If you're a gamer, you're probably very familiar with Steam, Valve Software's combination of online game store and community service. It was launched in 2003 by the Portal and Team Fortress 2 maker and next month it will be introducing a new feature called Big Picture aimed to put your computer games front and center in your home theater.
When enabled, Big Picture will reformat Steam's interface to be more easily readable on televisions and work with game controllers in addition to the traditional mouse and keyboard. The feature was originally announced in 2011 and will reportedly go into beta in September and be open for all Steam users to try.
The introduction of Big Picture mode comes after several months of rumors surrounding Valve's supposed intention of either working with Apple on a dedicated game machine or making a "Steam Box" of its own. The company has denied these rumors, but has said that it hopes Big Picture mode will lead to computer makers creating their own gaming-centric machines meant to be connected to televisions and running Steam.
In preparation for the Big Picture mode rollout, check out a primer on Steam and how it can save you a ton of money on new games in our recent feature on the service.
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