Valve’s Big Picture is going live on Steam

Valve has released a trailer teasing the imminent roll-out of its Big Picture beta on Steam. 

As we’ve previously reported on TG Daily, the living room-friendly version of Valve’s PC-oriented gaming platform allows users to access their favorite Steam games on big-screen televisions. 

“With the press of a button, Steam displays a new full-screen user interface optimized for readability and interaction on TV,” a Valve rep explained. “Big Picture has been designed to be used with a traditional game controller, while also fully supporting keyboard and mouse input.”

Kotaku’s Jason Schreier recently tried out Big Picture and termed it a “sleek, intuitive and groundbreaking” platform. 

“No, this new ‘Steam TV’ isn’t going to make our video game consoles go away. It’s not going to turn your Xbox into a doorstop or obviate your PS3. But Big Picture could be a crucial first step toward making PC gaming more accessible, more convenient, and more suited for living rooms than ever before,” Schreier wrote in a detailed analysis.

“And maybe, just maybe, if fans seem to want it, and if it makes financial sense, the people who make Half-Life will use Big Picture to create their own version of a video game console… The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 are walled gardens. You can’t open them up or modify their insides. Nothing about these systems is open at all, and Valve doesn’t like that.”

It should be noted that Valve recently posted a job listing for a candidate with expertise in product hardware – suggesting the company is ready to move forward with rumored plans to create its own video game console.

Although the company has yet to publicly confirm its hardware plans Valve’s Greg Coomer told Kotaku something like a Steam Box isn’t out of the question.

”Each individual gamer is going to have to decide in the short term whether the value that Big Picture brings is something they want to configure for themselves. And for some users it’s going to be quite easy. For some users it might not be worth it yet. But that’s one of the things we’re going to find out when we ship,” said Coomer.

“And then over time, I think we’re going to figure out which of those scenarios, or what ways do customers really want us to get involved in solving the rest of the problems that, say, our software can’t solve for them. And if it’s getting involved in shipping some kind of hardware, then we will get involved in doing that if we need to.”