Valve premieres revamped Steam application

After many years of slow, gradual evolution, the Steam user interface has gotten a complete revamp. Valve kicked off a public beta of the new UI late yesterday, giving users of the all-in-one game distribution and community application a chance to test out the changes—and submit ever-important feedback.

Participating couldn’t be easier: just head to the account tab of your Steam preferences then click “Change” in the beta participation section. Steam will automatically update and restart with the brand new interface, keeping your games, friends list, and other preferences unchanged.

The changes Valve has implemented are too numerous to cover here, but the announcement page includes a complete list at the bottom. Among the highlights: extra views for the games list, a download manager that keeps track of data downloaded, an updated web browser based on the WebKit rendering engine (bye bye Internet Explorer), a new interface for the Steam store, and an updated in-game overlay.

Valve has implemented all of those changes in a new visual style, which definitely seems to take cues from Microsoft’s Zune application. Large section and subsection headers populate the upper part of the window, and menus fill in the space most applications reserve for a title bar. Folks used to collapsing the Steam app into a narrow games list will need to change their habits, too; the updated UI no longer allows that.

We’ve grabbed a few other screenshots of the new UI, and you can check them out at their full resolutions in the image gallery below. For more information, be sure to peruse the official Valve announcement. (Thanks to Shacknews for the heads-up.)

Comments closed
    • Meadows
    • 13 years ago

    I love iScream, caramel is my favourite.

    • SHOES
    • 13 years ago

    I hate hospitals.

    • Voldenuit
    • 13 years ago

    Obscure L4D reference FTW!

    • Bensam123
    • 13 years ago

    Whole new level of suckage.

    • Rectal Prolapse
    • 13 years ago

    we can compromise and call it — iScream!

    • paulWTAMU
    • 13 years ago

    It broke when I installed it 🙁 I need to quit beta testing things…now I can’t open steam at all, even after a restart. I may have to uninstall/reinstall. *sigh*

    • Sniper
    • 13 years ago

    Steam: Depressed Drab Gray Beta Edition. Now with more emo colors!

    The color scheme is just simply awful. Even the blue highlights on pop-up menus and such have hints of gray. Jesus christ.

    Valve should fire their one-man art team. This looks pathetic.

    If you want an example of a GOOD design, look to Blizzard.
    §[<http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/KclXEwI4wHhtuJx2tkuRhw<]§ Battle.net has similar features as Steam's friends/social type stuff. But it doesn't look like complete ass.

    • d0g_p00p
    • 13 years ago

    I do the same as you. I try and buy all my games on Steam now. The only other feature I use is the “friends” thing that let’s me know when my buddies are playing L4D2 so I can jump in a kill a few zombies.

    Other than that, it’s a store front and games repository for me.

    • poulpy
    • 13 years ago

    q[

    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 13 years ago

    l[

    • StashTheVampede
    • 13 years ago

    You don’t need crossplatform games (but it helps). What Steam can now offer are games for other platforms, even if they are specific to that platform.

    Steam can now collect more usage information on the platform to help game devs truly look at where Steam is used on.

    • Wajo
    • 13 years ago

    which is pretty pointless unless you also get cross platform games…

    • no51
    • 13 years ago

    Steam games have the retail DRM in addition to the steam DRM.

    • Veerappan
    • 13 years ago

    Really…? That could definitely point to the possibility of Valve releasing a Mac version of steam in the future, which would be awesome.

    It’s a pretty small step from Mac OS to Linux as well, so I’ll take the Mac version (since my laptop runs that), and hope for the other in some indeterminate future.

    • vince
    • 13 years ago

    your comment sucks. you are useless. your post should be deleted.

    (and so does mine… lol)

    • yogibbear
    • 13 years ago

    This………………..

    • Xenolith
    • 13 years ago

    I have a nasty pimple. It is bulbous and squishy. I think I’ll pop it.

    • BobbinThreadbare
    • 13 years ago

    You usually just copy the stuff in steamapps and it will work, so you should only need to redownload once. There might be something screwy with a non-valve game though.

    • wiak
    • 13 years ago

    oooh the irony, steam allows you to BACKUP you games, retail games do NOT and retail has DRM hell

    • Prion
    • 13 years ago

    l[

    • thecoldanddarkone
    • 13 years ago

    They deffinitely do things poorly when it comes to support. I had a problem getting coh running. Even this beta support is just as useless, instead of an email, or popup to fill with information, it sends you to the forums.

    • Kulith
    • 13 years ago

    I fixed it by updating it

    • TheBob!
    • 13 years ago

    Same here.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 13 years ago

    …touche.

    • indeego
    • 13 years ago

    Sounds like Google Apps Premier support. Hey I detect a cloud support sucks themeg{

    • Kulith
    • 13 years ago

    The new UI browser doesn’t work for me. It says “testshell-error” if I click on Store, News, or Community…

    anybody else having this?

    • Corrado
    • 13 years ago

    Valve should worry more about implementing a REAL customer service department for Steam instead of the essentially free/forum based help they have now. When I had a problem, my ticket wasn’t even LOOKED at for 3+ weeks. I was locked out of all the games I had paid for for over a month before I was finally able to get back in. They have no phone number, and the email address autoresponded with ‘create a post in the CS forum and wait for someone to answer it’. Lame.

    • TheBob!
    • 13 years ago

    I hate vans.

    • TheBob!
    • 13 years ago

    I actually really like the social stuff. Games are ALOT more fun when played with others. Heck when droplets went on sale for $2 like 20 of my friends and I all got it and played it for hours trying to best each others scores. The overall top scores for each stage were full of all are names. Not because we are great gamers, but because we had so much fun trying to best each other in a $2 game.

    • Meadows
    • 13 years ago

    It’s choppy when you drag the window, presumably because of active Flash content or some other reason – but I’d rather have a usable, well working interface than a smooth-dragging one that’s begging me to install ActiveX Flash (no) and looks horrible.

    • Meadows
    • 13 years ago

    Sad, isn’t it

    • no51
    • 13 years ago

    Just out of curiousity, how many digits is your steam id?

    • Richie_G
    • 13 years ago

    0 Friends online. Bummer.

    • cynan
    • 13 years ago

    Yikes! Just look at how much time we waste reading and replying to comments on internet forums, etc. On an article featuring a matter as trivial as a cosmetic update to a popular gaming website no less!

    I can just feel old age and death speeding toward me as I type this…

    • indeego
    • 13 years ago

    Francis, did you change your mindg{

    • Heiwashin
    • 13 years ago

    WoW players often reach thousands.

    • Hemotoxin
    • 13 years ago

    Aye me too. I like it, obviously it needs a bit of work, but I like it.

    • Pettytheft
    • 13 years ago

    Not going to mention the hours I’ve put into Civ4. It’s in the hundreds

    • BenBasson
    • 13 years ago

    The term “hardcore costumer” gives me some amusing mental images.

    • shaq_mobile
    • 13 years ago

    good stuff. dr pepper and dew never grow old.

    • shaq_mobile
    • 13 years ago

    thats probably because we know our complaints are heeded on TR as much as if we sent them to valve directly.

    • indeego
    • 13 years ago

    The forum wouldn’t even be all that helpful. I doubt many Developers waste their time on there. The best place right now is through beta feedback.

    I actually had a Microsoft Developer (or someone on the beta team) get back to me on the Office 2010 beta feedback I gave, which surprised the s*it out of meg{<.<}g

    • odizzido
    • 13 years ago

    I might try this. The current client is a steaming pile of ass so to actually make it worse would be impressive.

    • Meadows
    • 13 years ago

    I disagree, found it very responsive.

    • Jon
    • 13 years ago

    I sit in amazement at why a lot of the people here complain HERE on TR, as if Valve has a team of hamster drones scouring the net for any info resembling a criticism, complaint or suggestion from every forum out there.

    If you want to complain, criticize or suggest something go to the SOURCE for frack sakes:

    §[<http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=837<]§ geez.

    • Meadows
    • 13 years ago

    Being the lazy sod that I am, I launch Steam-purchased games from there as well as set launch parameters or stuff if need be.

    I can’t say I use the social features much either.

