Steam's Big Picture Mode isn't taking aim at consoles. It's taking aim at console games | PCGamesN

Blizzard to reveal remaining Blackrock Mountain Hearthstone cards on stream tomorrow

HTC Vive Developer Edition will be free to developers "big or small" says Valve

Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin pricing detailed; $19.99 for owners of original game and DLC

Steam's Big Picture Mode isn't taking aim at consoles. It's taking aim at console games

Steam's Big Picture mode has just landed. The reaction to it, and what it might it mean for the future of PC games is fascinating. A lot of the questions and response has centred around the idea that Valve are taking aim at the consoles and that Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo should be worried.

I'm not sure that's entirely true. The benefits of Steam's Big Picture Mode, to Valve, to third parties, and to PC gamers are subtler than that.

I don't think Big Picture Mode is a threat to consoles. But I think it's a real threat to some console games. Specifically: multi platform games.

What Big Picture Mode does is provide another place to play the things you bought. The PC version of every multi platform game around is now a little bit more valuable, because, with the right hardware and a bit of tinkering, you can get that game running well on a PC you place under or by your living room TV. Not just running well: almost certainly running at a faster frame rate, with more detail, and in a launcher that's near perfectly suited to a controller.

Now, PC gamers simply have more options on where they can they play their game. They can play in their den or office, up close and personal. If the living room is free, they can take their game, their save games, their progress and achievements and start on the living room PC. If they're away on a trip, say a holiday or for work, they can pick up a laptop and take the game with them. If they pack a controller and an HDMI cable they can plug their laptop into their hotel room telly and play on that.

The PC version of a multi platform game is now undisputedly going to be the most flexible and most persistent version. And it will probably be cheaper, too.

What that means in reality? Those that choose to adopt BPM will increasingly reject Xbox 360 and PS3 titles. Case in point: I've been looking forward to Assassin's Creed 3 all year, and had assumed I'd buy it, like I bought the rest of the Assassin's Creed games, on Xbox 360. That's not going to happen. I want the PC version. At some point, I figured I'd get round to playing Dark Souls - but had assumed I'd get the Xbox version. Now, it's PC all the way. I've been meaning to play the Walking Dead through - but I couldn't work out whether to buy it on iOS, Xbox, Playstation 3 or PC. Now the PC version is the natural version.

Login or Register
Try these free to play games
?

These are affiliate links - clicking them and playing the games directly supports PCGamesN

Spotlight
?

Our Spotlight units plug content our journalists have made, that our advertisers want to promote. Sometimes the promotion is paid for, but the content they go to is always independent with no client oversight or approval.


Alienware - Game VictoriousTurtle Beach
Weekend Deal Dump: 2K and Sega fight to the death

Weekend Deal Dump

Weekend Deal Dump: 2K and Sega fight to the death

Blizzard to reveal remaining Blackrock Mountain Hearthstone cards on stream tomorrow

Blizzard to reveal remaining Blackrock Mountain Hearthstone cards on stream tomorrow

HTC Vive Developer Edition will be free to developers

HTC Vive Developer Edition will be free to developers "big or small" says Valve

Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin pricing detailed; $19.99 for owners of original game and DLC

Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin pricing detailed; $19.99 for owners of original game and DLC

The Typing of The Dead: Overkill gets custom dictionaries via Steamworks

The Typing of The Dead: Overkill gets custom dictionaries via Steamworks

Batman: Arkham Knight on PC will only be released digitally in the UK

Batman: Arkham Knight on PC will only be released digitally in the UK

Ashes of the Singularity is an RTS where getting across the largest map takes an hour

Ashes of the Singularity

Ashes of the Singularity is an RTS where getting across the largest map takes an hour

Battlefield 4 Spring Update adds Gun Master game mode and a new weapons crate

Battlefield 4 Spring Update adds Gun Master game mode and a new weapons crate

Sword Coast Legends' party of adventurers finally face the Dungeon Master

Sword Coast Legends' party of adventurers finally face the Dungeon Master

Elite: Dangerous is putting on an in-game scavenger hunt for Nvidia Titan Blacks

Elite: Dangerous is putting on an in-game scavenger hunt for Nvidia Titan Blacks

Hearthstone: Blackrock Mountain: all the spoiled cards so far

Hearthstone: Blackrock Mountain: all the spoiled cards so far

Oculus VR's chief scientist is a big fan of The Matrix and that's scary for many reasons

Oculus VR's chief scientist is a big fan of The Matrix and that's scary for many reasons

Having Lots of Sex With Men in Videogames: Part Two

Coming Out On Top

Having Lots of Sex With Men in Videogames: Part Two

Hearthstone's Blackrock Mountain expansion launches next week

Hearthstone's Blackrock Mountain expansion launches next week

The 20 best RPGs on PC

The 20 best RPGs on PC

Galactic Civilization 3's beta 5 update adds space bugs from the future and pirates

Galactic Civilization 3's beta 5 update adds space bugs from the future and pirates

Tights at the ready: Infinite Crisis launches on Steam

Tights at the ready: Infinite Crisis launches on Steam

Codemasters announce F1 2015, throw-in the 2014 season... almost like F1 2014 never happened

Codemasters announce F1 2015, throw-in the 2014 season... almost like F1 2014 never happened

The 101 Best Free PC Games

Free games

The 101 Best Free PC Games

Pillars of Eternity is out now, so here's a dramatic launch trailer

Pillars of Eternity is out now, so here's a dramatic launch trailer

Half-Life 2 is getting a community-made patch tomorrow; updates visuals and squashes bugs

Half-Life 2 is getting a community-made patch tomorrow; updates visuals and squashes bugs

Alienware Alpha review: why you should wait for the real Steam Machine

Alienware Alpha review: why you should wait for the real Steam Machine

Hands on with the Dirty Bomb closed beta

Hands on with the Dirty Bomb closed beta

GOG reaffirms their refund policy:

GOG reaffirms their refund policy: "Hitting 'Buy' doesn't waive your rights"