New Steam Client Opens for Public Beta
By on February 24th, 2010

Steam is by far the best commercial digital distribution website around. It does have the advantage of being more visible than the other digital distributors and being Valve’s platform. That company makes games that can only be described in a word as awesome, and nothing else. The Steam client is the one portal through which you can play games that you have downloaded.

200px-Steam_logo.svg

Valve has apparently become bored of the original user interface (UI) and has decided to release a new UI. The result is like playing Counter Strike 1.6 and then switching to Counter Strike: Source. The revamped UI, though marginally slower than the previous, looks slick and functions very well. If you have the Steam client installed, you can click this link and choose 2010 UI Update’ under the Beta Participation dropdown menu.

Store

The UI update requires a restart of the client and revamps it entirely. The interface looks far more modern than the previous one, fitting with my Windows 7 decals. The store page itself looks far better than on the browser. The browser performance was marginally better than earlier (though I can attribute that to my faster connection today) and it looks really slick.

Library

The library can be sorted according to your wishes by grouping them into custom categories. This is especially useful when you have a really large collection of games on Steam.

GamePage

The game page is really cool. It shows you the number of friends currently playing the game, and all your friends who play that game. Recent news pertaining to the game is also shown below the friends section. Valve had always wanted to make the Steam platform social and it seems that they have come close to that.

OverlayLeft4Dead_sized

The in-game overlay has also been drastically changed, allowing you to access Steam in a more streamlined fashion.

News

Community

The news and community links have largely been left untouched (as they are merely web pages).

In all, Valve has launched a pretty decent update to their client. They will therefore be hoping for a positive reaction from most of the users and only time (involving a lot of gaming) will tell if they have struck gold. Nevertheless, I advise you to go ahead and switch to the new UI, it does look great!

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Author: Kaushik Google Profile for Kaushik
A mobile technology lover and a Strategy and RPG-game fanatic. I also enjoy astronomy and programming. I am a biotechnology engineer learning through this fascinating subject while poring over computer science. Hit me up on Twitter for more

TCA Lakshmi Narasimhan has written and can be contacted at kaushik@techie-buzz.com.
 
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