With the release of the Steam Deck, Valve began tailoring its SteamOS Linux version to work exclusively with the Steam Deck. The company’s plans for the future of the OS were not yet clear; however, some information that has surfaced this week shows that SteamOS may well return to a computerwhere it was originally meant to come.
Desktop users can now access the Steam Deck user interface; however, it is currently only available through the beta version of the Steam client.
The Steam Deck launched in February with Steam OS 3, which is effectively a new version of the game-focused operating system that Valve has been working on for years. It was on top of Debian Linux that the first version of SteamOS was developed and released and later, due to the adoption of SteamOS 3 by Arch LinuxValve could make faster improvements.
Multiple package updates to the OS’s developer repository are rolling out, as reported by SteamDeckHQ. In particular, the availability of the SteamOS Media Creation feature lends some legitimacy to this concept. It is similar to what the Windows Media Creation Tool looks like. These updates may hint at a massive announcement in the future, but for now we can only speculate based on the data available to us.
The Media Creation Tool got a brand new update earlier this week. If you install and launch the Media Creation tool, you will be prompted to select the SteamOS image on your computer. Although it is absolutely necessary, you should not try to use this to reimage your machine from now on because it is not officially removed by any means and you may encounter various bugs.
On the other hand, Valve announced the Large Picture Mode for the OS. While it’s always been Valve’s goal to bring the Steam Deck’s improved user interface to the desktop Big Picture mode, this year has clearly been dedicated to getting the Deck into top shape.
Joining the Steam Client beta and adding the word -gamepadui to their Steam shortcut, PC users can try out this set of Big Picture features. The Steam client can be used to run games, giving users access to all Steam features and the Steam forums for reporting problems.
This raises the prospect that SteamOS will be a reality on PC. A future update to SteamOS could include the ability to switch between the classic Steam desktop and the newer SteamOS interface so players can continue to customize their experience.
Large Image Mode is still great for playing on the big screen, although it hasn’t evolved much visually since it was introduced in 2012. Due to the fact that the new interface is the only way to access Steam’s powerful controller configurator, Big Picture is a big improvement.