Valve Introduces "A Brand New Steam," Beta Available Now

Some may argue that Steam has a monopoly on the digital distribution of PC games, and while it is obviously the most well-known outlet for acquiring new titles without getting a physical disc, we can't help but say that our experience with the program has been great. There are obviously a lot of others out there feeling the same way, as the service has grown 200% (up to 25 million users) over the past year, with 12 billion player minutes being logged per month and 75 billion Steam client minutes per month.



That kind of growth takes a toll on an infrastructure, and Valve is making sure that they are well prepared for the continue influx. As the world continues to spin and more households procure broadband Internet access, it makes sense to think that gamers would shy away from physical discs and resort to downloading their games. It's quicker, there is less hassle and it satisfies the "instant gratification" itch. That's a pretty powerful combination of positives, and the newest Steam update looks to serve the hungry gaming community.



The new version of Steam, which is available now in "Public Beta," is an opt-in process being served to all users who want it. If you already have Steam and wish to see what the Beta is all about, just enter the program and select UI Update under Beta Participation. The new look will provide users with the ability to see what games their friends have purchased from Steam (sense  a social networking aspect?), and news outlets can now integrate their feeds through Steam's all-new aggregator. Try it out and see if it's better or worse -- nothing to lose!


Steam Update Announced - Public Beta Open Now

New Features Advance Leading Gaming Platform

February 23, 2010 --Valve announces a new version of Steam which is immediately available in publicbeta.

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 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/).

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.

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 lombardi@valvesoftware.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."

About Steam
The leading online platform for PC games and digital entertainment, Steamdelivers new releases and online services to over 25 million PC users aroundthe world. For more information, please visit steamgames.com.e, software, gaming, update, gamer
Via:  Steam
Comments
rapid1 4 years ago

I will check it out as I have not messed with stream for quite some time now. I do tend to download games, but usually through the publishers site.

Komando_93 4 years ago

I personally can't go without a physical CD when buying a game, but this new beta sounds exciting and steam has only made things better for me up until this point

inspector 4 years ago

Im going to upgrade my steam and see how it is now :D, Thanks for the heads up!

 

edit: just upgraded it and i would say its 50/50 good and bad but again its still in beta. the ui is good but its missing the feature to make it smaller so it doesn't take up half my screen -.- (or am i just blind?) i would say it looked better (simpler) before :D

3vi1 4 years ago

Steam's okay - but won't buy anything expensive with it. The inability to run Steam from the same account on multiple computers and play *different* games concurrently is a big drawback to me.

I don't expect to be able to play the same game multiplayer when I only bought one copy, but come on - completely different games? Why do I have to buy copies of games for my kids account that are already on my account and never played? :(

Der Meister 4 years ago

I like steam for the $10-5 games....lol

3vi1 4 years ago

Yeah... when they have something good on for $10, I consider it - but I pretty much don't buy anything at the higher price-points - particularly if I can get a boxed version, which won't have the Steam restrictions, at the same price.

Just tried the beta GUI. It doesn't work with Wine. Guess I'll flip back to the non-beta client while the devs hammer out the issues.

3vi1 4 years ago

Got the new GUI to work under Wine on Linux - just had to tell it to report the OS as Win7 instead of WinXP.

Marius Malek 4 years ago

I haven't bought anything from Steam, but I find their service incredibly useful for downloading game demos. They have a fast service for downloading the demos, installing and deleting those demos are really easy as well. It's clean. I don't think I'll ever buy anything online though, I like the satisfaction of a disc coming out of the tray and a dialog box saying "installation complete" popping up on my desktop. 

tanka12345 4 years ago

I tried the UI Beta and it looked good, but unfortunately it caused Steam to continually crash and for Modern Warfare 2 to stop working. Eventually I had to reinstall Modern Warfare 2 and could play for a day.

Then to top it all of I try to log in to my Steam Account the next day (Friday 26 February) and find it's disabled for no apparent reason. Tongue Tied

Now I have to sit and wait for days for a response from Steam as to why my account has been disabled, through their support ticket system, which only operates on weekdays. There's no email address or phone number! Average response time is 4 working days, although others have waited for a week or more. Sad

Nice work Steam! Indifferent

Inspector 4 years ago

[quote user="3vi1"]

Steam's okay - but won't buy anything expensive with it. The inability to run Steam from the same account on multiple computers and play *different* games concurrently is a big drawback to me.

