Steam releases new client beta, updated interface
New Features Advance Leading Game Platform
Posted by Alex 'SpectralShock' V on Feb 23, 2010 - 7:54pm EST (Feb 23, 2010 19:54)
Valve has announced that a new version of Steam is coming, and is immediately available in public beta.
In the last 12 months, Steam has grown 200%. There are now 25 million users, 1000+ games, 12 billion player minutes per month, and 75 billion Steam client minutes per month. To accommodate this growth, a new Steam client has been created.
This opt-in beta is available immediately to all Steam users. If users already have Steam installed on their computer, they can take part in the beta by clicking here and then selecting "UI Update" under Beta Participation. If they don't have Steam installed, they can download it here. To preview the new Steam client without taking part in the beta, a complete rundown of the new features is available here.
Increasingly, the most effective way of reaching new gamers is through the existing players of a game. With the new Steam release, gamers will now be able to see which games their friends have purchased directly within the Steam storefront. 25 million gamers create a highly effective and knowledgeable source of purchase suggestions.
With users purchasing more and more games through Steam, new methods of library management were needed. The new client introduces library customization tools to help gamers sort, group, and find games in libraries which for some hardcore players contain hundreds of titles. In addition to having lots of games, gamers needed methods of tracking all of their achievements in a standardized cross-game fashion, which is now possible with the new release.
"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."