January 4, 2013
Steam Big Picture – Initial Impressions
Over the holidays I finally got the chance to set myself up a Home Theater PC (HTPC) since I had to replace the graphics card in my gaming rig (Radeon 5970) I put it in my HTPC and called it good. Once I got it all setup I happened to remember that Steam had been parading their new “Steam TV/Big TV” functionality that would allow console users to essentially plug and play their games much like they do on their Xbox.
My initial impressions are quite good actually. Steam has done a good job of simplifying the interface to make it very user and controller friendly. In fact I find the interface easier to navigate and control than both the Xbox and the PS3 and I’ve only used it for 10 minutes. You can use your mouse and keyboard, controller or both at the same time depending on what you want to do.
Entering and exiting Big Picture mode is simple… to start it simply press the Big Picture icon on the top right of the Steam UI and to exit it you select the exit tab in the Big Picture interface.
One of the really neat features I think, especially for console users, is that you can filter the games you see in your own library and in the Steam store by their controller support. There is none, partial and full ratings. So I can immediately see which games are available to me to play with my controller and which I can’t. It’s very intuitive.
So far my impressions are very good. What do you guys think? Do any of you guys use it?