I don't expect to be able to play the same game multiplayer when I only bought one copy, but come on - completely different games? Why do I have to buy copies of games for my kids account that are already on my account and never played? :(

[/quote]

Well since im the only one to really game in my family i only need it for one computer and if im at my cousins house i login and play :D, i would like to change my login name though but too bad i can't :( its going to be a lifetime name now :D lol, and as 3vi1 said we should be able to transfer games from account to account :D

Tobi-Saru 4 years ago

Personally, I love the new beta UI, I just downloaded it and it looks great, and I've always loved steam because I only have it on 2 computers, one at home and one at work. So whenever I get bored at work I can jump on steam and play whenever I want lol. Plus I have the option of being able to play games wherever there is a decent system available, so it's a win-win for me

rapid1 4 years ago

I have never really used steam for some of the very reasons mentioned. I don't understand the point in a mobile or internet based gaming platform, where I cannot log into as many computers and play whatever is on my account. I mean if it was the same game I get it, but different games whats the point really. I download permanent games, and usually back them up to a DVD so I don't have to download it again.

3vi1 4 years ago

You can log into as many computers as you want with Steam and play your games. There's also a backup option to write them to external files (which you can put on DVD).

The problem comes in when you want to play one game you own, and your wife or kids want to play another game you own - they can't. They have to have the game on their own account, and the games aren't transferable. :\ So, basically it seems like a money-driven ploy to encourage a per-user sale instead of per-household - even if never used concurrently.

What if this was applied to house design? "Sorry, you have to have a separate bathroom for every individual in the house! You're probably going to want four separate microwaves, ovens and refrigerators in there too."

It's a step backwards, enforced technically, for no reason other than profit.

mentaldisorder 4 years ago

"You can log into as many computers as you want with Steam and play your games. There's also a backup option to write them to external files (which you can put on DVD).

The problem comes in when you want to play one game you own, and your wife or kids want to play another game you own - they can't. They have to have the game on their own account, and the games aren't transferable. :\ So, basically it seems like a money-driven ploy to encourage a per-user sale instead of per-household - even if never used concurrently.

What if this was applied to house design? "Sorry, you have to have a separate bathroom for every individual in the house! You're probably going to want four separate microwaves, ovens and refrigerators in there too."

It's a step backwards, enforced technically, for no reason other than profit."

Or they never thought about it...I know I haven't until you mentioned it. Have you ever complained to them about this? It seems like a pretty viable gripe and I don't see why they can't fix it, I mean they are making tons of money anyway.

realneil 4 years ago

I have about ten games on Steam and play them all occasionally.

It's a decent service.

I'll check out the new UI. Thanks for telling us about it.

bob_on_the_cob 4 years ago

I actually really like Steam over box copies. I will still play games that I bought 3 years ago. Any CDs that I have bought 3 years ago is lost or scratched. I love being able to download my games anywhere.

That said the new UI seems to be a mixed bag for me. I can't load the store in it. I really do like the new social features. A while back when Droplitz went on sale for $2 a bunch of my Steam friends and I got it. We had so much fun trying to top each others scores. We had high scores or top 10 in most of the levels. Any game is just more fun when you have others to play with. So I really like being able to see what friends of mine are playing a game before I buy it.

3vi1 4 years ago

>> Or they never thought about it...I know I haven't until you mentioned it. Have you ever complained to them about this? It seems like a pretty viable gripe and I don't see why they can't fix it, I mean they are making tons of money anyway.

You think they haven't heard that one a million times In the last eight years? :( They're well aware of what they're doing.

They will simply direct you to the knowledge base and subscriber agreement, which says that games are non-transferable between accounts.

In fact, the agreement even says that *accounts* cannot be transferred between people. So, forget about giving your kids your account/games when you decide you have no more time for gaming.

Komando_93 4 years ago

personally i love steam and i'll give this a try :)

D.Dragoon 4 years ago

the new UI is very ez to use, more compact. The old one was good but this one is amazing

bob_on_the_cob 4 years ago

Looks like this beta might be helping them go multi platform as well. http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/62617

notyou 4 years ago

Hopefully games will quit having a mandatory usage of Steam to be able to play the game. I have never liked Steam & I do not want to be forced to use it if I want to play a decent game. Like what they did with HL2. I had Steam installed only for that game & then quickly uninstalled it after I beat HL2.

With MW2, it was one of many things that kept me from buying the game, but I still wouldn't have bought MW2 if they had fixed the dedicated server problem, the no lean problem, the removal of PB problem & the usage of VAC problem, without removing the mandatory Steam usage to play.

Devil_Dante 4 years ago

Dang, I'll have to check this out next time I go on Steam. I always love to help out and find problems during betas.

Fargbus 4 years ago

This looks awesome. I've always used steam to download all my games except like two or three. I really enjoy physical copies but being the lazy *** I am, I love having this great privilege.

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