Valve officially launches Steam's Big Picture Mode alongside (yet another) games sale.
You may already have heard of Steam's Big Picture Mode, which allows anyone with an HDMI cable to bring Steam's Library to HD televisions. The service has been available in beta since September, but those holding out for the finished version will be happy to know that Big Picture officially launched with a recent Steam update. More importantly, Valve is celebrating Big Picture's release with yet another Steam sale of 30 heavily discounted games.
Big Picture Mode works perfectly well on standard computer monitors, but functions best on a larger screen with a PC controller at hand. The UI and menu have been completely redesigned into a dashboard format, appearing more reminiscent of console operating systems than a program running in your toolbar. Game listings have also been updated to display the extent of controller support available, although all games are still playable in Big Picture Mode with a keyboard and mouse.
To encourage players to try Big Picture Mode, Valve has slashed the prices of several games featuring full PC controller support. Each discounted title is considered one of Steam's "controller-friendliest" games, ranging from shooters like Left 4 Dead and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive to platformers like Braid and Shank 2, and more. Even Train Simulator 2013 has made the cut, finally giving you an excuse to manage virtual Amtrak lines from the comfort of your couch.
Gamers who lack an HDMI port may have trouble taking full advantage of Big Picture Mode, but despite that drawback everyone still loves a good sale. Whether you prefer playing in front of a monitor, or have already activated Big Picture Mode on your television, a new pile of purchases should keep you busy until the next inevitable Holiday Sale crushes our bank accounts once and for all.