Folks heading to the Steam store will get a surprise today. Valve has revamped the store's layout as part of its Discovery Update, which aims to make it easier for users to find new games.
Along with a blue-ish UI makeover, the update includes four major new features:
- The Discovery Queue, the new name for the scrolling list of titles at the top of the Steam store. The Discovery Queue now includes personalized suggestions and lets users add games to their Wishlist or say they're not interested.
- Steam Curators, which Valve describes as "individuals, organizations, and groups that publish reviews and recommendations in a public forum on Steam." The current list of curators already includes PC Gamer, among others, and you can become a curator yourself, with your own list of recommendations.
- Improved search functionality, which now lets you filter search results with tags and the like.
- And the Recommendation Feed, which bases recommendations on your current games and the games your friends are playing. The feed also includes "well-reviewed titles that you may be interested in from categories across Steam."
I'll have to send more time browsing the new storefront to see if I like it, but either way, I can see why Valve felt compelled to overhaul things. The company says over 1,300 games have been added to Steam in the past nine months alone. Without some robust discovery features, a lot of those titles—especially indie releases—would probably go unnoticed.