Changing the Game with Steam’s Big Picture

Steam Big Picture Mode

Hola, Sushians. If you can’t tell, we’ve been on a bit of a break due to the holidays and the fact that most gaming news has ground to a halt. On top of that, we’re actually busy playing tons of games for a change (XCOM, you have my heart), so that we can vote on our Top 10 Games of 2012 list and also because games are amazing.

On top of clearing out a backlog (which has been made impossible due to the Steam sale), one of my goals over the holiday season was to finally purchase an adapter of some sort so I could play certain PC games with a 360 controller. While I enjoy a keyboard and mouse for shooters and RTS style games, there are a number of gametypes I’d prefer to use my 360 controller for — to the point where I wasn’t purchasing some great deals on games because I didn’t want to play with a keyboard and mouse.

Well, I’ve finally hooked up the adapter and tried out Big Picture Mode, Steam’s new UI built for a controller and a TV, and wow, guys — I’m a total believer in a Steam box. With all the games I grabbed from the Steam Sale perfect for a controller, such as Sleeping Dogs, Half Minute Hero and Hotline Miami, I can’t wait to use this interface more as I tackle super cheap games I never would have been able to play on a console for that price. Add to that the fact that games look even better, then a Steam box is the perfect foray into the next generation if you’re wary of jumping into Microsoft or Sony’s next entries with both feet.

This probably all seems obvious to those of you who have been doing this for some time, but this really was a game changer for me in terms of how I approach the next generation. I’m obsessed with the idea of either turning my current PC into a Big Picture box for my TV and then upgrading, or keeping my current box as a desktop and building a cheaper, smaller Big Picture box. Either way, I think Steam is about to be my next gen console of choice.

How many of you have toyed around with Big Picture mode? What games have you grabbed due to the Steam sale? Go!

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I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

3 thoughts on “Changing the Game with Steam’s Big Picture”

  1. It crashed steam the first time I used it. I haven’t tried since. But I’m considering going the same route to be honest: steam sales on console-type games.

  2. I haven’t tried the big picture mode yet, but I am planning to set up my rig out in the living room to play some games with the roomates. If any of you are wanting to play games from steam that only have partial controller support, or are really only designed for 360 Controller support but you have 3rd party, I would strongly recommend the apps x360ce and/or joy2key. The first one tricks any game into thinking you’re using an actual 360 controller (I play with a Dual-Shock Logitech PS style controller) and the second app allows you to bind any keyboard keys to buttons on your controller, like SPACE = Button 1, etc. They’re unique to each program or application and great for playing games that are better suited to controller.

    I bought Rayman:Origins, Darksiders II and Deadlight specifically for controller. So far Deadlight doesn’t really work natively, so I’ve gotta rework it with Joy2Key most likely.

    BUT: Long story short, very excited for Big Picture and Steam Box. Love being able to have all choices open to me.

  3. I have tried it just to get to know the interface and I’m impressed so far. It’s really nice. I haven’t really had the opportunity to try it on a larger TV yet (I use my 22″ TV for my computer monitor, I really want to connect it to our 40″ in the living room) so hopefully I’ll get a chance this week before exams kick in.

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