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Steam Big Picture Mode Launches

Steam News Announces the new Big Picture mode is now available, permitting easier access to Steam games on televisions. They kick this off with a celebration sale where you can "save big on Steam's controller-friendliest games." Here's word:

Access to the complete Steam store is included, as is the Steam Community. Big Picture is available worldwide in over twenty languages, including German, French, Russian, Korean, and Portuguese.

Gamers’ existing games are all available in Big Picture. In addition to having the complete library of Steam games, each user's cloud files, Steam Workshop content, account information and preferences will be accessible automatically in the new mode.

Steam gamers may easily experience Big Picture on their televisions by connecting their PC or Mac, typically with a single HDMI cable. Big Picture also includes a new web browser designed for televisions and game controllers. It is accessible from anywhere within the Big Picture UI, and even while playing Steam games on a TV. It supports Big Picture's new method of typing with a gamepad, which is useful for entering URLs, filling out forms, chatting, and other functions.

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36. Re: Steam Big Picture Mode Launches Dec 4, 2012, 09:05 theyarecomingforyou
 
dj LiTh wrote on Dec 4, 2012, 08:40:
May i suggest a macro program with a nice simple kb shortcut. Thats pretty much my friends setup, and he was going crazy having to switch back and forth his primary monitor all the time for certain things. Now he just uses a macro program and it switches in about 2s.
How would one go about doing that? I have a soundswitcher, so I can change between my sound unit and HDMI audio with a click of a button or a keyboard combo; how would I add changing the default monitor to that? I seem to recall I looked into a shortcut a while back and had some trouble with it. Also, that doesn't help when I sometimes choose to play on monitor and sometimes on HDTV, as it means I have to manually change the resolution.

Verno wrote on Dec 4, 2012, 08:42:
That's not really an issue in general, just a niche issue pertaining to you as that's not what the feature is aimed at. You could easily script your problem away by using displayswitch.exe. What you're asking for to be automated is almost impossible due to how games having direct access to display controls and how Windows identifies displays, the EDID problems alone with receivers would likely be insurmountable.
My setup is no more niche than people running a HDTV as their primary display for gaming systems. Both are outisde of the norm, yet Valve obviously decided Big Picture was worth implementing. Further, games like RAGE include in-game options to which display to use so I'm sure a company like Valve could achieve something similar. They could use a behinds the scenes workaround, like temporarily changing the default monitor and restoring it on exit. It's perfectly possible to implement - it would require a bit more work but it would be a lot more compelling functionality wise.

I like the concept but it's just no use to me as it is. There should be an option to choose which display to launch onto and an ability to make games run on that display. That would I could game on my monitor normally, then click Big Picture to launch games on my HDTV for casual gaming. Really the issue lies with AMD and nVidia or Microsoft but it would still be nice to see Valve pioneer usability.
 
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