Certainly the Big Picture mode is hardly used at all; Although it is an optimized mode for controllers and designed to be seen on large TVs in the users’ living rooms, not many have a PC connected to the TV, as well as very few use the now discontinued Steam Link and even less a Steam Machine . This way of looking at the game library has never been a great success, and Valve seems to have taken advantage of the announcement of its portable Steam Deck console to give it a definitive ticket.
Goodbye Big Picture, hello Steam Deck
Valve has been trying to move PC games away from a desktop and monitor for quite some time now; The Steam Deck portable console is just the latest version of this idea, but it will have a huge impact on one of Valve’s oldest experiments: Big Picture mode.
When developing Steam Deck, Valve has had to create a new user interface from scratch to adapt it to the device and it has been well received by those who have seen the first images like the one we have put above these lines. The inevitable question has already appeared on the Steam forums: “Is the Steam Deck OS the evolution of Big Picture?”
A Valve employee by the name “austinp_valve” answered the question: “Yes, we are replacing Big Picture with the new Deck user interface. However, we still do not have a set date to share with you. Although there is no date set yet, if a Valve employee has confirmed the change we will have to believe it, and in fact it seems likely that the month of October, when Steam Deck is launched on the market, is the date chosen.
The response to the news of the replacement of Big Picture has been well received by the community, and it is that many users pointed out that it was time for a renewal of that archaic interface that almost no one uses. In addition, the use of the same interface in several devices could potentially make even PC users be encouraged to use it, more out of habit than anything else but also for usability when using the PC with a remote control as if it were a console .
Valve launched the Big Picture mode way back in 2012 as a way to optimize the experience of using Steam on HDTVs while allowing control through a remote (also keyboard and mouse, of course). At the time, Gabe Newell saw it as a first step towards a dedicated Steam hardware unit, something they tried with Steam Link and Steam Machines but failed miserably.
Despite this, Valve has continued on the same path and Big Picture was followed by the development of SteamOS, Steam Controllers, etc., and in fact the development of the Steam Deck console seems almost natural so as not to waste SteamOS and the Steam Controller , both also with little or no success in the market in the end.