The gaming industry is growing by leaps and bounds. Steam, one of the premiere companies for online games, recently crossed the 500 million user mark. New consoles, new games and the sequels to incredibly popular games are already on the way. Where gaming consoles and services were once just part of a larger multimedia system, they're increasingly becoming a hub for movies, music, communications, and television.

TV integrationSteam the leading digital solution for PC and Mac gamers

To celebrate ever-expanding user base, Steam launched Big Picture Mode last week. It integrates Steam games into your television with an Xbox-live like menu that opens at the press of a button. All the capabilities of a normal Steam account are there, but the layout is different.

More importantly, though, Steam's Big Picture Mode lets users play the games with controllers instead of a keyboard and mouse. As Kotaku points out, it doesn't mean the end of console gaming, but it will definitely entice new users to try PC gaming.

TV integration takes another step

Nintendo has gone a step further with TV integration. The newly announced TVii brings vMinecraft Pocket Edition Mobile Gameideo streaming to the WiiU in a way that hasn't been seen on consoles before. Instead of just connecting users to services like Netflix and Amazon Streaming Video, it brings cable onto your console. The gamepad will act as a universal remote, as well as connecting a user to content like commentary.

The TVii service may also include a TV Guide of sorts and TiVo-like functionality.

And speaking of screens...

Now that mobile gamers outnumber traditional computer and console gamers, it's no surprise that Minecraft, a popular game on both PC and Xbox, is now available on Kindle Fire. Minecraft: Pocket Edition has been available for both iOS and Android for some time now; the app being released to the Kindle Fire not only shows how important it is for apps to be released to all possible platforms, but just how many people are playing games on any type of tablet.


Tags: Big Picture mode, console gaming, Kindle Fire apps, Minecraft for Kindle, Mobile Apps, Steam add ons, tablet gaming, TVii capabilities, TVii TiVo, Valve and Steam, Wii TiVo

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