Valve’s Steam Deck UI to Kill Off Big Picture Mode

The console-like Big Picture feature is set to retire in favor of the Steam Deck’s user interface.

valve steam deck with control hades on screen

Do you use Steam’s Big Picture mode? If so, prepare to lose it as Valve plans to replace the feature with the Steam Deck UI at some point in the not-too-distant future.

Goodbye, Steam Big Picture Mode

Valve has confirmed, via a Steam Community post (as spotted by PC Gamer), that it will be retiring the console-style Big Picture mode.

The popular feature of Steam, which converts the Steam UI into something more akin to the Xbox XMB or the PS5 Home Screen, is to leave us. Valve plans to replace it with the Steam Deck UI, although we don’t know when.

Steam Community user SparklyVapor asked the forum:

Is the Steam Deck OS like the next step for Big Picture? In comparison to the UI that we have now everything just looks so outdated and I would love for most of the features to be translated to the awfully outdated big picture mode.

It seems their dreams are going to come true; moderator austinp_valve replied with:

Yes, we are replacing Big Picture with the new UI from Deck. We don’t have an ETA to share yet though.

So, we don’t know when the Steam Deck UI will replace Big Picture Mode, but we have confirmation that this will happen soon.

Steam Big Picture Mode Homescreen

Steam Community members are generally seeing the move as a positive one, judging from the replies in the above forum post.

Valve released big Picture Mode back in 2011 and has done little with the feature since, in terms of improvement. Now, rather than giving the old UI an overhaul, Valve is kicking it to the kerb in favor of the Steam Deck UI.

This news has received a positive reception. Most users seem happy that there will be a new method of playing their games via an easy to navigate interface.

What Is Steam Big Picture Mode?

Steam Big Picture Mode is a method of accessing your Steam games via a TV with a controller. It essentially allows you to enjoy your Steam titles from your sofa rather than it glueing you to your desk and PC.

Related: What Is Steam Big Picture Mode and How Do You Use It?

The mode has been a fairly popular feature since it was released, as it allows Steam gamers the freedom to enjoy their gaming sessions in comfort, away from the desk at which they may also work.

What Is Valve Steam Deck?

Valve Steam Deck and a laptop
Image Credit: Valve

Valve announced its new Steam Deck on July 15th. It is essentially a handheld gaming PC that runs SteamOS. It also (obviously) allows you to play your Steam titles on the go.

There are three variations available to pre-order, or rather, there was; Steam Deck pre-orders sold out within minutes of going live.

However, you can’t deny that it looks like an excellent console on paper. Lets hope it lives up to the hype!

Will You Miss Big Picture Mode?

While gamers have received the demise of Big Picture Mode with general good will, there will be Steam users who have been using Big Picture Mode exclusively, and may not respond well to the change.

Gamers are a fickle bunch, so Valve needs to be careful that any changes it makes, alongside the new Steam Deck, don’t alienate its existing consumer base.

3 Controller And Steam Logo
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