More Steam in more places as Valve's 'big picture' mode lets players enjoy games on television screens

GDC11: Steam to support ‘TV interaction’

Valve is updating download service Steam with a new ‘big picture’ mode that lets player access games on TV and computer screens throughout the house.

The mode, announced in the opening moments of GDC will deliver ‘controller support and navigation designed for television interaction’.

"Our partners and customers have asked us to make Steam available in more places. With the introduction of Steam on the Mac, and soon in Portal 2 on the PS3, we’ve done just that," said Doug Lombardi, vice president of marketing for Valve. "With big picture mode, gaming opportunities for Steam partners and customers become possible via PCs and Macs on any TV or computer display in the house."

It is not yet known when big picture mode will be available, but Valve has promised more details are expected during the course of GDC.

Valve has also confirmed that it will use GDC to deliver its partners data the Portal and Half-Life developer collated as part of the launch of Steam Microtransactions last year within its own Team Fortress 2. The data will demonstrate that studios can now foster their own in-game economy using the Steamworks SDK.

"We’ve come to understand what type of content sells well in TF2’s in-game store, and the various price points at which players value this content," stated Robin Walker, game designer at Valve. "Our players are continually teaching us what works and what doesn’t. Much of this feedback can be generalised to other titles on Steam, so we’re looking forward to sharing what we’ve learned with partners at GDC. We’re also interested in seeing partners get up and running with their own in-game economies, so they can collect game-specific data to inform their design decisions."

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