Valve today announced the public release of Big Picture, the 10-foot user interface (UI) that makes it easier for PC gamers to plop on the couch and play their catalog of titles on their big screen HDTV. To celebrate the public launch, more than thirty "controller-friendly" games will be on sale from now until December 10, some of which will be marked down by as much a 75 percent.
Linux fans are free to do the open-source shimmy today in celebration of Valve announcing the launch of a limited access Steam for Linux beta. Valve invited experienced Linux users to sign up for the closed beta in October and claims to have received over 60,000 responses in the first week alone. The first round of beta participants has already been selected, though more gamers will be added throughout the course of the beta, Valve says.
The talking heads at Valve continue to downplay the importance Windows plays in the future of PC gaming, pointing instead to Linux as an alternative in progress that's gaining steam (and Steam, for that matter). Serving as the latest indication that Valve has a growing affinity for Linux, software engineer Drew Bliss talked up the open source platform during a presentation at the Ubuntu Developer Summit.
A Linux port of Steam has been on the cards for a while now. Back in July, the Valve Linux team revealed in its inaugural blog post that it was working on getting a fully-featured Steam client up and running on Ubuntu 12.04. Apparently, that project has made enough progress for Valve to start looking for beta testers.
Gabe Newell now famously referred to Windows 8 as a "catastrophe for everyone in the PC space," which could work out great for Linux users. Based in part on fears that Microsoft will erect a walled garden around Windows 8 and lock out developers who don't want to play the Windows Store game, Valve has been hard at work trying to port Steam over to Linux, and the first beta run will kick off in October.
Valve has released Steam Big Picture Mode, which provides PC gamers with a new, elegant TV-tailored experience of Steam. The problem is Big Picture Mode is currently only in open beta testing, and finding out how to opt into the beta can be tricky. Detailed below are steps to help you get Steam's new Big Picture Mode running smoothly on your big-screen TV.
It's called "big picture mode," and it's how Valve intends to declare war on consoles. Launching in beta form today, big picture mode is a special interface for Steam that's more appropriate for viewing on a living room television set than the current one you see on your PC. It's Valve's answer to the walled garden approach console makers have taken with their platforms, and could be the first step towards the oft-rumored Steam Box that's talked about every so often.
Valve's Steam Community shed its beta baggage and is now open to anyone in the general public interested in finding and sharing game related content. The cleaned up release introduces a handful of new features, like automatically formatting YouTube links, a slick new interface (including a collage of your finest gaming moments on the screenshots page), the ability to search within discussions areas, and other goodies.
For better or worse, Valve has officially decided to jump into the PC hardware business. We know as much because a job listing on Valve's website in search for an Industrial Designer spells it out in no uncertain terms, though details of the hardware project remain a secret. All we know for sure is that Valve is "frustrated by the lack of innovation in the computer hardware space," and to rectify that, the software developer is "jumping in."