Our friends at Kotaku have a preview of Big Picture mode, a new experiment for Valve's Steam platform. Steam is sort of like the iTunes Store of PC gaming--it's a one-stop shop for games, and it has basically complete control of that market. Big Picture mode gives Steam an interface specifically designed for the living room--you're supposed to sit ten feet away from the screen, on your couch, controller in hand, which makes it very different from the way PC gaming is normally done.
Valve is using it to test the waters, to see if PC gamers take to it before doing something more drastic (like creating their own console). The logistics are troublesome by themselves; will gamers buy new hardware just for the living room? Move existing computers back and forth? Do PC gamers even want this option? But it definitely has advantages, which PC gamers would be thrilled to tell you about: no locked-down systems, totally customizable hardware, speedy patches and updates and expansions of games. Plus, it looks cool:
The beta is now available, for Windows users. Grab it here.
Move computers back and forth?
Who moves anything in the age of wireless and 100ft Chinese-made cables for $5?
all new tvs pretty much come with a pc input...add in a wireless mouse and keyboard. who needs a console game set??
So exactly how, if I wanted to toy with the "Valve" concept, I go about implementing to see if I liked it? Where is the link? How much does it cost? What is involved in implementing 'valve'? Just curious.;)
Am I the only one here who thinks this is largely irrelevant?
My computer is already linked to a wired & wireless media environment connecting a gaming console/DVD player, Apple wifi/NAS backup, cable DVR & Internet services - with all A/V switched through a 7.1 channel receiver. I can order game, audio or video content from my "enabled" components, the game console or computer and play it almost immediately.
The world is already integrated in a plug & play environment. Investing in something even simpler has limited returns due to the equally limited benefits. A higher amount of risk due to a single point of failure on the local level is contrary to practical systems management, too.