    Sometimes TF2 has acted buggy in that you couldn’t browse servers from inside the application, so the Steam server browser helped there too.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    Yeah man, icons with text are so pointy-hair IT nerdy!

    Actually I don’t really care much at all. I hardly ever see the Steam application. I use it to install or delete games and make purchases, that’s it. I don’t go for any of the ‘extras’ like social crap or whatever else they might have and I have a folder on my desktop labeled ‘Games’ with shortcuts to all my games in it that I use to actually launch them.

    So having said that I have to ask – what do people do with Steam that they use the application itself a lot?

    • Joerdgs
    • 13 years ago

    Well lucky they call it a beta then.

    • The Dark One
    • 13 years ago

    Except that you can’t collapse the different categories you’ve made.

    • Ethyriel
    • 13 years ago

    steam is superheated water. its powerful. use it to move the world.

    • Ethyriel
    • 13 years ago

    iSteam? I was thinking Kream, but I’d hope they port it to Linux first.

    • GTVic
    • 13 years ago

    I’m concerned about performance too but because the only thing I want out of Steam is a list of games I own and a link to browse new games that I can purchase.

    A small app that launches quickly and validates, updates, downloads and launches games is all it should be.

    Everything else should be relegated to other applications.

    • ludi
    • 13 years ago

    If the UI doesn’t do it, your posting style today might…

    • Meadows
    • 13 years ago

    “Hardcore”, …yeah.

    • bthylafh
    • 13 years ago

    Have some cheese with that whine.

    • Meadows
    • 13 years ago

    The beta UI displays _[

    • ClickClick5
    • 13 years ago

    Still no native 64bit I see.

    Well I can still dream. There is no point in having a native 64bit client, but hey, 64bit OS….why not?

    • pikezeppelin
    • 13 years ago

    What a pile of shit is this new version… I am hardcore Steam costumer, and new UI makes my eyes bleed. Why the f… they needed to make everything so HUGE and bulky. And memory usage of this beta is monstrous compared to current stable version. Sigh. I hope they will give the option to not switch to the new ui after it goes final… I don’t care about that social shit steam offers, I’ve had enough of facebooks, twitters, myspaces and other dump.

    • bthylafh
    • 13 years ago

    My current addiction is Plants vs Zombies, so yeah. 🙂

    • Rectal Prolapse
    • 13 years ago

    So, are they gonna rename Steam to iSteam?

    And maybe they’ll institute an Apple-like approval process!

    “Please replace the headcrabs with something less scary – like pink ponies!”
    — Sincerely, Apple.

    • Swampangel
    • 13 years ago

    It is possible to make the Games list look almost exactly like it did in the old Steam, sans icons. Change your view to “List”, right-click on the header and turn off images.

    • TurtlePerson2
    • 13 years ago

    I like the old Steam because it’s nice and clean. The store and community sections look like well designed webpages. The games section looks like a list view in Windows Explorer. It looks how I expect a browser to look.

    I agree that the giant labels are unnecessary.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 13 years ago

    cool story bro.

    • no51
    • 13 years ago

    steam is superheated water. its dangerous. use precaution when around it.

    • cygnus1
    • 13 years ago

    Switching off the trident engine to webkit also opens the door to cross platform steam clients

    • thecoldanddarkone
    • 13 years ago

    During that Christmas sale I purchased low cost games just for lower gpus like that.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 13 years ago

    Quiznos – mmmmmm toasty.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    That’s cool, I know you like UIs designed for mental defectives anyway. OO LOOK BIG SHINY PICTURES WITH NO READING NEEDED.

    • khands
    • 13 years ago

    It works ok in 640×480

    • indeego
    • 13 years ago

    No issues here. 7 RC x64 9600GT .9621 drivers, latest Directx install. Samsung 2493HM as main and Samsung 204B as secondaryg{<.<}g

    • ImSpartacus
    • 13 years ago

    Steam is toasty. Yeah, ummm…

    • BoBzeBuilder
    • 13 years ago

    Steam is tasty. I eat it. This will make me more hungry.

    • DreadCthulhu
    • 13 years ago

    Good luck actually running any games on that Intel IGP. 😉 Yeah I know steam has lots of casual games that will work on it.

