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Steam Big Picture launches today – could change industry

Valve is set to launch its latest expansive project today: Steam Big Picture. Designed to offer a decent Steam experience on your lounge TV – controlled via Xbox controller – Big Picture could end up having a very interesting impact on the industry.

For one, while Valve has made it quite clear that it is working on some sort of hardware, having your PC hooked up to your giant living room TV, navigable via a controller or mouse, essentially makes for a virtual games console. Valve doesn't need to make hardware to offer its Steam platform elsewhere in the house, it just needs Big Picture. That said, it could lead to Valve making a deal with a budget PC maker, shipping a bundle that contains a mouse, keyboard, controller and budget gaming desktop.

Steam Big Picture: Giving the middle finger to net-gen consoles

Secondly, this could be just the thing TV manufacturers need to help push Ultra Definition 4K TVs. We'll be waiting until the end of next year with the release of the PS4 or Xbox 720 before a console will be able to support more than current HD offerings, but PC games hooked up to a 4K resolution TV shouldn't have a problem – as long as the desktop has the hardware to back it up.

And Thirdly, it offers a better outlet for certain genres of games that aren't as well developed on the PC. Sure you can plug an Xbox controller into your desktop already and play the latest racing or beat 'em up game, but it's not the same as relaxing on your sofa. By allowing console like game play and simple navigation elsewhere in the house, we could see far more console-controller orientated games appearing on Steam.

KitGuru Says: Are there any other changes you guys could see Big Picture having on the current state of gaming? It's certainly a good competitior for the Ouya with Steam's strong library of indie games.

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