Couch gamers rejoice: 10-foot interface launching tomorrow!

#1 Posted by JoeyRavn (4998 posts) -

According to this NY Times article, a beta of the much-anticipated "big picture mode" is hitting Steam this Monday, 09/10/12:

On Monday, the company will begin a public test of a new television-friendly interface, Big Picture, for buying Steam games and playing them on computers in the living room.

Awesome, right? If it turns out to be true, I can see many people having less excuses to move their PCs to their living rooms. Or, a least, getting a long ass HDMI cable and running it from their PCs to the living room. Now let's just hope Valve doesn't run on Valve Time this time...

#2 Posted by Galiant (2193 posts) -

FINALLY, YES!

I AM EXCITED!

#3 Posted by AndrewB (7670 posts) -

Yeah, Valve Time means that this will actually hit beta 2 weeks from Monday and be released to everyone halfway through 2013.

#4 Posted by JeanLuc (3593 posts) -

My new desktop PC is arriving tomorrow. Perfect opportunity to test it out.

#5 Posted by valrog (3671 posts) -

Still waiting for the first set of software titles to be sold on Steam...

#6 Posted by Jrinswand (1711 posts) -

If only that were the only problem impeding me from playing video games in the living room. There's also the matter of modems, cords, and a distinct lack of desk space.

#7 Edited by AndrewB (7670 posts) -

Considering last night was the first time I ever hooked my desktop PC up to my TV (for a public playing of The Walking Dead), I guess I'm looking forward to it. It's been ages since the Steam UI got an update, anyway. I figure it'll be good even for us monitor types ( I can't stand playing games from the distance my TV is at, but I suppose I just need a bigger TV).

#8 Posted by believer258 (12019 posts) -

@JeanLuc said:

My new desktop PC is arriving tomorrow. Perfect opportunity to test it out.

My new one - the parts, actually - arrived a few days ago, so I'll also be testing this out on a brand-new rig!

And yes, this seems awesome. Mine is already plugged up to the TV, so this is just a matter of testing it out.

#9 Posted by Butano (1758 posts) -

My TV (old DLP Sony Wega) was having issues when I tried to connect my desktop to it using a DVI-to-HDMI cable. Think I might have to upgrade my card to get it working right (currently using a 3 year old 9800 GTX+)

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#10 Posted by Zidd (1852 posts) -

Here is the trailer they put out. It looks better than any console's interface.

#11 Posted by JoeyRavn (4998 posts) -

Anyone know how to access the beta? :D

Also, where are my Achievements? I mean, they are there, but I can't see them since the new Communities stuff went live...

#12 Posted by Zidd (1852 posts) -

should be live later today but we are on valve time here so who knows.

#13 Posted by AlexW00d (6317 posts) -

@JoeyRavn said:

Anyone know how to access the beta? :D

Also, where are my Achievements? I mean, they are there, but I can't see them since the new Communities stuff went live...

You opt into Steam betas from the options.

#14 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

Why is Microsoft incapable of making something that good, when they spend like a bazillion dollars a minute on big screen and touch interfaces?

#15 Posted by JoeyRavn (4998 posts) -

@AlexW00d said:

You opt into Steam betas from the options.

I've been subscribed to the beta client for ages now and that's the only one I see, so I guess that I'll just have to wait for either a new beta option to pop in or for a client update.

My Achievements are back, though. It seems a quick restart of the client fixed it. Weird.

#16 Posted by QKT (250 posts) -

they slipped SPAAACE in there as soon as they could. fuck valve, man.

#17 Posted by ErgoMeSmart (41 posts) -

Awesome. Finally an excuse to buy a long HDMI and hook up to my TV too.

#18 Posted by Spankmealotus (293 posts) -
@JoeyRavn: You can see any of your achievments from the menu on the right in the Library tab. Pick a game and view its achievements. Or you can go to your profile and look under games hit view stats on any game you have achievements in and view achievements there.
#19 Posted by AlexW00d (6317 posts) -

@JoeyRavn said:

@AlexW00d said:

You opt into Steam betas from the options.

I've been subscribed to the beta client for ages now and that's the only one I see, so I guess that I'll just have to wait for either a new beta option to pop in or for a client update.

My Achievements are back, though. It seems a quick restart of the client fixed it. Weird.

Hmm, it'll either come via that beta update client tomorrow, or it'll be a silly ticket thing again like the community one, which I still have an invite for in my inventory.

#20 Posted by SamStrife (1286 posts) -

As a guy who plays games on his TV, I cannot wait for this and I hope when I get home from work I can try it out.

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#21 Posted by Cirdain (3102 posts) -

Daisywheel.... arrcgggghhhhhhhhhh. That's so damn clever.

#22 Posted by MrKlorox (11209 posts) -

Took long enough.

#23 Posted by Jackel2072 (2269 posts) -

@Cirdain said:

Daisywheel.... arrcgggghhhhhhhhhh. That's so damn clever.

