Steam has really taken off in the last few years, something mainly helped by the must-have status of games like Half-Life 2
, and Valve is keen to ensure it stays on top of the pile as other companies vie to create online distribution methods.
To this end, Valve has announced that there will be a major Steam update later this summer that will hit more than 13 million users globally.
Starting this July, users will have access to a wide range of new community features which will go on top of the current Guest Pass feature which allows gamers to invite friends to some games and play for a limited time.
According to Valve, the update will include:
"Personal Steam pages and profiles, create and join groups, schedule games with friends, review who they've played with, see how well everyone played, chat with groups, chat via voice, and more. These new community services and features can be used with all Steam games, which include new releases and classic titles from leading publishers and independent developers."
The update, which is the largest to be applied to Steam since its release in 2004, will be free for all users to apply and will available through the Steam client's own tubes, as well as over one of the many Internets.
"Our community has given us great direction on the ways they want to see Steam evolve,"
said Gabe Newell. "Adding these new community features to make it easier to connect with other gamers is something we've wanted to see on Steam for a long time and this latest update is just the start. We've got a long list of items that we're working on to make it easier for gamers to connect and play games on Steam."
Reckon the update will encourage more users to Steam, or is it just going to cool off the whole palava as Valve bites off more than it can chew? Let us know in the forums
, where you too can chat with friends, schedule games, create profiles, pages and threads. Hey, wait a minute! Newell's been copying us again...