Something I look forward to: Even those who do not intend to purchase Valve’s Steam Deck could be affected by its arrival. A company spokesperson has confirmed that the handheld’s user interface will replace Steam’s Big Picture mode.
Valve moderator austinp_valve confirmed the change in the Steam community forums. They added that the company did not know exactly when the move would take place. “Yes, we are replacing Big Picture with the new Deck user interface,” the message reads. “However, we still do not have an ETA to share.”
Most Steam users will appreciate replacing the little-loved Big Picture mode. Announced in 2011 and released in beta in 2012, it is designed to give PCs a console-like user interface with controller support when connected to a large TV. The mode hasn’t received a significant update since 2015.
Steam Deck, which runs a new version of Steam’s Linux-based operating system called SteamOS 3.0, already seems to offer a better user experience than Big Picture mode, so it seems like a delicate decision on Valve’s part.
Following the Steam Deck announcement last week, Valve allowed consumers to pre-register for the handheld by paying a $ 5 deposit that is applied to the final cost as the devices approach their shipping dates. The first shipments are scheduled to begin in December 2021, but high demand has caused Valve to change availability for new pre-orders. It prompted resellers to sell the devices for more than $ 1,000 on eBay, although the auction site says it is cracking down on the practice as it violates its pre-order policy.
In other Steam Deck news, a Valve engineer recently confirmed that the machine is perfectly capable of playing games directly from SD cards, which is good given the device’s limited storage and the size of many current games.