Today marks the launch of the beta for the final version of the upcoming service that will allow you to use Steam in an interesting new way on your TV.
This Big Picture mode is kindof exactly like it sounds: It’s a bigger picture version of the Steam service you know and love.
One of the major problems with PC gaming is the fact that you’re stuck at a computer desk, and a lot of games and UIs are designed with that in mind; that you’ll always be close to the action, and can read text up-close.
Consoles do the opposite; they have less clustered UIs and screens with larger images on to compensate for people sitting on a sofa on the other side of the room.
What Big Picture mode does is take the ideals of a console UI design and apply them to Steam. With the press of a button, you’ll transform Steam into a mode which is easier to use from across the room, meaning that you can plug your gaming PC into your big-ass TV and still use it comfortably.
Hell, most PC games have options for using gamepads as opposed to the mouse/keyboard combo these days, so it’s a logical move to introduce even more cross-compatibility into the world of monitors vs TVs.
Big Picture mode will make everything on the Steam client be easily readable and useable, even when you’re sat on a sofa some way away from your 42″ plasma screen, and will handle a lot more like a console UI. It’s designed to be used in tandem with an Xbox 360 pad, and will be just as easy to use.