Yeah when i fist saw that, i said huh that mighty actually work. we'll find out later today (or maybe tomorrow depending on when it rolls out)

#24 Posted by nasseh (83 posts) -

This looks great, can't wait to test it out.

Question though, does anyone here know of any good wireless keyboard/mice combos? My PC is about 3 meters (10 feet) from where I usually sit in the living room, and there's a thin wall separating them. I've tried a cheap logitech wireless keyboard before but it was super laggy. Just wondering if any of you have a similar set up and what kind of hardware you use.

#25 Posted by kindgineer (2773 posts) -

Can someone tell me why this is such a big thing? I've played games on my TV (58") before and see this just being a UI update for the steam client. While that is "neat," I don't see it being worthy of all the hype it seems to be generating.

Not that it really matters in the end. I'm just curious.

#26 Posted by JoeyRavn (4998 posts) -

@ck1nd said:

Can someone tell me why this is such a big thing? I've played games on my TV (58") before and see this just being a UI update for the steam client. While that is "neat," I don't see it being worthy of all the hype it seems to be generating.

Not that it really matters in the end. I'm just curious.

Because it's a step towards having an "autonomous", dedicated gaming PC as your primary gaming device. One of the things that people always complain about in the ever-lasting debate of PC vs. consoles is the fact that you need to have a keyboard and a mouse to navigate a typical PC user interface. If you're sitting on your couch, you have to have some sort of surface (a table, for example) to put the mouse on. It's cumbersome. Big Picture solves that problem.

It's not about the games, really. They will be largely the same. It's about how access those games, how Steam integrates itself with a space typically reserved for consoles.

#27 Posted by eternalshades (91 posts) -

@nasseh said:

This looks great, can't wait to test it out.

Question though, does anyone here know of any good wireless keyboard/mice combos? My PC is about 3 meters (10 feet) from where I usually sit in the living room, and there's a thin wall separating them. I've tried a cheap logitech wireless keyboard before but it was super laggy. Just wondering if any of you have a similar set up and what kind of hardware you use.

Part of your problem is that cheap RF-base wireless keyboards are just bad and often only work withing a few feet with direct line of sight. If you want to remain with low cost devices try looking for a bluetooth-based ones instead, they should work much better than cheap RF across walls. Or just bite the bullet and buy a more reliable (but more expansive) device.

Personally I've been using an i-rocks keyboard & mouse combo for two years now on my tv-pc and it has been working really well (haven't even had to change the batteries yet). It is RF-based and my pc is in the same room so I can't tell you how well it would work for you across a wall, but it's been very reliable for me. Note that I don't really use it for gaming though, I mostly just use it to do some quick internet browsing or launch games that I then control with a 360 controller.

#28 Posted by FakeKisser (355 posts) -

I will still primarily play PC games (games, in general) at my desk. However, I have a laptop hooked up to my TV, and I'm super excited about his new Big Picture Mode!! I'm also going to build a new PC in the coming months, and my current PC will live at my TV to play certain games there. So, I'll get a lot of use out of Big Picture Mode. :)

#29 Posted by Terramagi (1159 posts) -

@ck1nd said:

Can someone tell me why this is such a big thing? I've played games on my TV (58") before and see this just being a UI update for the steam client. While that is "neat," I don't see it being worthy of all the hype it seems to be generating.

Not that it really matters in the end. I'm just curious.

Because it gives the GLORIOUS PC GAMING MASTER RACE ammunition to use in the "b-b-but I like to sit on a couch 50 feet away and lay back!" argument.

#30 Posted by JoeyRavn (4998 posts) -

It's out now. Guys.

Guys.

This is like a fucking Steam console.

Guys.

#31 Posted by Galiant (2193 posts) -

@Galiant said:

FINALLY, YES!

I AM EXCITED!

My excitement was not for naught, I think the big picture mode is perfect.

If only more games had game pad support...

#32 Posted by GetEveryone (4458 posts) -

Ran fine for one day.

Froze on the friends screen and caused Steam to be unable to launch due to a UI_1960_pkg error.

After a lot of faffing around I got it back working again, only to opt back into the beta and restart Steam... the same issue occurred.

Cue a similar amount of faffing, now I have Steam sans Big Picture.

Disappointed considering I really liked it.

#33 Posted by Snail (8622 posts) -

@JoeyRavn: I haven't found a download link for this. Maybe it's not available in my country. I looked for it at about the time of the beta release, but couldn't find any. Can you provide a direct link or something? Please?

#34 Posted by JoeyRavn (4998 posts) -

@Snail said:

@JoeyRavn: I haven't found a download link for this. Maybe it's not available in my country. I looked for it at about the time of the beta release, but couldn't find any. Can you provide a direct link or something? Please?

Are you subscribed to the Beta updates? If not, go to Settings > Beta Participation: Change > Steam Beta Update. Restart the client. You'll get the Big Picture icon on the top right corner.

#35 Posted by Snail (8622 posts) -

@JoeyRavn: Huh, I think I was at one point but recently opted out. Thanks, I see it now.

#36 Posted by believer258 (12019 posts) -

It's neat and nice but I don't use it much.

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