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New Steam UI arrives on Monday

New Steam UI arrives on Monday

Valve will release the Left 4 Dead 2 DLC, The Passing, tomorrow, followed by the new UI on Monday.

Valve has issued forth two big announcements today. The first confirms that the Steam UI beta which has been running for the last two months is finally ready for release and will roll out to all users on Monday, 26th April. The second reveals the release date for the long-awaited Left 4 Dead 2 DLC, The Passing - that will be available on PC and Xbox 360 on Thursday, AKA Tomorrow.

First, the beta. The new Steam UI is mainly a cosmetic update to the now aged look of Valve's digital distribution platform, but it'll also bring with it a lot of new functions too - syndicated news feeds and customisable games libraries to name a few.

Most importantly, the underlying technology that runs Steam has been significantly upgraded and the platform will no longer rely on Internet Explorer so heavily, thanks to a new WebKit-based rendering engine.

Valve has been keen to stress though that the previously announced Mac version of Steam is separate to the UI update, so Apple users will have to wait a little bit longer for that.

Meanwhile, Valve has also announced an April 22nd release for Left 4 Dead 2 DLC The Passing, which acts as a bridge between Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2.

As well as a new campaign, The Passing will include weekly game 'mutations' which will develop new modes and objectives for players. Some of the mutations Valve has hinted at include 'Realism Versus Mode' and 'Chainsaw Massacre'. Sounds fun.

The Passing will cost nothing for PC users, but Xbox 360 gamers will have to pay 560 MS Points to download the new add-on.

You can read more about Valve's latest zombie shooter in our Left 4 Dead 2 review, or our thoughts on the new Steam UI in our beta impressions article. Either way, let us know your thoughts in the forums.

40 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Omnituens 21st April 2010, 12:51 Quote
Not looking forward to having the ugly, cluttered UI shoved down my throat.
GFC 21st April 2010, 12:52 Quote
Same. I don't like the UI. Old one (the black one) looked way better. The only good thing is that the new browser is way better (the old one used like IE6).
TWeaK 21st April 2010, 12:53 Quote
Good stuff, I've liked the new UI but I've been getting sick of it updating almost every day. It'll be nice to have a final version.

Also VERY glad the the L4D2 DLC is free for PC :D
NuTech 21st April 2010, 12:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omnituens
Not looking forward to having the ugly, cluttered UI shoved down my throat.
But the new Bit-Tech has already been launched....

















Sorry, I'll get my coat.
PS: I actually do like the bit-tech and Steam redesign, but there are far too many useless spaces in the Steam UI.
impar 21st April 2010, 12:56 Quote
Greetings!

Used it for a week or so as Beta before returning to the classical UI.
There was some worthwhile speed improvements in the "Shift+Tab" interface while in game, but felt that the UI of Steam itself was just a mess, its just not user friendly at all.

Hope there is a away to keep the format of the classic UI while geting the advantages of the Webkit.
Omnituens 21st April 2010, 12:57 Quote
Seriously, there better be a way of getting the UI to look like the old one - I hate the new "library" bit, the old Favorites, Installed, Not Installed worked perfectly, even with the stupid amounts of games I have.

I'd PAY for a skin for the new one that returns it to this functionality.
gavomatic57 21st April 2010, 13:02 Quote
I like the new UI, I like the new webkit browser. Good stuff.
ffjason 21st April 2010, 13:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Greetings!

Used it for a week or so as Beta before returning to the classical UI.
There was some worthwhile speed improvements in the "Shift+Tab" interface while in game, but felt that the UI of Steam itself was just a mess, its just not user friendly at all.

Hope there is a away to keep the format of the classic UI while geting the advantages of the Webkit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omnituens
Not looking forward to having the ugly, cluttered UI shoved down my throat.

You realise there is a (library) layout which looks almost identical to the original design, just with the new titles at the top (i.e. store, library etc). Seriously, what is peoples problem with change!

Change is good! The new layout is stunning and much more functional! It has added many new features which were well overdue. I love it.
Ape 21st April 2010, 13:18 Quote
New UI is great, colourful, fresher-looking.
impar 21st April 2010, 13:19 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ffjason
You realise there is a (library) layout which looks almost identical to the original design, just with the new titles at the top (i.e. store, library etc). Seriously, what is peoples problem with change!
That was the list that was ordered alphabetically?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ffjason
It has added many new features which were well overdue.
Which ones?
Omnituens 21st April 2010, 13:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ffjason
what is peoples problem with change!
Change is good when it's in the right direction.

