SteamOS is the system that makes the Steam Deck tick and could be compared to, say, Android for mobile phones. It’s the basis that everything on the device needs to run on, and needless to say, quite important for the Deck. Anyways, a brand-new development on SteamOS seems to have found its way onto the news cycle, so let’s break it down.
According to SteamDeckHQ, the OS is getting various developer repository updates. Most notably, the fact that the SteamOS Media Creation tool’s existence in the first place really puts this idea into relative credence. Earlier this week, the Media Creation tool was updated.
If one were to download and run the Media Creation tool, they’d get a window telling them to select the SteamOS image from the machine.
It should very much go without saying, but you shouldn’t try running this to reimage your computer as of current (since it’s not officially out in any way). Meanwhile, the fact that SteamOS could very well come to PC has become more prevalent. This is because a Steam Deck-like variant of Big Picture was launched for testing today.
Coming from Valve themselves, PC users can opt into this Big Picture feature set and try it themselves by opting into the Steam Client beta and then adding the term -gamepadui to their Steam shortcut. Players are able to run their games through here and access most of Steam’s capabilities like normal, and you can go to Steam’s forums and report bugs that are found.
This makes the idea of SteamOS being a reality on PC a real possibility. However, they should add the feature to switch between the base Steam desktop layout and the updated SteamOS one in the future, so players still have that choice.
If you prefer not to use the new Big Picture layout, you can remove the aforementioned -gamepadui from the shortcut, close Steam, and launch the program normally. We’ll continue to update you as more information on SteamOS and Steam Deck is released.