What you need to know
- Steam's existing Big Picture mode will be getting an overhaul post Steam Deck launch.
- Confirmed on a Steam Community thread, the Big Picture mode will be replaced with a Steam Deck-style UI.
- Big Picture mode hasn't seen much in the way of development in recent years.
The announcement of the Steam Deck has, it seems, opened the gates and is causing a wave of good news to come from Castle Valve. The latest little nugget of good news actually concerns regular Steam users on PC, Mac, and Linux, who perhaps aren't getting a Steam Deck but are looking on at its all-new UI with fondness.
As highlighted by SteamDB's Pavel Djundik, a Steam Community thread has confirmed that the existing Big Picture mode is not much longer for this world. There's no ETA on the when, but it's coming. Eventually.
Steam Big Picture will eventually be replaced with the same UI as seen on the Steam Deck (which really, is the same React UI on desktop currently).
However I wonder what they will do with store and community pages both on the Deck and in Big Picture? pic.twitter.com/T5g8n7iBhFSteam Big Picture will eventually be replaced with the same UI as seen on the Steam Deck (which really, is the same React UI on desktop currently).
However I wonder what they will do with store and community pages both on the Deck and in Big Picture? pic.twitter.com/T5g8n7iBhF— Pavel Djundik (@thexpaw) July 21, 2021July 21, 2021
Djundik also raises a good point on some areas of the Steam Deck UI we don't yet have much information on, primarily the Store experience and the community pages.
Naturally, there will be a solution somewhere, but right now nobody knows if it's looking better or worse than the current implementation. Big Picture hasn't seen much development in recent years, but it's still a perfectly decent way to navigate the Steam experience, particularly with a controller. It makes using a gaming PC in the living room, well, bearable.
Nevertheless, Valve is clearly back on the development train with the Steam Deck coming down the tracks. The last public release of SteamOS was back in 2019 (if you can even believe it was kept alive that long) and SteamOS 3.0 will accompany the Steam Deck with this new UI and a whole new Arch Linux base underneath.
Times are good if you're a Steam user.
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Wanted more places to play your Steam library? Now you'll be able to with the Steam Deck. This machine comes in three iterations, each allowing you to play your games locally and portably.
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine