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theyarecomingforyou

Steam Community Update

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Valve is in the process of beta testing an update to the Steam Community, which will introduce Game Hubs, a new view for user screenshots and an updated Friends page. The layout has already undergone a few changes and will likely be tweaked again before it goes public. At least 50,000 invites have been given out so far and this number will "increase incrementally until the public launch."

This comes shortly after the announcement that Steam will be introducing non-game applications on the 5th September and that the Steam client will be updated to support Linux. While these changes have likely been in the pipeline for many months - if not years - it is worth noting that Gabe Newell (Managing Director of Valve) recently issued a scathing criticism of Microsoft's upcoming operating system Windows 8, which will offer direct competition to Steam with the addition of the Windows Store app market. While Valve was quick to add jump-list support for Windows 7 to the Steam client the public criticism of Windows 8 is perhaps an indication that an official Windows 8 Metro/Modern UI app - like the mock-ups seen here - will not be forthcoming.

Whatever the reasons for the recent flurry of additions to the Steam platform it is users that will benefit from the new additions.

Screenshots of some of the changes:

screenshotsqf.jpg gamehub.jpg friendsc.jpg workshopn.jpg

PS - This is my first mini-article for Neowin.

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good job. I am glad to see Valve pushing forward fast, instead of just being stagnant with these changes

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I too agree that the new view and the way it looks is much better.

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I like the view. Though the links on top below Community (at least on the steam site), seem a tad cluttered.

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I like the view. Though the links on top below Community (at least on the steam site), seem a tad cluttered.

They were added in the second beta update. Originally there were two large buttons, 'Community' and 'Friends' - they removed 'News' (if my memory serves correctly). So it's possible it will change again before release. I'm not really too bothered about it either way, though I do think there must be a better way to implement it. I like the new 'My Profile' menu at the top, which allows you to quickly navigate to 'Badges', 'Screenshots' and 'Videos' (amongst other things).

Personally I'd like to see a complete overhaul of the games library, as with over 560 games it's pretty hard to arrange them in a coherent way - especially when each game is only allowed to be in one group (plus favourites).

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The latest update has added new buttons for 'Discussions' and 'Greenlight'.

discussionsn.jpg

updatek.jpg

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I presume that's just support for the Steam forums built into the client's browser? Interesting, but given how slow the browser seems to be I'm happy doing it myself.

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I presume that's just support for the Steam forums built into the client's browser?

Although it says 'Steam Forums' and has many of the same categories the posts themselves don't seem to correlate with the Steam Forums. That might just be because it's in beta though, as I don't see why they would be different. Personally I think it would be quite useful to be able to post directly from the Steam client but as you say the built-in browser is noticeably slower than my regular browser (Chrome).

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