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Valve launching Steam Big Picture Mode later today, look at its snappy UI right now (update: it's live!)

Ben Gilbert, @RealBenGilbert
September 10, 2012
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As rumored, Valve's bringing its digital distribution gaming portal to televisions today with Steam "Big Picture Mode." Kotaku confirms the news this morning that the TV-friendly version of Steam will launch "later today," alongside a slurry of screenshots and impressions. Beyond what we already know about the service -- it's the full Steam we already know and love, albeit with controller-based input -- a variety of new details abound. A built-in web browser, for one, and a new form of text input for controllers which seems to massively trump the usually QWERTY setup.

The entire store is apparently navigable via controller (though mouse and keyboard still work, if that's your kinda thing), and you can even prioritize games based on what's workable with a gamepad. Does this mean that the long-rumored "Steambox" is headed to living rooms soon? Not so fast, says Valve. "We really don't have a road map. And we think we're going to learn a tremendous amount through this first release." Big Picture Mode's beta is PC-only for now, but a Mac version is promised as coming "soon."

Update: Users can now opt-in to test the mode and download a beta version of Steam. Hit the second source link below to get started.

[Thanks, Yannick]

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