Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Steam BIG PICTURE - Best idea ever?

Today I opened steam to be greeted with a banner telling me to opt-into the Steam Big picture update. I clicked the banner to see the below YouTube video. I watched the trailer twice before opting into the Beta. Steam Big Picture is an optimised version of steam designed for arm chair gaming. For many users (like me) this is a firm step in the direction we want to go. My massive PC gaming collection is now part of my living room gaming experience.

(Click read more to continue)

From the trailer it looks like Valve have finally dipped a toe into the living room. For me set-up will be as east as buying a HDMI cable and connecting my TV to my PC. I will also invest in a wireless game-pad and then I'm all set-up.

For many people who play games but are not particularly technical I think they maybe watching this trailer and asking 'How?' - How do you connect your PC to your TV. The trailer is wonderful and hammers home the usefulness of this service but lacks the technical guidance to really hit the mass market.

Once you install the Beta you simply click the new button found in Steam and Within moments your Steam is TV Friendly. I have tried it on a monitor and not yet connected my TV to my PC (only HDMI cable about is slightly too small) but instantly it filled me with nostalgia for the launch of Windows Media Centre.

It strikes me as pretty much a winning idea but lacks the polish that a service/application like this needs to become truly popular. When I connect my TV can I hit BIG PICTURE and see my TV light up with video game joy while someone else uses my PC as normal? (I'll get back to you on that one) what are the limitations with games? does every Steam game work on my gampad now?

All of these questions are easily answered by playing with the service and for me its something I look forward to doing but for many gamers the point will be lost without the answers set out before they invest in a controller and a cable.

Here's a link to the information in-case your away from your Steam install.

This is a Beta and a bloody great idea from Valve. I can't wait to see more from it and maybe a Valve branded game controller is in out future :)

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