Valve has launched its Big Picture Gaming Mode for connected TV platforms. The service, which was launched in its beta stage in September of this year, allows users to access videogame titles in Valve’s online Steam store using a connected TV and a traditional gaming control pad.
Big Picture also offers gamers chat functionality, and gives users access to the Steam online community. Valve says that Big Picture is available globally in over 20 different languages, including French, Korean and Russian.
Users can also browse and buy games from Steam’s online store, which offers over 2,500 of titles. It also contains a web browser, which users can interface with using a gaming control pad or a mouse and keyboard.
Big Picture’s launch is quite a significant step for Valve, whose gaming and consumer audience has been primarily PC based. Industry analysts point to the fact that now Valve’s online store, services and community can be accessed from the living room, the Washington State-based developer can feasibly chip away at the dominance enjoyed by manufacturers of gaming consoles.
This could also pave the way for Valve to partner up with other media and electronics companies, turning Big Picture into a media hub – like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have done with their consoles.