I've tried the beta a few times after people claimed they had "fixed" issues I was having - and each time I swapped back because the layout was so poor. When I click on My Games tab, I want then list to be in the order I left it in, not in the order Steam feels like at that given moment in time.

It's almost as bad as the Vista start menu that HIDES the last few programs I used O_o

EDIT: I do like the improved overlay and web browsing, I don't hate all of it.
impar 21st April 2010, 13:38 Quote
Greetings!

And the Steam icon changed too, right?
From a black background to a dark grey?
Omnituens 21st April 2010, 13:49 Quote
Yes it did - it looks awful, from what I remember the background for it almost matched the white of the steam logo O_o
mi1ez 21st April 2010, 13:51 Quote
My main disappointment is the way they've implemented game lists. I was hoping to be able to put games into more than one list (more akin to tagging than filing) but alas.

So much for having lists by genre, and lists by single/multiplayer...
impar 21st April 2010, 13:54 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by mi1ez
My main disappointment is the way they've implemented game lists.
Only need two lists: Installed and Not Installed.
Omnituens 21st April 2010, 13:57 Quote
And Favourites, obviously.
smc8788 21st April 2010, 14:13 Quote
Haters gonna hate.



Being serious for a moment:

The new one looks nice. The old one was green and dated and ugly.

The new one uses Webkit. The old one used IE.

The new one has a much more customisable games list with more community features. The old one had a simple games list without integrated community features.

The new one has a download manager. The old one doesn't.

The new one has a clock in the in-game overlay! The old one doesn't...

I can do everything just as quickly in the new UI as I could in the old UI.

Honestly, I don't see why people complain about the games list so much. How is this:

http://img.loldepot.com/c6bc769f6d09b4181ee5.png

So much different to/better than this:

http://i43.tinypic.com/n5knpu.jpg

Oh, and the new Steam icon is exactly the same as the old one, just with rounded corners. They changed it from the grey one only a few days after the beta was released.

http://i39.tinypic.com/11vtcep.jpg
[PUNK] crompers 21st April 2010, 14:14 Quote
CHANGE!!!! AHHHHH NOOOOO

is all im reading here
zimbloggy 21st April 2010, 14:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Author
"The Passing will cost nothing for PC users, but Xbox 360 gamers will have to pay 560 MS Points to download the new add-on."

Wow, a publisher that actually cares about PC gamers.
Blademrk 21st April 2010, 14:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mi1ez
My main disappointment is the way they've implemented game lists. I was hoping to be able to put games into more than one list (more akin to tagging than filing) but alas.

So much for having lists by genre, and lists by single/multiplayer...

Thye did implement a decent game list (where you could assign a game to multiple categories) when the beta started but one of the first updates got rid of it for the collapsable lists instead - there's quite a big list of people complaining on the steam beta feedback forums, but there hasn't been a single reply from any of the steam staff to say if they've taken the complaints on board (which has also raised complaints). At the moment the game list is less than useful.

Edit:
Quote:
Originally Posted by smc8788
Haters gonna hate.

...
The new one has a much more customisable games list with more community features. The old one had a simple games list without integrated community features.
...
Honestly, I don't see why people complain about the games list so much. How is this:

So much different to/better than this:

Click on the magnifying glass in Steam. the customisable games list isn't that customisable tbh.

When the beta first started you could assign games to multiple categories and just show games from particular categories, so for example Borderlands could be assigned to FPS, RPG, Single-player, Multi-player, Co-op, In Progress and Favourites.
Filtering to any of those categories would bring up Borderlands. At the moment filtering has been removed, and you can only assign a game to 1 category which is pointless, a lot of games will fit into more than 1 category.

Can't understand why they removed that functionality - it worked a lot better than the system they have implemented now.
wuyanxu 21st April 2010, 14:28 Quote
yay, hopefully they've ironed out all the bugs.

i for one like shinny things, so this Steam update looks fantastic.
Omnituens 21st April 2010, 14:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by smc8788
Honestly, I don't see why people complain about the games list so much. How is this:

http://img.loldepot.com/c6bc769f6d09b4181ee5.png

So much different to/better than this:

http://i43.tinypic.com/n5knpu.jpg

See those divider lines? They allow you to quickly collapse that section, instantly hiding non-installed games. Favorites at the top. Single click moves them to/from favorites.

