Steam’s Big Picture For Mac Beta Now Available

Steam’s Big Picture For Mac Beta Now Available

Back in September, we reported that Valve had created a special interface to let Steam gamers play on the big screen with a controller. At that time the PC version of Steam was enabled for what it calls Big Picture, but today, one of our readers noticed that the Mac beta is finally available.

It’s also fairly easy to enable it on your Mac right now–no software update required, if you’re already running the latest version of Steam.

Steam’s Big Picture For Mac Beta Now AvailableTo enable Big Picture on your Mac, launch Steam, then open the Preferences, either from the Apple menu or by hitting Command-Comma on your keyboard. The tab in the top left, Account, is the one you want. Click on the Change Beta Participation button about halfway down the preferences window and choose Steam Beta Update. Steam may need to relaunch, and once it does, you’ll see the Big Picture button in the upper right of the Steam client window. Click it to go into controller mode.

I took it for a spin today and it definitely looks usable right on the Mac itself with an attached controller or a mouse interface. I haven’t hooked up a controller, yet, needing a wired one (I only have wireless Xbox 360 controllers), but the interface looks like a Steam-flavored version of the Xbox Dashboard, complete with game preview rectangles and a horizontally scrolling interface.

If you’re running Mountain Lion and have an Apple TV, you can AirPlay your Mac screen up to your HDTV, and sit in your living room to play Steam games from the comfort of your couch.

Thanks, Tim!

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  • CrypieHef

    Thank you! It rocks and have had no problems with it! I have the 720P version of ATV and like I said, works no problem. Not sure why this is still Beta :) LOL. Of course I have only used it for about an hour testing Counter Strike: Global Offcensive, DOD Source, and Team Fortress 2. Used Keyboard and Mouse also tested with a PS3 controller paired to my Macbook Pro. Looks great and controls are right on.

  • Guest

    I might have to get a wired controller as well, or the PS3 controller. I wonder if the Microsoft wireless adapter for the Xbox controller would work on a Mac. It’s only $15, and I wouldn’t have cords stretching across my room.

  • Ian_TWL

    I might have to get a wired controller as well, or the PS3 controller. I wonder if the Microsoft wireless adapter for the Xbox controller would work on a Mac. It’s only $15, and I wouldn’t have cords stretching across my room.

    I use a wireless receiver with the same drivers I use with the wired controller; it works great. I hear the third-party knockoffs are less reliable, however, and may or may not use the (semi-)official driver.

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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