Steam has been very good friends with PC gamers for a long time now, and while they don’t mean to take undue advantage of that relationship, they’d really like to hang out with you in your living room some time. More to the point, they’re really impressed by that big HDTV you got recently, and they want to show you some cool games on that bad boy. To that end, Valve has announced the launch of “Big Picture” mode, a redesigned Steam UI that’s targeted towards TVs and gaming controllers.
For starters, Big Picture promises to finally give the world “a web browser for the TV that doesn’t suck.” I cannot tell you how magnificent that would be. I even own a so-called “smart TV” that has a web browser built in, and it sucks. It really, really sucks. Trying to navigate that thing with the remote control it’s designed for is a chore.
Now, bear in mind, this still requires you to plug your PC into your television, and if you’ve already been able to do that, then technically you’ve been able to play PC games on your TV for a while now. On the other hand, having an interface that you don’t have to squint at would be very nice — and having one you can navigate with a game controller would be magnificent. I have never found a comfortable way to operate a mouse and keyboard from my couch — either I’m awkwardly hunched over the coffee table, or I’m trying to use the mouse on my own leg, or next to where I’m sitting, or some other unnatural set-up.
View the pitch for yourself, and get ready to have an excuse to plug your PC into your TV (again).