Valve has announced a new version of Steam which is immediately available in public beta.
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 this link (steam://open/settings) and then selecting “UI Update” under Beta Participation. If they don’t have Steam installed, they can download it here (http://store.steampowered.com/). To preview the new Steam client without taking part in the beta, a complete rundown of the new features is available here (http://store.steampowered.com/uiupdate/).
With the new Steam release, gamers will now be able to see which games their friends have purchased directly within the Steam storefront. News outlets now have the ability to reach the Steam community through the new client’s News aggregator functionality. Those organizations interested can contact Doug Lombardi at email@example.com.
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.”