Big Picture Mode - What Sold Me

#1 Posted by Skywarpgold (153 posts) -

I booted up the beta for the Big Picture Mode a little bit ago, and so far it's great. The best part is that you can use a controller to maneuver about. I'm using a 360 controller, and you can just push the guide button to launch Steam into the mode. On top of all that, the most impressive part is the text-entry system they came up with for when you're using a controller. It's very innovative (at least I've never seen anything like it), and impossible to describe without a video, so I took one:

Personally, I think that's way better than scrolling through all the letters like we have to do on all the other consoles now.

#2 Posted by SomeDeliCook (2203 posts) -

Wow, the youtube app really needs this feature. Its a bitch having the whole alphabet listed in a row, you can't press Y to act as a spacebar like it does in every single other Xbox text entry, and you can't switch where the entry bar thing is, meaning if you typed in "unny cat videos" you have to delete all the other letters to add in the 'f'

#3 Edited by Brendan (7670 posts) -

That is a really neat idea, and would be extremely useful once I got used to it.

#4 Posted by muralbat (152 posts) -

This has been used in something before but for the life of me I can't remember what it was. It might have been a homebrew text entry system

#5 Posted by TwoOneFive (9459 posts) -

Thanks pretty cool. I like it! I bet everyone steals it (at least I hope so, it looks very easy to use)

#6 Edited by Indiana_Jenkins (379 posts) -

@Skywarpgold said:

I'm using a 360 controller, and you can just push the guide button to launch Steam into the mode.

That's a really good tip.

However, that text input interface has been done before. There was a really, really bad web browser for xbmc that used it.

I'm glad that someone put it into something good though.

Edit: I found a screenshot.

#7 Posted by Skywarpgold (153 posts) -

@TwoOneFive: No problem! And that's exactly what I'm hoping for too.

#8 Posted by TheHumanDove (2505 posts) -

I still dont understand what the hell this is. Can someone explain the function of big picture mode to the borderline retarded?

Online
#9 Posted by tsiro (214 posts) -

@muralbat: Definitely. Not to say that it's cool that it's in here, but I swear it's been in things before (though I, too, can't remember where). I also remember a friend and I coming up with something very simliar some years back.

Still, cool to see it being used here.

#10 Posted by mscupcakes (612 posts) -

@TheHumanDove: to make steam and PC games more accessible to people who are more comfortable with sitting back on their couch with a controller.

#11 Posted by Skywarpgold (153 posts) -

@Indiana_Jenkins: Me too! I hadn't seen it before though.

@TheHumanDove: It essentially turns your PC into a console, so you can hook it up to your TV and use a controller with Steam. It's pretty great.

#12 Posted by Sgtpierceface (608 posts) -

I'm/using/it/right/now,but/it/wont/let/me/select/this/textbox/with/a/controller.I'm/using/the/keyboard/now/and/it/won't/let/me/enter/in/spaces/either.Anybody/else/having/issues/with/GB?

#13 Posted by RioStarwind (478 posts) -

I expect I'll be using this a lot once I get everything set up. Hopefully any bugs they might have missed will be fixed before I get around to using it. heh

#14 Posted by Hamst3r (4437 posts) -

It is indeed cool.

For those wondering if that style of text input has been done in something prior, I recall it being used in a GPS system, where they were touting the fact that it only required two taps in any direction to get to every letter.

#15 Posted by Skywarpgold (153 posts) -

@Sgtpierceface: Hmm, yeah, it definitely doesn't handle all forms very well. Hopefully they'll work that out.

#16 Posted by BabyChooChoo (4252 posts) -

I like to imagine that after Sony and Microsoft engineers saw that feature, there was just one loud "FUCK!"

#17 Posted by Skywarpgold (153 posts) -

@BabyChooChoo: And if they didn't do that, there's something wrong there...

#18 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@Skywarpgold: How does it handle text-scaling? Is it easy to read webpages from your couch?

#19 Posted by Skywarpgold (153 posts) -

@Ravenlight: Everything was scaled pretty well on most pages. You can actually zoom in/out using the right stick, so in the few cases where it was too small, I just did that and it was fine.

#20 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@Skywarpgold: Awesome. Thanks for the reply :D

#21 Posted by Funkydupe (3305 posts) -

I'm going to play XCOM I'm buying for PC in this new mode. It supports controllers so it should be a perfect fit.

#22 Posted by Enigma777 (6057 posts) -
@muralbat said:

This has been used in something before but for the life of me I can't remember what it was. It might have been a homebrew text entry system

Yeah, there was a PSP hack a few years ago like it.
#23 Edited by Fattony12000 (6965 posts) -

@TheHumanDove said:

I still dont understand what the hell this is. Can someone explain the function of big picture mode to the borderline retarded?

It's a new UI for Steam that makes it much easier to use from about the distance that you'd sit from an HDTV, whilst holding a controller. For when you're playing The Witcher 2, for example.

