Valve Software hints at 'big picture mode' for Steam

Ahead of this week's Game Developers Conference, Valve Software announced a forthcoming "big picture mode" for its Steam game download service.

Valve describes big picture mode only briefly, saying the feature "will offer controller support and navigation designed for television interaction." It plans to discuss the feature in detail with game developers and publishers at the conference.

This news comes amid an arguably increased blurring of the lines between PC and console games. Valve and Sony announced in January that the PlayStation 3 version of Valve's Portal 2 will support remote saved game storage through Valve's Steamworks API. Gamers will then be able to transfer their saved games between the PS3 and Mac or PC versions of Portal 2, a practice Valve is hoping to encourage by bundling a free download code for the PC version of the game with the PS3 version.

Additionally, cloud gaming service OnLive last November launched its MicroConsole, which lets gamers play streamed PC games from Square Enix, THQ, Ubisoft, 2K Games, and others from the OnLive service on their televisions, complete with a dedicated game-pad controller.

We'll update with more information about Valve's TV gaming plans as it becomes available, and stay tuned for more news from GDC throughout the week.

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