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Steam Big Picture update encourages you to try, before you buy more

Valve has updated the Big Picture mode for its Steam platform, which makes it more controller-friendly and a larger, easier-to-read experience for those viewing the digital library and store on a TV. It contains a number of interesting features, including a general clean up of the interface, and one of its more welcome additions functionality that prompts you to play some of the games you’ve already bought, before buying something new.

It’s become a bit of a running joke in PC gaming that we all own more games than we could ever play. Whether you have 100 Steam games or 1,000, chances are there’s a good few you bought during a sale or bundle that you’ve never even touched. This new Big Picture update encourages you to change that.

On the library page — along with a revamp that sees the menu system made much more user-friendly — is a section called “Start Something New,” which highlights games in your library that you’ve purchased but never used.

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It also dedicates a big chunk of the page to suggesting games you and friends are playing, which again represents a nudge to play what you already have.

Of course the Store page is where Valve makes its money, so that too is looking fresher and cleaner, with a better search tool for use in diving through your library as well as the online store’s. We did encounter an odd bug that saw the text for what we were searching for obscured, and a few game-page images took a while to load, but no problems were too difficult to overcome.

Also, this release is targeted at 1,920 x 1,080 TVs and screens, as on our 1,920 x 1,200 test display we had black bars at the top and bottom.

But that aside, the Big Picture update feels like a nice overhaul that was well-timed, since it won’t be long now until Steam Controllers go on sale for everyone. We would imagine Valve is hoping to have this new design finalized by then.