Valve Faces a Tall Task in Trying to Take Over the Living Room
Posted by 1UP PC RSS feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 11 December 2012, 6:05 pm

Steam Big Picture

At one point, Steam's Big Picture didn't seem particularly significant. When it was first announced early last year, its appeal seemed limited, albeit very useful for some: among other things, it would make using Steam on a television set much more convenient. But with that not being an enormous demographic, it was no shock when the seemingly simple feature took so long to be released -- it probably was just a low priority. In fact, it's becoming increasingly clear that the carefully crafted Big Picture mode is one of the most significant additions Steam has ever seen, and its official launch earlier this month has paved the way for Valve to more fully focus on the broader goal of bringing computer gaming into the living room.

Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo are all attempting to enhance the non-gaming functionality of their respective consoles in order to turn those systems into more central components of people's living rooms. Valve, meanwhile, has its eyes set on entering the living room, but it has the tall task of getting a box there in the first place. Back in March, rumors circulated that Valve planned to deliver a so-called Steam Box, complete with controller, that would amount to a gaming-capable PC meant to be connected to the television. The announcement of such a device seemed imminent at the time, when in fact plans to create such a thing are much longer-term and less rigid than believed at the time. Valve is continuing to pursue hardware, but it's hardly seeking to be the only option on the market.

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