    • Kulith
    • 13 years ago

    steam is mediocre. i have no opinion on it. this wont move me either way

    • willardjuice
    • 13 years ago

    D. has been there from the beginning

    • bthylafh
    • 13 years ago

    q[

    • emorgoch
    • 13 years ago

    Win 7 x64, nVidia 8800GTX w/ 195 drivers. All my Steam windows are refusing to render properly on my secondary monitor. When they first open on the secondary, they’re all black. I can drag them over to my primary, and as I do, they show up correctly. Drag them back over, and they’re rendered, but updates don’t occur (i.e. clicking something doesn’t change anything). Drag back to primary, and updated screen is there. Opening things that have additional window effects (ie. menus), and they’re all black.

    Long story short: Doesn’t work with dual-screens.

    • Scrotos
    • 13 years ago

    Had that happen once or twice. Or, when downloading a patch, for some reason it’s like, “hey let’s download the whole 4 GB game again!”

    Didn’t find any real reason why it was happening and it doesn’t happen enough that I cared about it, honestly. Experienced it during the holiday sales where I got $350 worth of discounted games.

    • xtalentx
    • 13 years ago

    steam is great. i love it. this will keep me liking it.

    (I had a hell of a time not using proper punctuation on this message.)

    • clhensle
    • 13 years ago

    “Folks used to collapsing the Steam app into a narrow games list will need to change their habits, too; the updated UI no longer allows that.”

    Ugh, that was the first button I pressed when I opened steam. I preferred to have a small window with games, and another one beside it with friends list.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 13 years ago

    mmmm…mountain dew.

    • HisDivineShadow
    • 13 years ago

    Completely agree. Webkit rendering and the excising of IE requirement is the best thing for Steam.

    I do lament the loss of the smaller game listing option that was available in the older version. Having to always display a giant ass Steam window always is not ideal.

    • StashTheVampede
    • 13 years ago

    C: LOL. Good luck on that one. Show me another app that does this, seriously.

    • shaq_mobile
    • 13 years ago

    ive sort of experienced B but it would only massively slow down for a few min then start back up again.

    • shaq_mobile
    • 13 years ago

    its almost depressing, eh? I stopped playing games for a while and realized i would just end up wasting time eating/sleeping/watching tv/cooking/working on car. in the end, its all just burning time. its just important to balance, which is easier said than done. all i know is im glad i took a break, reevaluated my time and approached from an arguably healthier approach. i cook, bake, built and installed a chevy 350 into my el camino and im going to start brewing beer as soon as i get my motor timed and jetted properly.

    regarding game time played, nothign was more depressing than WoW. you could spend 8 hours and get nothign out of it. before you know it, you have thirty days played in two months, lost your girlfriend/job and spent all your money on mountain dew.

    • indeego
    • 13 years ago

    Confirmed for me as well on many elementsg{<.<}g

    • indeego
    • 13 years ago

    b. Never had that issue. I’m downloading Bioshock now at 1.9-2.1 MB/s

    d. I turned something off on my old GUI, so I never saw this. I don’t even see the option for it in this one.

    e. There is a taskbar entry for friends that leads directly to your friends playing, and you can see what games they are in, don’t see a way to filter by game, however.

    The GUI comes with a reorg of how the data is presented. I like it so farg{<.<}g

    • Skrying
    • 13 years ago

    It’s still the fastest option.

    • shaq_mobile
    • 13 years ago

    You have a knack for rhetorical questions.

    • thecoldanddarkone
    • 13 years ago

    So I installed this update on win7 with font size 125%. Both XP and W7 mode. XP mode cuts the bottom of text off. Win7 mode makes the gui FuZzY.

    • gyrfalcon1
    • 13 years ago

    “Some of us are tired of manually having 1 client download it then copying it between the machines.” Try reading his message first. He already does that, and wants something better.

    • flip-mode
    • 13 years ago

    Does it make game cheaper???? Please?

    Just bought Fallout 3 a few days ago. I…. LOVE…. IT….

