And in the past week, we have seen two HUGE steps forward. We have now witnessed the first REAL move to place PC gaming in the living room, as well as a beta to not only automatically update your graphics drivers as necessary, but optimize your games so those who want to jump in and play can get the absolute best out of their games. The future is really bright ahead!
Earlier this week, Valve pulled Big Picture Mode out of beta and released it to the public. Basically, Big Picture is a new way to use Steam, optimized for TV output… and with just about any modern TV including a PC port, this allows the PC to move in with the consoles, with an interface that is absolutely gorgeous and completely controller functional. Haven taken a quick tour on my desktop, I can back their claims easily. For your convenience, Valve has even included setup instructions so you can start playing in the living room as easy as possible…. and they should work for just about any PC setup that is still playing games today.
And now, Nvidia has taken things to the next level as well. As we speak, they have started a closed beta for a little application called the GeForce Experience. What is this? Well, it’s about getting the most out of your PC hardware, without working for it. The program auto-detects your hardware, drivers, and the games you have installed it supports. Then, using the cloud to keep up with the newest information, shows you the optimized settings within each game for your hardware and lets you change to them with the click of a button. That’s right, this program configures the game for you!
Currently, the close beta has a limited number of supported games, but the potential to make gaming on PC even easier then Steam has basically made it is beyond phenomenal. Welcome to a most welcome option to what you can do on your PC.
In addition to this, the program also finds the latest drivers and installs them for you, but I’m going to be honest, this is not half the breakthrough the rest of the program is. Steam as done this on it’s own for AMD graphic cards a long time ago, and from my personal experience, Windows 7 does a great job at keeping NVidia cards up to date, offering optional downloads for new drivers every few months and on occasion installing the new version as part of the automatic updates. Unless you are a REAL PC enthusiast who has to tweak every little detail yourself, you probably wont need this functionality…. and if you are, you probably don’t want this program.
Overall, this looks like an amazing step forward though!