Big Picture, the mode that converts Steam’s user interface into a more console-like design better suited to TVs and controllers than monitors and mice, may not be long for this world. According to austinp_valve, a Valve employee posting on the Steam community forums, the plan is for the new UI from the just-announced Steam Deck handheld PC to replace Big Picture mode on the desktop version of Steam as well.
Valve announced Big Picture mode in 2011 and released it the following year. The mode formed the basis of the UI for SteamOS, the version of Linux that shipped on console-style devices that were part of Valve’s ill-fated Steam Machine project. With the Steam Deck running an all-new version of the operating system called SteamOS 3.0, it makes sense that the redesigned UI would make its way back to the PC client — especially since Big Picture has felt outdated for quite some time.
SteamOS 3.0 on Valve’s Steam Deck.
Valve isn’t giving an ETA for when the new UI will make its way to existing PCs. The Steam Deck is set to start shipping in December, though the level of demand has meant that new orders are being pushed out to midway through next year.