It's really neat from what I can tell, no major issues other than it sketches out slightly on YouTube adverts playing inside the browser (which is actually half usable, compares to console/non-desktop browsers), text input is fast and sweet, the icons and text are all super readable and it's mega easy to parse infomation quickly.

Gonna get the girlfriend's PC hooked up to this on autostart with a wireless X360 controller for Borderlands 2 co-op with me! Yey!

#24 Posted by PillClinton (3290 posts) -

@Skywarpgold: I'm with ya, man. It's pretty great, but I still wish I could just take damned screenshots with the guide button. Never was able to figure that out, even messing about with Xpadder and AutoHotkey.

#25 Posted by Sackmanjones (4650 posts) -

It's pretty cool but it's most definitely a beta. Ran into a lot of glitches with it as darksiders 2. Other than that it's really expertly put together

#26 Edited by Fattony12000 (6965 posts) -

@PillClinton said:

@Skywarpgold: I'm with ya, man. It's pretty great, but I still wish I could just take damned screenshots with the guide button. Never was able to figure that out, even messing about with Xpadder and AutoHotkey.

You can!

Just hold the right trigger and press the guide button! Only works in-game.

#27 Posted by PillClinton (3290 posts) -

@Fattony12000: What? Is this new with Big Picture mode? Anyway, thanks, gonna try that out, awesome.

#28 Posted by beepmachine (618 posts) -

@BabyChooChoo: I pictured something similar, except it was a long silence followed by one mumbled "...fuck."

#29 Posted by Skywarpgold (153 posts) -

@Ravenlight: No problem!

@PillClinton: Yeah, it's one of the improvements with the new mode. It's pretty sweet.

#30 Posted by PillClinton (3290 posts) -

Well I guess I can stop having Xpadder running in the background with a weird combination of three d-pad inputs for screenshots (which only works like half the time), so that's cool.

#31 Posted by Brodehouse (9524 posts) -

Now I have to buy a 1080 TV. At my living room size, I need at least 47" and it's got to be LCD because I play games. That's like... 800 dollars Canadian. I don't have that.

Are plasmas really good enough for gaming nowadays? That would shave off 200 bucks.

#32 Posted by I_Stay_Puft (2955 posts) -

Looks great, been playing around with it and looks good. Wish they would allow you to upload custom images for non-steam games. Hard to find certain games without the image right off the bat.

#33 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

Are plasmas really good enough for gaming nowadays? That would shave off 200 bucks.

Eh, plasmas have been better than LCDs for gaming since like...5 years ago or more. Lower response times, superior black levels and colour. What's not to like? Also they display SD content much nicer, so if you play older consoles then they don't look totally like ass.

If you are talking about image retention or screen burning, then no that is not an issue for gaming with plasmas. (it kind of used to be) I wouldn't go back to LCD or LED now after owning 2 different plasmas, this 1080P Panasonic plasma is the best looking TV I've ever seen.

and big picture mode is great, a welcome addition for when I play games with a controller.

#34 Posted by daroga (6 posts) -

Is there a way to make the Guide button launch BPM even if Steam isn't the active window?

If I could make that happen, this would be the solution to almost all of my minor irritants with PC gaming on the TV.

#35 Posted by Jams (2959 posts) -

@Sooty said:

@Brodehouse said:

Are plasmas really good enough for gaming nowadays? That would shave off 200 bucks.

Eh, plasmas have been better than LCDs for gaming since like...5 years ago or more. Lower response times, superior black levels and colour. What's not to like? Also they display SD content much nicer, so if you play older consoles then they don't look totally like ass.

If you are talking about image retention or screen burning, then no that is not an issue for gaming with plasmas. (it kind of used to be) I wouldn't go back to LCD or LED now after owning 2 different plasmas, this 1080P Panasonic plasma is the best looking TV I've ever seen.

and big picture mode is great, a welcome addition for when I play games with a controller.

aren't there bulbs that go out in a plasma?

#36 Edited by RandomInternetUser (6789 posts) -

That's an awesome idea. I have always hated entering text on consoles.

#37 Posted by Kohlstream (67 posts) -

Been playing with emulator shortcuts in steam. Looks pretty good in Big Picture mode.

#38 Posted by Skywarpgold (153 posts) -

@daroga: I was going to say no, but I just had Steam minimized. When I closed it to my system tray, pressing the guide button brought up the Big Picture Mode no matter what other window I was focused on!

I should also note that pressing the guide button brings up the Steam overlay when you're playing a game.

#39 Posted by Brodehouse (9524 posts) -

@Sooty: My roommate has a plasma from about 4 years ago, and screen burning is a thing whenever he plays RPGs with steady HUDs or anything letterboxed or in standard def. If he plays Dragon Age for more than 3 hours he has to set it on the scrolling light thing to de-burn it or whatever.

#40 Posted by daroga (6 posts) -

@Skywarpgold: Ah, that's awesome! Thanks for that headsup!

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