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The new Steam Big Picture Mode (Beta)


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PC Console Gaming Master Race?

With Valve's 'Steam Machines' due for release this November, Valve has been reworking their Big Picture Mode with improvements and changes.  Steam is always in open beta so you can just opt into the beta stream to see the changes that will be rolled out soon.  So far they've made changes in usibility, suggesting games you've never played before and such.  I think they have a way to go to really compete with with the interfaces seen on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 but it's a move in the right direction.

I'm a big user of Big Picture Mode, while I have no interest in the Linux based Steam Machines, I have Windows 7 based Home Theater PCs that switch between Kodi and Steam BPM for my media and gaming needs.  Basically, I use PCs as game consoles.





It seems that Valve is really serious about this Steam Machine thing and their efforts on Big Picture Mode, which really brings PC Gaming to the living room there are some caveats.  For example, I have my Windows HTPCs setup to switch between Steam and Kodi and it's Kodi that allows me to access my TV shows, movies, Twitch, YouTube, and anything else 'Media' wise.  The stand alone Steam Machines running Linux only offer 'games' thus far.  I think additional media apps will be necessary for these machines to improve their value to the users, especially as some models of Steam Machine will cost as much or well more than a game console, a game console that has no difficulty giving users access to lots of media options.

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I'd like them to give the regular interface as big an pretty an overhaul. Aside from some slight improvements and prettifications, the interface is still relatively the same as back when I joined in 2005. It still feels clunky and everything just seems to have been shoved into existing categories without any regards.

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I use my PC as a PC and I still switch into Big Picture mode occasionally just for the atmosphere of it. I love the interface and the potential it has.

I found that older PCs can do wonders in a dedicated living room situation.  My living room HTPC is an i7 3770K with Radeon 6950, it's just spare parts really.  But something like that is more than enough to tackle 80%-90% of the games out there on Steam easily.  Steam has also promoted better support of BPM, gamepads, and such that more games are suitable for the living room as well.  I mean, your typical RTS or MOBA would be terrible with a gamepad from the couch, but other titles can be great.  I imagine most dual core processors and any so-so graphics card could do the job for most things.  One could pretty easily build their own Steam Machine using either Windows or Valve's Linux.  I'd honestly vote Windows myself since all the games will run natively that way,

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