Valve’s new user interface solution for the Steam gaming network is now out of beta. It’s called Big Picture and it’s designed for gamers looking to simulate the console experience without having to abandon their desktop collection.
While you can still get around by keyboard and mouse, the goal was to give gamers the ability to use their controller not only within those titles that support them, but also as a means to navigate the online store, game library, and community pages, as well as browse the internet using Steam’s modified Chrome browser.
When chatting or browsing using a controller, input is handled by way of the Daisywheel, where the keys are mapped alphabetically around the left analog stick in groups of four. It might take some getting used to before you can pick up any kind of speed in your typing, but stands a better chance than visually representing a keyboard on the screen and scrolling one key at a time across it.
To kick off the first week of its launch, over 30 fully controller-friendly games are on sale, some as much as 75% off. Currently 41 titles provide full controller support, with 387 titles providing partial support.
You will want to make sure your system can handle the application, but if you’re ready to make the switch, or just need to get a feel for what it would take, the Setup Guide lists some connectivity options as well as a few of their recommended controllers.