Steam client update adds screenshots and improves voice quality

A new beta version of Valve’s Steam client has been released and with it comes a number of new features and improvements to the gaming service.

The first major new addition comes in the form of screenshots. Steam now allows gamers to take screenshots while in-game without needing an additional application to do so. Screenshots are also automatically uploaded to the steam cloud once a user exits the game they are playing, or they can be uploaded right away via the in-game overlay menu.

Once screenshots are uploaded, they can be managed through the Steam community site and can then be placed onto a user's Steam Community Profile so that friends can view them easily. They can also be shared on social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter. According to NeoGAF users, it seems that Valve put aside a hefty 1GB of uploading space for screenshots.

The next big change is an improvement to both voice input and voice output quality. Microphone voice input quality has increased from 11khz to 16khz, while voice output has increased from 8khz to 16khz. Although the size improvements are small, we have noticed that the quality is quite a big jump in a few short games we played with other Steam beta users.

A small number of additional fixes have been made in other areas, such as game invites being given their own panel and download rate description improvements. A full run down of the features can be viewed on the NeoGAF forum post.

All in all, this is another step up for the service and the voice chat improvements alone are well worth the download. You can view some screenshots taken in game on our Steam community page. You can opt-in to the Steam beta by going into your settings and following the links.

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37 Comments

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welcome stuff indeed...

now they need a new demo taking UI/control that doesn't suck balls. trying to record the hax0rs has always been simple but not very refined.

Yeah but Steam Come ON! you can't use a mic + Speaker with Voice audio in the Headset + Mic. Like Xbox 360, MSN, Teamspeak, Skype etc. Incoming audio is release thru the center speaker (in my case) and their's no way of assiging it otherway. I don't understand why Steam just don't use the Windows Sound setup settings.. anyway..

The first major new addition comes in the form of screenshots. Steam now allows gamers to take screenshots while in-game without needing an additional application to do so.

I thought keyboards still came supplied with a print screen button? seems not for steam gamers i supose

Screenshots are also automatically uploaded to the steam cloud once a user exits the game they are playing, or they can be uploaded right away via the in-game overlay menu.

blabla bla cloudBS blabla.... just uploading to a FIXED server is NOT cloud

These are welcomed features. Hopefully the screenshot feature will work with every game, regardless of what API it uses (e.g. DX9, DX10, OpenGL, etc).

Anaron said,
These are welcomed features. Hopefully the screenshot feature will work with every game, regardless of what API it uses (e.g. DX9, DX10, OpenGL, etc).

Think it does apart from any game using dx 8 or lower. Will try out some OpenGL titles later

Recon415 said,
Sadly, I have random crashes.

It is quite buggy at the moment - hence beta

Seems to be one of their more crash prone beta's though..

Good stuff. Now if only they would allow me to use a separate audio output for voice, instead of forcing it through my desktop speakers.

Still no seperate voice from the main game sounds for people that use bluetooth headsets and only want voice while having desktop speakers for the main sounds.

Well better HLDJ music in TF2

Good to hear about the screenshot thing coming in should be good to see how it interacts with Facebook etc...

Still going to see how well the voice is though... One thing steam has been lacking for some time is quality voice services.. Should be good though Will download tonight

Next Video Capture steam ?

johnnyq3 said,
I wonder if they will readopt the Trident engine for the hardware acceleration it brings to rendering.

No since they need a cross-platform browser for the OSX client. Needless to say that Webkit is still quicker than Trident, even with hardware acceleration.

Awesome

Steam just keeps getting better and better! Though it will be a while before steam voice chat will overtake teamspeak/mumble (vent is crap)

Will this increased voice quality make its way to things like TF2 and CS:S? I can't see why it wouldn't, unless these games already have better quality than the steam client itself

Cool

Anybody know if the screenshots can work and be uploaded from non-steam games? I run all my games through steam, for the in-game benifits, would be great if screenshots will work as well.

Happy_Camel said,
Cool

Anybody know if the screenshots can work and be uploaded from non-steam games? I run all my games through steam, for the in-game benifits, would be great if screenshots will work as well.

probley not seems like it might be a steamworks feature i dont think steam clound is supported outside steamworks games.

Happy_Camel said,
Cool

Anybody know if the screenshots can work and be uploaded from non-steam games? I run all my games through steam, for the in-game benifits, would be great if screenshots will work as well.


Should work with any game that uses the Steam overlay (any game launched through Steam)

Happy_Camel said,
Seems i will simply have to try for myself Since i got 2 different answers.

Dont worry mate, it has been tested on other forums to work. A guy even showed his profile that had minecraft screenshots on it

When will they ever release a FAST Steam client on the Mac? Scrolling up and down seriously kills my quad-core computer. Or clicking the "Next 10 games". So painful.

When using Safari though, it works like a breeze. Really smooth.

brent3000 said,
Use Windows?

Are you kidding me? The Steam Client is in fact a browser, running a Webkit engine. Webkit is made by Apple, and was first introduced in OS X's Safari.

So the Steam client lags because I'm not using Windows? I'm not buying this. Their developers really forced themselves to make something lag so much, because a Webkit viewport is a simple object that you drag and drop in Cocoa.

Just took a look at YouTube videos and the Steam Client definitely doesn't have smooth scrolling in Windows either. This is blowing my mind. I have never seen jerky scrolling and animations like these since the days Firefox didn't have smooth scrolling either.

PyX said,
Just took a look at YouTube videos and the Steam Client definitely doesn't have smooth scrolling in Windows either.

What part is slow? You mean the games browser or the Store page section?

I always though the games section would be slow cuz of the amount of games i have in there but still i dont seem to have any "jerky" scrolling that or i just have gotten used to it over time lol

ZekeComa said,
You going to buy it for me?

Usually comes pre-installed... You know just like OSX?

The Windows client isn't that much better off either. Since last year's UI update, the client is pretty but can be very sluggish at times.

And no, the client is not a browser. The store and community pages do use Webkit, but the rest is their own code.

brent3000 said,
I always though the games section would be slow cuz of the amount of games

No, it should be blazingly fast. The page is not that heavy and there are about 10 games per page, so the number of games has no impact. When you click "show next", that's when it loads the next 10 games (thanks to AJAX scripts).

Try the same webpage ( http://store.steampowered.com/ ), but in Chrome or Chromium or Safari or Webkit directly. Notice how it scrolls, notice how the animations are fast, notice how smooth they are. (I've never done that, but I feel like giving a yoga class with the way I'm talking... notice how you breath, notice the sounds surrounding you lol)

PyX said,

Try the same webpage ( http://store.steampowered.com/ ), but in Chrome or Chromium or Safari or Webkit directly. Notice how it scrolls, notice how the animations are fast, notice how smooth they are. (I've never done that, but I feel like giving a yoga class with the way I'm talking... notice how you breath, notice the sounds surrounding you lol)

Oh that... Yeah its run like a dog since the start of the new Steam UI...

I normally buy my games using IE as to take advantage or the other regions stores which isnt accessable from the client prob why i havent noticed it to much...

But i agree.. Its a shocking way to view the store

brent3000 said,

Usually comes pre-installed... You know just like OSX?

Macs don't come with Windows pre-installed - you have to buy it. Boot Camp is just a set of Windows drivers and an application to partition your drive. But you knew that, right?

ZekeComa said,

You going to buy it for me?

All that money you wasted on an overpriced MAC should teach you now. You coulda gotten a better PC with money to spare on steam games.

I dunno, I installed Windows on my MBP and overall have a better experience. Games are much faster too! Source engine and Civ 5 especially.