The world's premier PC game storefront — Steam — has begun rolling out new designs for its library pages, modernizing the list view and game description pages, currently with a beta tag. There's not much in terms of new functionality, but they look refreshed, cleaner, and clearer, complete with a view that showcases your collection with some added visual flair.
If you haven't had the chance to check out the new Steam pages yet, here's a quick overview.
The main home section of the new Steam library is segmented into customizable "shelves," alongside some defaults. The top shelf is reserved for news from games in your Steam library, and below that lists your most recently installed games. The next shelf is customizable, allowing you to list out specific collections, or all of your collections in a single place. There doesn't seem to be an upper limit on the number of shelves you can add here.
By selecting the tiles icon next to the home button, you get a new collections view, allowing you to create your own filters, or use Steam's suggested dynamic filters by a number of criteria. Some of the optional filters include genre, number of players, controller support, and so on, and will automatically include new games as your library grows.
Inside each collection, games can be sorted in different orders, including alphabetical, hours played, whether your friends are currently playing, and so on. The collections view is well-presented, showcasing game art prominently. It certainly seems like Steam is taking some welcome inspiration from GOG Galaxy here.
The library still has a list on the left, familiar for long-time users, with the added benefit of drag-and-drop functionality. Moving games in and out of collections are incredibly intuitive this way and the process does not require additional clicks or menus.
To complement the new collections, Steam has also overhauled game info pages, with prominent artwork across the top, complete with some modern transparent acrylic, Fluent Design-like panels. It's easy to quickly find everything you need, including forum access, game news, achievements, workshop mods, and beyond. Each game page also has an expandable section, showcasing additional information including game publisher, genre, release date, and social channels.
There are a few minor visual anomalies here and there. The roll-over animation for games in your collection produces a strange border that doesn't seem intentional, and the design creates a pretty jarring disconnection against other, non-updated segments of Steam. But hey, it's a beta after all.
Steam is facing some aggressive competition as more and more third-party publishers begin putting together their own dedicated storefronts, including Epic Games' notorious push into paid exclusivity for its own platform. The updates should help keep Valve's store ahead of the competition, which frankly, even without the modernization is still decades ahead of everyone else.
What do you think of the modernized Steam? Hit the comments, let us know.
Jez Corden is the Managing Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!
Pretty nice. Now they need to make a way to show which games you have in common with a friend. Ever tried that? You need to go to each game to see.
I am sorry. Imo steam looks like a program straight out of 2006. I can't see how this is supposed to look food. I think it is rather inconsistent and unrefined but yeah. Without the Metro for steam skin I couldn't stand this application. But maybe that is just me
Nope you're not alone. Steam looks really bloated even with the new updated graphics. I am happy they did something but it's still far from anything I can enjoy using. The colors and huge amount of elements just make the design so busy without any good focus for the eye. GOG Galaxy 2 manages to look really pretty and clean with the same functionality. Personally I would have liked a Steam rewrite (or huge makeover) at this point.
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