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.

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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.

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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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GamerOuTLaWz

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still dreaming for the day I see split-screen on PC

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oracleofdarknes

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@GamerOuTLaWz Already happened.

Check Portal 2 on Steam

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larkin-54

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@GamerOuTLaWz you mean like LAN? split screen for PC normally doesnt work but old LAN parties are super cheap and really easy to do.

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shingui5

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Edited By shingui5

so basically, it's a new ui, that's built to be used by a controller?

that's it?

i guess i see where they are coming from. they are trying to bridge that gap between console and PC a bit, by aiding their use on all viewing outputs, but i just think it's a bit...underwhelming, perhaps?

idk, i guess a lot of people will use it and love it.

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MXVIII

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@shingui5 Its basically a precursor for their Steam Box, which is supposed to be a media PC you hook up to your television to play Steam games. Its basically their version of a console.

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scout7

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Hopefully this will get people to stop saying, I play console games because I like to sit on the couch in front of my TV.

I'm glad Valve made an interface for people who like to use the Xbox interface and like to use a controller.

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Dezuria

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A lot of people are misunderstanding what this is.

It's just an alternate interface for Steam that is designed for controllers. It's not some kind of service or anything.

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Zazabar11

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A cool idea, but anyone who already connects their pc to their tv has this service. And besides, there are too many games that don't support controllers.

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GinsuVictim

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@Zazabar11 Xpadder solves that.

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Zazabar11

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@GinsuVictim

Just another obstacle. I've never really had xpadder work perfectly in any game.

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GinsuVictim

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@Zazabar11 There are a lot of options on how to use Xpadder. I've never had an issue setting it up for most games, however almost every new game within the last so many years uses the 360 controller perfectly. I don't have to use Xpadder as often.

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Loegi

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I can access it just fine without HDMI, VGA, or a HDTV though.

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larkin-54

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yeah... but why would you its not a better interface by any means then the standard steam UI

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dogpigfish

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Ha ha ha. So then buy a console, it's cheaper and more dependable.

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ExplicitMike

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@dogpigfish Dependable my ass. The reason I tried PC gaming is because I am sick of what consoles are doing. Last time I bought a game on PS3 I had to wait to 4 bars of downloads and installs to play it. 360 is not much better. PC have become so much more better than consoles. The only reason I kept both are to play gears judgement and last of Us.

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larkin-54

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@dogpigfish PCs are only unreliable if an idiot it behind the wheel

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Volgin_2

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Edited By Volgin_2

@dogpigfish

Why would I want to buy an old cheap ass MILF, when I can get a hot 20 year old babe (PC)?

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scout7

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@Volgin_2 @dogpigfish Cause the PC is high maintenance, costs a lot of money, and makes you watch twilight :(

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spammehardo

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@scout7 @Volgin_2 @dogpigfish both my 360 and ps3 freeze and lock up 10 times as much as my pc does while gaming.

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Volgin_2

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@scout7

Yeah, I got the joke, I was joking by saying what girlfriend, as in I don't have one....
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scout7

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@Volgin_2 You said 20 year old girl (PC). So I made a 'joke' that my girlfriend (PC) is high maintenance, expensive, and makes me watch twilight.

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Volgin_2

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@scout7

What girlfriend.....?*Forever alone face*
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scout7

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@Volgin_2 Wait, are we talking about our computers or are girlfriends XD

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Volgin_2

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@scout7 @dogpigfish

High maintenance if you don't know what you're doing.

Expensive? get a job.

Twilight? Nah, my computer is too hardcore for that shit.

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Dezuria

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@dogpigfish oh, can your console run Assassin's Creed 3 at a full 1080p, with better textures, true anti-alias, and sharper shadows, while still running at twice the framerate?

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santinegrete

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I could do this already thanks to and HDMI cable and how this port is now standard in most GPU cards. Still the new features are bound to attract more customers. BTW, steam is giving big discounts on games that support controller. Check that out.

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deactivated-5ec1452b3ab53

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I was looking forward to playing Portal 2 in co-op until I found out that you need TWO controllers!

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stailcookie

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I don't get it. It's just your PC using a TV as a monitor. You still have to have a gaming rig for it to work.

But, now you get a PSN/LIVE-style interface that works well with a controller (what all PC gamers prefer to use???).

This is very confusing, as it initially sounds like an OnLive clone, but is actually just a new interface that is 100% optional. I feel like my time was stolen looking into it.

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Dezuria

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I have a long HDMI cable running from my PC into my HDTV in the next room. Before, I needed a wireless mouse/keyboard to navigate through the Steam UI. Now I Just grab my wireless 360 controller and play Steam games without a hassle.

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RossRichard

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@stailcookie Think of it like this: You can put a PC in your home theater setup, and play it like a console.

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stailcookie

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@RossRichard You could do that anyways. This is like they are marketing a new console that will still cost 3x a new wiiu. Most people interested already do this and live without an xbox interface, using the much more functional normal PC interface instead.

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olgert56

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Edited By olgert56

@mikeyvp87 @stailcookie @RossRichard

So, just to clarify, the only difference is that you can navigate the screen with a controller now? That's pretty cool.

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SkamArtist

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@mikeyvp87 @stailcookie @RossRichard I've been using BPM for about a month now. And I was just saying the other day that I wish I can load directly to it. I'm talking bypass Windows and load straight to BPM.

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mikeyvp87

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Edited By mikeyvp87

@stailcookie @RossRichard You probably have not been paying attention to PC users the last couple of years but there has been a growing desire for valve to do this for 4 years now. With this you can put a dedicated rig in the living room and sit back and relax on your sofa instead of playing all your PC games on a desk. Yes you could already do that but with big picture now you have an interface that's more tuned to this. The only thing left for them to do is to let you launch directly into big picture mode on start-up.

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soccerpzn

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@stailcookie @RossRichard their mostly doing this to show what their new console that they are currently developing is going to look like.

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StarKiller77000

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Valve is awesome.

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SolidTy

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That's a great deal for Portal . However, I already got that game for free when I bought Portal 2 on PS3. It came with Portal 2 PC. I would be tempted to buy it again though, but my friends already have it. :P

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BPoole96

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This is awesome. I'm tempted to make an HTPC to hook up to my TV and essentially use it as a next gen console (except even more powerful :P)

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Joshua2222

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I wish I had a nice TV that I could use this service with >_< It seems so awesome...

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ExplicitMike

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Edited By ExplicitMike

Big picture mode is awesome. I am glad they added it because I game on my 60 inch. Not to mention sales to promote it as well. This is how you get customers. Great job Valve.

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