    • indeego
    • 13 years ago

    Instant response on everything for meg{<.<}g

    • Skrying
    • 13 years ago

    See what you do is have a single person download the game and then make a back up. Then transfer this backup file accordingly. For someone who wrote a bitchin’ script such as yourself, this should have been obvious… or just a Google search away.

    • Barbas
    • 13 years ago

    I tried it and all the text was gone from the menus for some reason. Reverted back to trusty old version

    • idgarad
    • 13 years ago

    A: What new DRM crap is getting installed with it?

    B: Will it fix the problem with downloading 4gb games when after 20 minutes it just decides to stop downloading for a few hours then start back up for another 40 minutes, wash rinse repeat….?

    C: Will it finally look to local LAN peers to download off them rather then heading to a lan party where everyone buys borderlands (or in the case of this last weekend Dawn of Discovery) and rather then downloading it once and replicating to everyone it has 4 systems downloading the same chunks 4 times over? (Thank you Linux Router with Cacti\TCPDUMP\ and a bitching PERL script I wrote for parsing the dumps) Why not at the very least have the 4 clients download 4 different chunks and sync. Some of us are tired of manually having 1 client download it then copying it between the machines. Shit bit-torrent is smart enough to do that… Better yet, with wifi + wired let us connect to a careless neighbor’s wireless while we are hard-wired to our cable and use both to download rather then just one… mmm… delicious bonding…. nom nom nom….

    D: Can we finally disable that useless store popup once and for all? I don’t give a shit what new titles were released or on sale…

    E: For us Win7 users can we get a configurable single taskbar entry called “Friends” or each game our friends are playing e.g. CS:Source -> List of friends playing CS source, Borderlands -> List of friends playing borderlands with the count indicator? Or how about sub-friend lists grouped by game so I can on my second monitor have a Borderlands window showing my current friends that are playing Borderlands (perhaps even a filter to grey out people in games with no slots, etc…) and hide them when no one is playing (e.g. a bashboard of “Shit I could be doing with friends right now)

    So far we get a new web engine and that is about it. Meh…

    • Farting Bob
    • 13 years ago

    Im liking it so far, it no longer feels like its being driven by a system of pulleys and levers, it actually loads when you want to, not half an hour later!

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 13 years ago

    The new UI is good because it’s much, /[

    • Skrying
    • 13 years ago

    I’m not sure where you’re getting this is showing less information. The current Steam application is awful and doesn’t exactly show you a greater than normal amount of information anyway.

    • Mentawl
    • 13 years ago

    Unfortunately, it broke my Company of Heroes install (on both my PC and my laptop), necessitating a 9.4gb redownload…or rolling back to the old version of Steam, which I’ve done for now. Shame really, I kinda liked the look of the new one.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    I’m so glad they redesigned the UI to be a UI for dummies. Lord knows that having lots of information is bad bad bad, the more dumbed down the better!

    • Preyfar
    • 13 years ago

    It seemed pretty fast and responsive overall, much more than the old Steam did.

    • DreadCthulhu
    • 13 years ago

    Not a fan of this interface. I don’t need GIANT labels for items; I get my eyes checked every year. Hopefully they will have an option to keep the old interface, while keeping the good stuff like the webkit based browser.

    • Preyfar
    • 13 years ago

    The interface is a hybrid between Games for Windows Live and the Zune.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 13 years ago

    what’s performance like? For all the complaints people make about iTunes, I find Steam to be a much slower-performing app in general use. If this clears it up, I’ll download it in a heartbeat.

    • sweatshopking
    • 13 years ago

    steam sucks. i hate it. this wont make me like it.

    • GFC
    • 13 years ago

    Meh. The new UI looks way worse than the old one.

    • StashTheVampede
    • 13 years ago

    The beta also includes icon support for OSX.

    • indeego
    • 13 years ago

    Yeah they should have changed over years ago. You know it was bad when even Microsoft changed off Trident for their Office productsg{<.<}g

    • Vasilyfav
    • 13 years ago

    The most important change here is the switch to Webkit rendering, hopefully making Steam more nimble, instead of the ram guzzling sluggish beast.

    Saynoara, Trident, we never loved you anyway.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!