Valve wants to be in your living. Officially. The Half-Life maker today unveiled Steam Big Picture, a more click-friendly, viewable-from-afar mode for it’s popular distribution platform.
Big Picture’s UI is reminiscent of the current Xbox 360 dashboard, where games and content are displayed in tile-styled format. You can either use a controller (it is unclear if an Xbox 360 controller can be used), or a traditional mouse + keyboard combo to navigate through the menus, although Valve says the Big Picture is designed with a controller in mind. As such, typing, done by using an intuitive Daisywheel system, and browsing, through what Valve calls the “world’s first first person web browser”, will be extremely simple using a controller.
Big Picture is currently in Beta form, but all Steam users can opt-in. To do so, load Steam, goto into the Settings menu, and click the ‘Change’ button under ‘Beta Participation’. From the popup menu, select the Big Picture, click ‘ok’ and restart. When Steam loads up, it will have a large ‘Big Picture’ icon on the top right corner of the software. Click it!
With Big Picture, Valve is certainly moving in a very interesting direction. With rumors of a Steam Box, looking to innovate on the hardware peripherals front, and futuristic developments like VR headsets and wearable computers, Valve is not only toying with cutting edge stuff, but are most certainly looking to shake up the entire gaming industry with new ways to play games. What, when, and how, though, for that we have to adjust the ValveTime.