In a long awaited move, Valve has revealed its plans for a brand new version of Steam, its digital distribution and social networking service.
"We made hundreds of changes to the Steam client as a result of customer feedback on the interface, performance, and functionality," said John Cook, Director of Steam Development at Valve. "For example, we swapped out the Internet Explorer rendering engine with WebKit, which gives us a bunch of size, stability and performance benefits. This release of Steam leaves us well prepared for another year of strong growth."
Some of the major improvements include the following:
- Complete overhaul of Steam client UI design to improve discoverability of features and to better expose all the information related to games in your library
- Complete overhaul of in-game overlay UI design to create a richer in-game experience exposing context sensitive information related to the game you are currently playing
- New game details view, presenting a detailed view of all the information for a single game in your library
- New grid view, presenting a graphical view of your game library
- New news page in the store/client/overlay which aggregates from Valve related news sites, official community groups, and third-party gaming news feeds
- New downloads view in the client, making it easier to track your progress downloading new games or game updates
- New Steam store design, including more integrated community features, improved recommendations, and improved video and screenshots viewing (and much more!)
This opt-in beta is available immediately to all Steam users. Users who have Steam installed on their computer can take part in the beta by clicking this link and then selecting "UI Update" under Beta Participation.
WARNING: Users are reporting loss of game files (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – Multiplayer in particular). Opt into the UI beta at your own discretion.