Valve Steam Big Picture Mode officially launched

Valve has officially launched Steam Big Picture Mode, a version of its Steam games service designed specifically for living room HDTVs and other large displays.

Although Steam Big Picture Mode has been available in beta form since September, Valve has only now officially cut the ribbon on the full, finished version. It comes in 20 different languages and adds a new browser tailored for HDTVs and gamepads. For the latter, there’s a new way to type in text called the Daisywheel, which arranges letters and numbers in a flower shape so that they’re easier to select using a d-pad and controller buttons.

Users of Big Picture Mode will be able to access the Steam store and community through it, rather than having to revert to the regular monitor-tailored Steam app.

All users’ Steam games will be available to play in Big Picture Mode, as well as cloud files, Steam Workshop content, account information and preferences.

To get users in the mood for the new mode, Valve has started a sale of controller-friendly games, with 30 titles getting a price cut of up to 75 per cent until December 10. Games on sale include Alan Wake, Portal 2, Left 4 Dead 2 and Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga.

Steam Big Picture Mode is available now for free, and works direct from the Windows or Mac Steam application: just click the Big Picture icon in the top right hand corner to switch the classic Steam view to the new one.

Have you tried Big Picture Mode out yet? Do you think Valve has succeeded in making Steam easier to use with a gamepad and HDTV? Let us know via the Trusted Reviews Twitter and Facebook feeds or in the comments section below.

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