Valve has finally released its new Steam mode, Big Picture, which allows gamers to access all their Steam games on that awesome HD television sitting in the living room. Slowly but surely, Gabe Newell is creeping into your living room and competing with your Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 for precious TV time. Big Picture is designed to be accessible and easily used with a traditional gamepad, although you can still use your keyboard and mouse. So plug in that Xbox 360 controller and you will be playing Portal 2 co-op with your Steam buddies in no time, even if they are playing on their PC or Mac.
What else do you get with the Big Picture? You still get access to the Steam Store and the Steam Community, and all your games, cloud saves and DLC will be there waiting for you, including all those great Steam Workshop items. Big Picture also features a new web browser and typing system designed for your controller and TV. Just plug your computer or laptop into your TV, and you are ready to play. We’ve taken the liberty of posting the system requirement below.
Big Picture System Requirements:
OS OS Windows Vista, 7, or 8. Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) or newer.
Memory 1 GB RAM
Processor 3.0 Ghz P4, Dual Core 2.0 (or higher) or AMD64X2 (or higher)
Video card Required / at least 256MB memory and DirectX 9-compatible with support for Pixel Shader 2.0b, Recommended / 512MB+ memory and DirectX 10-compatible
Disk space 1 GB recommended
Internet connection Broadband recommended
Controller Xbox 360 Wireless Controller for Windows, Xbox 360 Wired Controller, or Logitech Wireless Gamepad F710 recommended. Keyboard and mouse also supported.
To celebrate the release, Steam has a big sale going on for “controller-friendly” games to test out the new digs (Portal 2 is 75%!). The sale is going on now until December 10th. If you want even more information, you can check out the Big Picture Steam page here.
I’ll be sure to get this going when I get home tonight and enjoy some Civilization V on the big screen.