Steam, as convenient and awesome as it is to use, is not too appealing on the interface side of things, which may explain why Valve has announced that Steam is getting some major updates and a huge overhaul in the user interface department. Everything from the friends list to the store page to the in-game overlay has been changed.
“As of today, a new version of Steam is available through a public opt-in beta, open to all Steam users,” Valve informs. “This Steam update provides several major upgrades to the platform’s core functionality. We’ve overhauled the Steam user interface to enhance the way you already buy and play games, adding more info about the things that matter, getting games, playing them with friends, and staying current in the gaming world.”
The community and store for example have been integrated, allowing the user to see if a friend has bought a game they are browsing. Each game in the user’s library will have a page dedicated to displaying friends who are also playing the same game, a news feed and links to support pages. The in-game overlay will now display information about friends, news updates about the game the user is playing and a clock. For those who make use of the web browser will also be happy to know that a WebKit based rendering engine is now in use for the client and in-game web browsing, effectively replacing Internet Explorer.
The update is currently in beta and is available to all who have Steam installed as well as those who have yet to download it. If you do have Steam installed, head over to your settings, opt-in for the UI Update and take a ride with the new interface.