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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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47. Re: Steam Big Picture Mode Launches Dec 4, 2012, 10:08 Verno
PHJF wrote on Dec 4, 2012, 10:00:
I would just love to fucking see a driver-level or OS-level option to toggle between multi monitors on an app specific basis. I shouldn't have to change my TV to my primary screen to get a game to grab it.

Very rarely a game comes along with a .ini value that does just this.

That's really what is needed but unfortunately multi-monitor support has always been kludgey in most operating systems. There are some programs that sort of let you do this (UltraMon) but they inevitably break down when Windows changes something behind the scenes and screws up the monitor profile.

Windows should just treat display devices like it does audio devices, with an enabled and disabled state so that you can still manage them and retain identities regardless of where they are physically connected, powered on/off and etc.

I deliberately avoided getting into technicalities but as I said, Valve could simply switch the primary display when launching Big Picture mode and restore it on exit. In fact that functionality should be built into Steam regardless of Big Picture mode. I'm sure there's probably a smarter way to do it but I don't know enough technical details to suggest what that may be.

It can't though and for many reasons as discussed. There are a lot of things I want in Steam but I can't just ignore the technical realities. Steam has no way of knowing which displays are intended to be primary and those identities can change regardless. For example Windows sometimes decides to make my HDTV the primary monitor if its turned on and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes the driver software packages from AMD/Nvidia can make this "stick" and other times they can't, it's difficult to make assumptions about multi-monitor stuff.

For your specific situation you could easily script it with Eventghost or AHK and using displayswitch.exe, you can flip between them by using the /internal and /external flags. Enable Big Picture, flip displays, launch game from Big Picture interface. In fact that's what I would suggest you do because I don't think Steam getting monitor management is very likely.

This comment was edited on Dec 4, 2012, 10:16.
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