Steam Big Picture mode beta launches

Valve is now bringing a version of its Steam PC game download service to big screen televisions. The new Big Picture more, announced over a year ago, has now entered into beta testing, according to a press release from Valve.

The press release states, "With the press of a button, Steam displays a new full-screen user interface optimized for readability and interaction on TV. Big Picture has been designed to be used with a traditional game controller, while also fully supporting keyboard and mouse input." You can check out the Big Picture mode in action in the video above.

In addition to being able to play Steam PC games with the new user interface, the Big Picture mode also includes Valve's own Internet web browser which can be accessed even while a person is playing a game on Steam. Valve says, "It supports Big Picture's new method of typing with a game controller, which is useful for entering URLs, filling out forms, chatting, and other functions."

Many believe that bringing an easier way to access PC games on Steam via a large screen represents Valve's push to compete more directly with game console companies such as Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. A Mac version of the Steam Big Picture mode will be launched in the near future.

Source: Steam website

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