Small things can make a big difference.
motas 21st April 2010, 14:41 Quote
I just hope the new one works. I don't even care what it looks like.
smc8788 21st April 2010, 14:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omnituens
See those divider lines? They allow you to quickly collapse that section, instantly hiding non-installed games.

Yeah, now I have to go all the way into the drop-down menu and click 'show installed games'. One extra click for something I do every week or so - not a dealbreaker if you ask me, not considering the vast improvements made elsewhere.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omnituens
Favorites at the top. Single click moves them to/from favorites.

Works exactly the same way in the beta (I just haven't bothered to set any favourites in that screenshot).
Omnituens 21st April 2010, 15:04 Quote
Didn't put them at the top back when i did - just star'ed them in the list.
smc8788 21st April 2010, 15:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omnituens
Didn't put them at the top back when i did - just star'ed them in the list.

Ah, well it puts them at the top now. That's what the beta is for - they've been releasing several patches a week based on the feedback in the forums to make sure it's ready for a full release. It's not the same UI as it was two months ago.
Omnituens 21st April 2010, 15:50 Quote
Interesting. We'll see on monday.
Aterius Gmork 21st April 2010, 16:15 Quote
Where did the Small View <--> Large View button go? Used that one a lot on my laptop.


The new webkit is nice, but adding that much eye-candy wasn't necessary and probably is a ressource hog. Not every steam user has that killer rig, so every mb of RAM or CPU cycle that is wasted by the new bling bling might result in an even lower frame rate.

Also: Thanks smc8788, I have searched for this view in vain before and thought they've abandoned it for this new large mode. Hiding the options like that (you can only configure the games list to look like that clicking the right mouse button) is kinda unnecessary. How will the Mac-users be able to change these options?

Speaking of the devil, they probably are the reason for this new layout. Eye-candy goes a long way in the Mac world.
leveller 21st April 2010, 16:49 Quote
You guys do know about game categories? It makes life so much easier and they are collapsable.
Blademrk 21st April 2010, 17:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by leveller
You guys do know about game categories? It makes life so much easier and they are collapsable.

yes, but the way they've gone about setting then up is awful compared with what they had about 3-4 weeks ago (i.e. multiple, filterable categories per game rather than just one).
B1GBUD 21st April 2010, 19:55 Quote
w00t
Farfalho 21st April 2010, 22:02 Quote
Something free for PC community?! ZOMG, izh's zhe end of zhe world!
Showerhead 22nd April 2010, 00:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farfalho
Something free for PC community?! ZOMG, izh's zhe end of zhe world!
To be fair valve have always said they'd release stuff for free on xbox but M$ won't let them.
Marc5002 22nd April 2010, 07:16 Quote
the beta ui as much easier game list : better browser :and when you click game you see trophy : previously to get ur trophy / achivement display you ad to click the game manuelly on ur profile id on steam website which is errr annoying..
Unknownsock 22nd April 2010, 10:05 Quote
The new UI update was long over due.
At first it looks a tad cluttered but the extra functions it brings far outweight the cons.
Although i do like the new look.
AshT 22nd April 2010, 10:32 Quote
Trust me, haters, you will survive

eim5jLlEPYI
ChuckyP83 22nd April 2010, 10:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aterius Gmork

The new webkit is nice, but adding that much eye-candy wasn't necessary and probably is a ressource hog. Not every steam user has that killer rig, so every mb of RAM or CPU cycle that is wasted by the new bling bling might result in an even lower frame rate.

If you're cutting it so close that a couple of percent of CPU time is going to ruin your gaming experience (or even significantly alter it) then you might want to consider upgrading. You dont need a killer rig or any significant amount of ram to show the window... come on man. Its not like its XP -> Vista.

Of all the things to find issue with the new shiny. Lets say it wastes 4% CPU time and the game is CPU bound: 60fps *.04=2.4fps. Thats worst case scenario, and who's to say the old steam didn't use that CPU time either? At that 60fps threshold you wouldn't even notice the difference. If you can I've got some Magical stickers to sell you that make your iPod sound incredible...
devilxc 22nd April 2010, 15:11 Quote
I'm not a big fan of the new layout, but I don't hate it. It seems slower, but that is probably just me. Anyone know if the new steam actually works reliably in offline mode? Or is it solely a UI change?

I didn't know L4D2 DLC was coming out today. I know what I'm playing this evening.
TWeaK 22nd April 2010, 20:37 Quote
Well, they said it was coming out today. COME ON VALVE, I NEED MY NEW FIX!!!
knuck 22nd April 2010, 20:43 Quote
it's up for me
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