Steam Big Picture Mode “coming soon,” says Valve

Wednesday, 11th July 2012 19:19 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Valve has said Steam Big Picture Mode is “coming soon,” according to the firm’s Jason Holtman. Speaking to PCGamesN at Develop, Holtman said: “We have all this great content, and it’s super good looking. You own Skyrim on Steam, and a huge television, and 5.1 Surround, why wouldn’t you want to see it there. Customers are constantly saying, ‘I’ve got all this content from you, and I’ve got this other great display device and sound device – can you make this work?’ We’ll ship and see what happens. We’re agnostic as to how people plug that in and how they use it. We’re trying to make it a really good initial experience, and then see what happens.” Valve announced Steam Big Picture Mode during GDC 2011.



  1. Pytox

    Coming soon, like two years from now? :D

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Talkar

    I still don’t see the point. I have no trouble with showing any game i have, steamworks or not, on my TV.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. GameStunts

    I’m with Talkar, I don’t get what’s so special, I’ve been PC gaming even on old SD TVs since 1998 when I would put Half Life on the *shock* 21″ 4:3.

    Home Theatre PCs have been around for ages too.

    These days with HD TVs having HDMI inputs it’s all made easier. I can dual display on my PC 23″ and the 40″ TV at the same time, so what’s so special about this thing Steam/Valve are doing?

    #3 2 years ago
  4. DSB

    It’s just a neat optmization though, isn’t it?

    You’ll be able to navigate Steam with your gamepad if you want.

    I think that sounds pretty neat.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. freedoms_stain

    @4, +1

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Talkar

    Still, i can easily navigate it with a mouse. I can also navigate steam with a gamepad if i so desire, so i really don’t see the point…

    #6 2 years ago
  7. freedoms_stain

    @6, the point is to have an interface that is intuitively navigable with a gamepad natively while being easily readable at distances the standard Steam UI wasn’t designed for.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Talkar

    You mean to tell me that this:
    Isn’t usable on a TV? I beg to differ. Sure it can be improved, but it is still usable as is.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. DSB

    You don’t see any room for improvement there? The game screen is alright, but what about the store page, or the sale page, or the messenger windows?

    Steam is a great client, but it still isn’t optimized for pads.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Talkar

    I said “Sure it can be improved”.
    So yes i can see room for improvements, but it is still very easy to use on a big screen. Now as for the messenger window, Microsoft doesn’t support the keypad addon for the 360 controller on Windows, so there really isn’t much one can do there, except for of course write their own drivers that overrides the ones from Microsoft.

    Edit: I’m assuming people will use a 360 controller because it is just plug&play with Windows, and people who already have an xbox will obviously have the controller. If people wanted to use a PS3 controller they would have to install custom drivers, and also bind every button on the controller, which is advanced for most users, so then people could just download a custom skin for steam and again, that leaves us with no need for a big screen mode for steam.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. DSB

    Except for the fact that it’ll be better than it is now. I think that’s a great reason to do something.

    I don’t quite get the keypad thing though. I mean I’m guessing that people who want to swag out their PC/TV setup will also have a wireless keyboard laying around, so it’s probably a non-issue, but couldn’t Valve just write their own keypad?

    That can’t be too tricky. Maybe it’ll even come with an autofill, just to show Microsoft how it’s done.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Talkar

    Unfortunately it isn’t that easy. The drivers for the controller, doesn’t allow direct connection to the keypad addon, so you would have to somehow either write your own drivers, or modify the ones that are already there. Both risky business in case Microsoft does decide to support it, since it could cause conflicts with the drivers from Valve/Steam and the one from Microsoft (hence why normally you don’t edit in software you haven’t made that gets updates :P )

    #12 2 years ago
  13. freedoms_stain

    I think there’s a miscommunication here with Talkar referring to the physical keypad addon you can buy for the 360 controller and DSB referring to an on-screen dealy.

    But DSB is probably right, most people who want to use this will either have a keyboard set up already or will get one. There are also a bunch of smartphone apps that will allow you to use your phone as a PC keyboard, which would probably be a decent solution for this purpose.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. roadkill

    Why the hell would someone use a gamepad to play shooters, action or role playing games? That’s just stupid! The nephew of one my friends joined me in a Battlefield (on the PC of course) game once. In 5 minutes he had 0 kills and 9 deaths. I asked my friend “Dude! Is your nephew retarded?” He answered “Nope! He’s just using a gamepad!” LOL!!

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Talkar

    In most SPRPG’s i prefer to use a gamepad. Actually almost anything that is 3rd person. The same goes for racing games. I agree that FPS games are to be played with keyboard & mouse, but some games are just better with a controller. It is pretty much stupid to say one thing will always be better, instead of taking advantage of both worlds.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Tigerstylus

    I have a DT pc with 2560 screen and my gf [who i live with] also has the same for her MMO’s. We also have a media center pc in the lounge connected to the 60″ plasma with 7.1 surround, capable of DX11 @ Vsynced 60fps. We do most of our gaming [approx 75%] on our X-fired DT PC’s and use KB/Mouse, but where driving or football games are concerned [sports games in general] these work much better on the bigger screen as it adds to the realism. The sports games work best on an XBox controller [for windows] and also the driving games, but the driving games work even better with a playseat and G27 Wheel [which we have and get out frequently for the occasions when the boys come round for a few beers and dangerous driving or family get togethers]. Currently i hate farting around with the Dinovo edge KB to navigate steam UI in the lounge, i would really value the “Big Screen” UI from Steam so i can nav my games with gamepad and not have to keep mucking about passing keyboards around and trying to use the touchpad thingy to point at the right area of the screen… it sux… I hope Valve really make a success of this UI and hope that they are equally successful in influencing devs who make PC games to pay attention and enable their Menu’s and UI’s to do the same so it is an end to end experience with all the input devices. If the devs dont come on board, then the Big Screen UI is great, but i still have to keep farting about the KB. I do agree with some of the other comments about FPS games, i feel retarded to play on a xbox controller or any other gamepad as you get your a$$ handed to you with slow sloppy reaction time and imprecise reticle positioning… I can understand the comment about 0 kills and 9 deaths from an xbox user using a PC. Mouse/KB is instant and precise and is the reason sloppy console ports are shockingly easy even on hard difficulty settings… but driving games, sports games… totally different and there is a need… Please Valve make it happen now, not in 2 years time…. 473 games in Steam library

    #16 2 years ago

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