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Posted by on Dec 14, 2012 in Features, Video Games |

Steam Big Picture, in-depth analysis

Steam Big Picture, in-depth analysis

Steam has become the largest gaming platform for PC and Mac gamers, and is that creating Valve has not only the largest online community of video games, but their catalog is so extensive and include a series of offers as attractive, it is virtually impossible to escape the temptation to buy any security of those who mysteriously have a 75% discount just for a weekend, also the spectacular games created by directly, like the famous Team Fortress 2, you can play for free, and therefore has a huge number of fans.

However, Valve wants more.

Big Picture is the way that Valve is about the fans of the home console, and let’s face it, there are many games that are more comfortable to play with a keyboard and mouse, with the clearest examples FPS games (shots and first person shooter) and MMORPG (massive multiplayer games online role), but many others are more comfortable to play with a joystick, like adventure games, platform, or RPGs in the style of Final Fantasy .

Gabe Newell , founder and president of Valve, is clear on this, and therefore want to attract users of Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, via Big Picture, as this new feature of (which is available for all age the latest update) allows a convenient interface, connect the computer to a TV and monitor both the platform and the games with a traditional controller.

Steam Big Picture, in-depth analysis image 2

After trying for several days this functionality, my first conclusion is that certainly works very well, although it has its cons, which we will analyze in the following lines.

Its interface

The interface is certainly created to take advantage of both a mouse and keyboard (if needed) and with a remote control, and that the latter has been devised. Mu is easy access to all parts of the platform using a command, as the cursor moves to the rhythm indicated by the joystick, and taking into account the size of each of the buttons, there is no way to fail when we want to press one .

The main menu consists of three main sections: Store, Games and Community. Each opens a menu that completely fulfills its function, in fact I would say that there is virtually nothing that can not be done from Big Picture, with obvious exceptions such as buying a game, because although we can access to the store and see all the games available, search for titles and watch trailers, descriptions and reviews of these, at the time of entering payment information is possible but cumbersome.

Steam Big Picture, in-depth analysis image 3

In the games section obviously find all the games you’ve purchased, however, first be greeted by a screen that will show the titles we played recently, which is useful for those who are over 30 or 40 securities purchased. But of course, you can access the entire catalog.

Between each of the pressing sections can navigate triggers “RT” and “LT” of the command, for greater speed. We also have a virtual keyboard to enter text whenever necessary.

In the case of the last section, Community, we have a list of all our friends on the platform, plus the ability to chat with them, invite them to games and of course, start voice chat, which will be much more practical taking into that we are using a traditional controller.

However, the virtual keyboard should not be underestimated, as used for a system called “daisywheel”, a keyboard that lets you use the buttons on the remote to choose letters, to be ordered in batches of four at a time, and these we can change by moving the left stick. The system is just great and very convenient to write.

Steam Big Picture, in-depth analysis image 4

Now without doubt one of the most used functions of the traditional Steam is the access to a web browser, start a chat and more, all while we are in a game, pressing the buttons “Shift” and “Tab” key. This is also possible in the Big Picture mode, and it’s actually easier, as is done by pressing the center button on the remote, and from there it can exit the game if desired.

Control Compatibility

This is the greatest fault I found Big Picture mode, this is the amount of control knobs with which it is compatible. The suggested control is the Xbox 360, which can be used with just plug and play, simple as that, Steam will recognize instantly. The Xbox controller can be wired or wireless.

It also supports a specific model of the brand Logitech, the Logitech F710, and of course can be used with mouse and keyboard. But surely control options are very limited, to those models. In my case, I am user of PlayStation 3 has me really hard, so much so that I had to purchase an Xbox 360 controller to play quietly.

Of course, there are several emulators that simulate an Xbox 360 controller, and are compatible with many other controls of any brand, including the PlayStation, however, made it impossible for me to run the PS3 controller via Bluetooth with Steam, simply impossible, and, if used with cable connected sometimes I joysticks stopped working for some unknown reason. And although work well with cable, all PS3 user knows how short it is the cable that brings the console to load the controls was very uncomfortable, so I ended up buying an Xbox controller that works perfectly me.

Steam Big Picture, in-depth analysis image 5



Big Picture is a spectacular idea, and I never tire of saying it. Let those who prefer to play on consoles, we fall in love Steam. That has happened in my case, and many more think the same. Clearly I have purchased an online game for many is not the same as having the game on CD, and they are right, but the prices and rebates on Steam sometimes are so attractive that it simply does not matter.

But Big Picture goes far beyond that allow your computer to connect to the TV and play with a gamepad, Big Picture is the way that Valve gives a first clue to his intentions to launch a console, or at least a hybrid between computer and console , something that Gabe Newell confirmed a couple of days ago . And is that a steam box, with hardware either Valve or any other company, it would not be more than a computer with a practical, good performance and Steam based software that begin to turn once on Big Picture mode.

For now, my only annoyance with this feature is how much they have limited matching controllers, of rest, I invite you to get a taste of playing any action or adventure title, I guarantee you will have a pleasant experience.

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