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Steam becoming more TV friendly with 'Big Picture' mode

Today, Valve announced 'Big Picture' mode, a new Steam feature which will "offer controller support and navigation designed for television interaction." The mode may also be handy when you've got your feet up on your desk, a recently-microwaved dinner on your lap, and you don't want to spill chana masala everywhere while reaching for your mouse.

"Our partners and customers have asked us to make Steam available in more places. With the introduction of Steam on the Mac, and soon in Portal 2 on the PS3, we've done just that," said Valve's Doug Lombardi. "With big picture mode, gaming opportunities for Steam partners and customers become possible via PCs and Macs on any TV or computer display in the house."

Valve will be discussing Big Picture mode, as well as other recent Steam advancements, during its GDC meetings this week. As far as we can surmise from the press release, the mode does no more than allow users to browse Steam and launch games with a gamepad. It's not the heftiest update to the platform, but it solves a simple problem - that mouse/couch interaction isn't ideal - simply, which is generally the best way to do it.

Feb 28, 2011

Associate Editor, Digital at PC Gamer