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Steam's 'Big Picture' mode beta coming today, watch a video walkthrough now

Hook up your PC to your TV for the Big Picture

Steam Big Picture beta video walkthrough 960
Steam Big Picture beta video walkthrough 960
Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Steam's "Big Picture" mode, a TV-friendly redesign of the client's interface, is now publicly available in a beta test period.

Steam's "Big Picture" mode, a TV-friendly redesign of the client's interface, will be available in beta today, and Valve released a video explaining the setup.

A New York Times story previously reported that the beta would be going live today, after a Valve spokesman announced in mid-August that it would hit in "early September."

Big Picture mode brings Steam into the living room, with a reformatted version of the client that is navigable with a video game controller as well as a keyboard and mouse. A unique non-QWERTY virtual keyboard, "Daisywheel," looks to make text entry faster and easier, and the TV client also includes a controller-friendly web browser "that doesn't suck." In addition, the entire Steam Store and Steam Community are available to Big Picture users.

Steam's Big Picture mode could lead the way for a Steam-enabled living-room device; Valve recently listed a job opening for an industrial designer who would be working on a box that would address "the lack of innovation in the computer hardware space."

Check out the Big Picture details from Valve here, including system requirements and a handy setup guide listing the variety of options available to users. Big Picture supports HDMI, DVI, and even VGA output from your computer to your TV.

Update: Steam's page explaining Big Picture is now live; we've edited the original post above to reflect that. According to the website, the beta launching today is for PC only, but a Mac version is "coming soon."

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