Steam has been developing its “big picture” mode for some time, and now it looks like the mode will be headed to beta soon. How soon? September. For those unfamiliar with “big picture” mode, it’s simple: take Steam and put it on your TV.
Greg Croomer recently revealed the beta on GameTrailers TV:
“In early September you’ll be able to hop into a beta, click a button, and see Steam reformatted for your TV and usable with a PC game controller, or a mouse and keyboard if you wanna play that way.”
PC ports of console titles will probably work best for this format initially, but again, you will be able to play with a keyboard and mouse so you won’t have to feel like you can’t play your favorite PC games.
Questions have popped up before about Valve developing a console, but the company has always been quick to deny such rumors. Gabe Newell elaborates:
“We show [big-picture mode to] hardware guys and say, ‘Look, if this is a useful tool for you to deliver your hardware into living rooms, that’s great.’”
This would seem to add to the argument that Valve will not, in fact, be developing its own hardware. Why bother, when they can just provide all the software to already-made hardware?
Linux fans won’t have to worry about being left out of the “big picture,” as Newell has claimed that a beta for the Linux client should be out “fairly quickly.” But what about Windows 8? Newell has stated his skepticism about the latest iteration of Windows before, and he’s not about to change his tune now. He explains,
“I would really like it if Windows 8 was a blow-up success because we’re gonna make a lot more money, [and] there’ll be lots of happy customers.”
However, he adds:
“I think it’ll end up being very poorly received by customers.”
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if Newell is right about Windows 8. In the meantime, I think the “big picture” mode is kind of neat, but I don’t know as I’d ever use it. I have enough consoles to play console games, and I like using Steam on my PC. What do you think? Will you be checking it out?