor however could definitely rival it but I can't tell for sure if it's better.

Codzprc
Codzprc

 @snaketus What I'm really surprised at is that Big Picture may be a new concept for some, like the idea never crossed their mind. I'd be baffled. I know, because I do play on higher res monitors and bigassed 1080p TVs - hell, even 720s look amazing. I understand Valve wanting to show off their new... new? Is it new if loads of people have been doing it for years? Whatever, "new" service, but I guess I'm jaded since it seems like a lot of hype over what (I and what I imagine) most people already do, yourself included. I'd like to restate my main gripe: Dreamcast had the same web browser, but without a reticle icon. I'd like to hear from Big Picture users that still have their Dreamcasts and compare the two, from an objectively basic functionality standpoint (navigation, UI, UX, keep in mind tabs didn't exist, ect...)

ranzikiel
ranzikiel

 @deth420 haha yea i already have the 1 long time ago so never bought the bundle~ cool stuff though!!!xD

deth420
deth420

 @mateyman  @Daian yeah pc is on tv aswell. i use a gamepad, but some games i use a wireless mouse and keyboard....all from a lazyboy! 

Daian
Daian

 @mateyman I have my TV connected to my PC at all times but I only use it to watch stuff, I'm more comfortable playing on my actual PC.

Codzprc
Codzprc

Hmm, apparently if you type too much, gamespot gets rid of your formatting... nice.

Codzprc
Codzprc

 @Icepick_Trotter  @snaketus If you like the look of Windows, then yeah, they have. Aesthetics are subjective, are we going to argue your favorite color next?As for the console-like aspect, what makes any console navigation better than a PC/Mac interface? You could argue that it's streamlined to do certain tasks, and I'd point out that Spotlight's (Mac) live seach results can find and open applications faster than you can navigate to Netflix of your Xbox. Your desktop can be filled with shortcuts to your favorite games, applications, webpages... on and on. Fully customizable, tailored to your favorite things to do, uncensored backgrounds if that's your thing, endless game options, infinitely expandable harddrive, stream movies, download anything - I can pause a game, open a PSD to make a change, email it off and go back to playing - with a MS gamepad. Maybe you're not using your computer properly....admittedly, I do 90% of my gaming via xbox, but my PC setup is pretty sweet. Addicted to Gamerscore.

Icepick_Trotter
Icepick_Trotter

 @Codzprc  @snaketus 

Seriously? Most people had a fully controller-compatible, accessible, aesthetically pleasing, console-like system on PC for years? 

Why did I never hear about it?