Last week’s unveiling of Valve’s Steam Deck portable gaming PC generated a lot of interest for many different reasons, but one of the low-key exciting things about the machine is that it appears to have an all-new UI rather than Steam’s increasingly dated Big. Photo mode. For those unfamiliar, the Big Picture mode was introduced nearly a decade ago for people who chose to play Steam games on a TV and/or with a controller, and while it’s more or less functional, it’s largely neglected in terms of updates and is starting to feel quite long in the tooth.
Well, according to a Valve developer posts on company forums, all Steam users will get an infusion of Big Deck Energy whether or not they actually buy the hardware, as the system UI will eventually replace Big Picture mode…
Yes, we are replacing Big Picture with the new Deck UI. However, we don’t have an ETA to share yet.
Of course, since I haven’t had a chance to try out the Steam Deck, I can’t say for sure if this will be an improvement, but it’s a pretty safe bet. Not sure what Steam Deck is all about? Here’s some more info and an official description:
- Portability Meets Power – We worked with AMD to create Steam Deck’s custom APU optimized for handheld gaming. It’s a Zen 2 + RDNA 2 powerhouse, delivering more than enough performance to run the latest AAA games in a highly efficient energy envelope.
- Your Steam Library, Anywhere – Once logged into Steam Deck, your entire Steam library will be displayed just like any other PC. You can find your collections and favorites – right where you left them.
- Control with comfort – The Steam Deck is built for extended play sessions – whether you’re using thumbsticks or trackpads – with full-sized controls placed perfectly within easy reach. The back of the device is sculpted to comfortably fit a wide range of hand sizes.
Steam Deck ships in December for the lucky few who pre-ordered one early, and hopefully we’ll be able to use the new UI not long after that.
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