April 25, 2010
Steam Client Beta : It’s Just Better
Steam is working on a new version of it’s steam client. Beta participation is optional and currently anyone can join in. I had a chance to sit down and play with the new Steam Beta today and I have to say that I am pretty impressed. There are several new features or “reinventions of the wheel” that I am really enjoying. Instead of telling you everything that has changed I’m going to give you the major highlights of what I think makes this new steam release better.
The first thing that really stood out to me in this beta is the changing of the color schemes and overall feel of the client. Most of the greens that were in the previous version are gone. The client it now predominantly black and gray. It looks sleeker, it feels more modern and it looks more appealing. The overall feel of the client is just more futuristic.
The Steam store has been re-done in the way it’s been laid out. Now you can hove your mouse over any particular game that you may be interested in and it will give you some preliminary information about the game. This includes but is not limited to which of your friends owns the game, details about the game, supported play types and steam achievements.
I love steam, but I have always had a problem with the notification noises. You will be in the middle of a zombie rush and out of nowhere steam’s patented noise from hell rings throughout your speakers. With the new beta release, the noise has been toned into a simple yet modern sonar bleep.
Finally the piece that I really like the most is the new games list. It lists out all your games on the left and then if you select one of them you can sell all the recent and old news for that game. You can also tell if you have downloaded the game by the game being highlighted. I like this a lot more mainly because I can tell if there has been an update and I can easily see my games in alphabetical list and still know if they’ve been installed. Unlike before, when it would make a uninstalled and installed list, it lists them cleanly now.
Steam has really reached out to its users and found what we want. I expect steam to keep growing in popularity and introduce many new features that will revolutionize the way games are distributed, as well as how gamers keep in touch with each other. I would strongly encourage any of you steam users to give the beta a try and reap the benefits of a modern, organized, simple, revamped client.
To access the new beta client simply visit www.steampowered.com. Current steam users can access the beta client by going to settings » Account » Beta Participation — Select the UI Update