Steam's "Big Picture Mode" is entering beta testing in early September. This basically means that, once all the bugs are worked out, users will be able to stream Valve's ever-popular content delivery service directly to their television sets, with screens automatically optimized for proper resolution and size. This news comes from Eurogamer, who mention that news of this concept was first heard back in the spring of last year.
In an interview with GameTrailersTV, Valve's Greg Coomer said "In early September you'll be able to hop into a beta, click a button, and see Steam reformatted for your TV and usable with a PC game controller, or a mouse and keyboard if you want to play that way," Coomer added "There are some games are better made with controller input than others, so those will be the best experiences in the living room, but everything will be there so you don't have to give up your favorite stuff once you walk from the den to the living room."
The rumors of a Valve-branded console have started anew with this latest step towards putting PC games on the home television screen. Valve's Gabe Newell has insisted that the company is not working on a Valve-branded console, however; with this move, gamers who have perhaps grown accustomed to using controllers with their consoles will now bridge the gap from console to PC. Playing fast-paced shooters and action games with a mouse and keyboard can be difficult for some, so this move allows players the fluidity of a controller without the messiness of a keyboard.
Newell went on to say, "We show it hardware guys and say, 'Look, if this is a useful tool for you to deliver your hardware into living rooms, that's great. If you want to run it on top of Windows, that's fine; if you wanna' run it on top of Linux, that's fine.'" He then added, "I think everybody will be able to tell a lot more [soon] - we should have the Linux and 10-foot betas out there fairly quickly and I think customers will say 'this is really great' or they'll say 'this is another interesting but not valuable contribution' fairly quickly."