Heavily rumoured for years now, Valve has taken the veil off its upcoming Steam redesign during a GDC panel.
Steam is set to be given an across-the-board overhaul, both visual and functionally. This appears to be the most dramatic update Steam has received since Big Picture Mode, or possibly even since the beautiful olive green client era *takes off rose-tinted spectacles*.
We’ll start with the Steam Library interface, which has proven a little divisive. Down the left-hand side, it’s business as usual with a list of the games you own, a search bar, and, finally, the ability to filter your Steam library by game tags. Fancy playing a co-op FPS? Search your library for these tags or sort them into a sub-folder dedicated to this genre.
Recently Played is now given much greater priority in the main window, showing the last three games that have been played. Underneath this, you receive news on the latest game updates for games you own, including patches, content and add-ons.
Finally, at the bottom, Valve is opting for a visualised game shelf library, pretty similar to the effect GOG uses. Each game has proper box art and can be sorted through various means. Mainly it just looks like a nice way to cast your eye over everything you own, and while functionally pointless, having the box art there affords a sense of ownership that a text list of game names just doesn’t.
The game page designed is then a little less dramatic. The majority of it appears to be the same content as we already get on Steam game pages, just rejigged slightly. Each aspect is given a little more room to breathe this time around, and events and updates now take top priority.
And finally, we have the Steam Events page, which actually looks really neat. A reaction to the shift toward games as a service, the Events page provides a calendar of upcoming events for games you follow and own. This can be anything from live eSports tournaments to daily challenges or double XP events. You can set reminders for these events and be notified when they go live, giving the user greater control and a better system for tackling games when there are often several events going on at once.
It would be a little ignorant to assume this redesign, which has been in the works for years, was a reaction to the growing presence of the Epic Store, although there is every chance that Valve's plans were accelerated once it became aware of its challenger.
Valve has said we can expect the Steam redesign to begin rolling out to the beta branch within the next couple of months, ahead of a public launch this summer.
What are your thoughts on the Steam redesign? Do you like Valve's changes? Let us know what you think below?