The only time I ever used Steam’s Big Picture Mode, the UI Valve designed for when you’re playing your games on a TV from a sofa, was when I accidentally hit the button on Steam that launched it. Or in Steam VR, where it’s forced on the user. I didn’t use it on my living room PC, because it turns Steam into a dungeon that trapped you instead of easily letting you play your games. It won’t be long until it’s gone forever. Valve are going to replace it with the Steam Deck’s new UI.
It’s another piece of information that’s been dropped by a developer via a random channel, a bit like how we found out yesterday that all the games in Valve’s initial reveal video for the Steam Deck were running off the SD card. On the mode’s discussion page, SparklyVapor asked:
“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 In comparison to the UI that we have now everything just looks so outdated and I would love for most of the features to be translated to the awfully outdated big picture mode.”
They were lucky enough to ge an official response. Valve’s Austin P said: “Yes, we are replacing Big Picture with the new UI from Deck. We don’t have an ETA to share yet though.”
Though we’ve only seen glimpses of the new OS in action, it does look pleasantly slick and modern in comparison to BPM’s cramped and awkward layout. The multiple steps you go through in order to play a game has always made BPM an exhausting launcher to use. It also feels like it’s been forgotten by Valve. A while ago, I spent a few weeks adding Half-Life: Alyx mods. Despite BPM having a link to the game’s workshop, it never loaded. I had to shut it down every time. It’s the same outside VR.
So, if you have any emotional attachment to what was once a brave experiment in blue, you might want to load it up and play around with it one last time. It’ll be gone at some point.