Today they have confirmed a beta launch for ‘Big Picture’ mode which will be in early September. Steam will now function on your regular television with full menus navigable with a gamepad. Suffice to say, Valve wants to bring their games into your living room.
Talking to GameTrailers, Greg Coomer from Valve said:
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 want to play that way.
There are some games are better made with controller input than others, so those will be the best experiences in the living room, but everything will be there so you don’t have to give up your favourite stuff once you walk from the den to the living room.
Big Picture also brought life to an old rumor of Valve making their very own console. Gabe Newel confirmed once again that they currently have no such plans.
Gabe talked about the usefulness of their new mode and about his concerns for Windows 8:
We show it hardware guys and say, ‘Look, if this is a useful tool for you to deliver your hardware into living rooms, that’s great. If you want to run it on top of Windows, that’s fine; if you wanna run it on top of Linux, that’s fine.
I would really like it if Windows 8 was a blow-up success, because we’re going to make a lot more money, there’ll be lots of happy customers. I don’t think that’s going to be what happens. I think Windows 8 will end up being very poorly received by customers. I think it will raise support calls.
I think it will reduce hardware manufacturer margins. I think we’ll end up selling fewer copies of our games on machines that are running windows 8.