New handheld PC to be the UI standard going forward
Valve has noted its plans to replace the “Big Picture mode” UI of its PC platform, Steam, with that of its upcoming handheld gaming console, Steam Deck. The publisher did not announce a date for the official switchover.
As spotted by PC Gamer, a Valve spokesperson confirmed the change on the official Steam forums, responding to a user’s question. “We are replacing Big Picture with the new UI from Deck,” wrote moderator “austinp_Valve. “We don’t have an ETA to share yet though.”
Steam’s Big Picture mode launched in 2012, developed as a way to better integrate the Steam dashboard and its respective library with television sets and gamepads — essentially offering the Steam platform a more “console-friendly” dashboard. Given that the new Steam Deck hardware is all but a handheld console in and of itself, it makes sense for Steam to synergize the new front-end with its desktop Big Picture equivalent. The standard edition of the Steam UI will remain unchanged.
Valve opened pre-orders for Steam Deck on July 16, mere days after the hardware initial reveal. Three models of the handheld were made available to order, leading to an inevitable rush of global reservations. Valve has since suggested that some of the orders may not be fulfilled until the back end of 2022. The Steam Deck will allow users to play their Steam library on the go, utilizing touch-screen technology, output to monitors, Bluetooth connectivity, gyro controls, and other features. Valve has also suggested that users need not fear “drift” issues with the Steam Deck’s thumbsticks.