Big Picture, the mode that transforms Steam’s user interface into a more console-like design better suited to TVs and controllers than monitors and mice, may not last long for this world. According to austinp_valve, a Valve employee to post on the Steam community forums, the new UI of the just-announced Steam Deck handheld PC is slated to replace the Big Picture mode on the desktop version of Steam as well.
Valve announced the Big Picture mode in 2011 and released it the following year. The mode formed the basis of the user interface 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SteamOS 3.0, it makes sense that the redesigned UI would return to the PC client — especially since Big Picture felt outdated for quite some time.
Valve will not provide an ETA for when the new UI makes its way to existing PCs. The Steam Deck is expected to ship in December, although the level of demand has resulted in new orders being pushed to the middle of next year.