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Steam UI Update Beta Drops IE Rendering For WebKit

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the what-a-coincidence-with-battle.net-in-beta-too dept.

Internet Explorer 244

Citing massive growth in their user base ("25 million users, 1000+ games, 12 billion player minutes per month, and 75 billion Steam client minutes per month"), Valve unveiled a revamped UI for Steam on Tuesday, opening the beta test to anyone who wants to try it out. There are many changes, and an increased focus on social features: "Right from within your own game Library, you can now track which of your friends plays each game or invite them to play one with you. Before you've even bought a game, knowing whether your friends play it is one of the most useful pieces of information to have. So on the store homepage, there's a new listing of what your friends have bought or played lately." Tracking games and achievements have both gotten simpler, and Valve has dropped the Internet Explorer rendering engine in favor of WebKit. An enterprising user also found files that may indicate the existence of an OS X Steam client.

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Why OSX? (4, Insightful)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270400)

Exactly how many steam games have OSX versions? Does anyone actually game with Macs?

Re:Why OSX? (5, Insightful)

oiron (697563) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270414)

Maybe they're trying to create the market?

Re:Why OSX? (4, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270892)

Exactly how many steam games have OSX versions? Does anyone actually game with Macs?

Maybe they're trying to create the market?

We're sorry, Steam has been rejected from the iTunes app store for duplicating iTunes functionality. If you would like to alter your app and resubmit, please feel free.

Re:Why OSX? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31271114)

We're sorry, Steam has been rejected from the iTunes app store for duplicating iTunes functionality. If you would like to alter your app and resubmit, please feel free.

The iPhone and the Mac are not the same thing.

Re:Why OSX? (4, Insightful)

Masami Eiri (617825) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271166)

Give it time.

Re:Why OSX? (3, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270418)

Quite many games in stores at least have that PC&Mac logo, so I don't see why it wouldn't be the same in Steam.

And even if not currently, Steam gained popularity on PC because it was the first online platform to buy and play games (it wasn't as good as it is now, they had to work a lot on it). Now they're first on Mac's too and will dominate that market too.

Re:Why OSX? (3, Insightful)

lorenzo.boccaccia (1263310) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271128)

wiki, of course, holds the answer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_games

But one problem with mac games is that macs doesn't have the same layers of backward compatibility as windows does. I reluctantly bought a simcity deluxe last day from amazon, and I've yet to discover if it runs or not on snow leopard. On the windows 7 rig, I'm confident that I can get oldies to run one way or another, the market for older mac games instead is more limited.

still, I welcome greatly the use of webkit in the client instead of trident.

Re:Why OSX? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31271222)

The other problem with mac games is that you can never play all the way through them because macs crash constantly and mysteriously for no apparent reason, giving the user no indication as to the fault. They simply restart in the blink of an eye and then pretend that everything's happy and pretty. And before you tell me it's not true, or that it's no longer true with MacOSX -- this has happened regularly on every Mac I've ever used, including the mac mini sitting on my desktop right now running OSX. Thank god it's not my everyday machine and I only have to use it for testing.

Re:Why OSX? (3, Informative)

PePe242 (1690706) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270488)

World of Warcraft. Don't know if it is being sold through steam though...

Re:Why OSX? (1)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270714)

World of Warcraft is a really old game though. I can't see it attracting a lot of new players to any particular market. Everyone who wants to play WoW is already playing it.

Re:Why OSX? (3, Interesting)

ladadadada (454328) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270906)

As a counter-example to your assertion, I started playing WoW about three weeks ago on a Mac.

Despite WoW being an old game, it is constantly being updated with expansions and new content. Even old players are still finding it a rewarding experience.

I understand that this doesn't mean that a lot of users are like me, but to say that "Everyone who wants to play WoW is already playing it." is not correct.

Re:Why OSX? (1)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271154)

I think he was going for sarcasm....

Re:Why OSX? (1)

Kenz0r (900338) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270820)

World of Warcraft. Don't know if it is being sold through steam though...

(Activision-)Blizzard has been trying to get their own piece of the legal game download market through the Blizzard Store [blizzard.com] .
I think it actually has a chance of taking off. Steam got big through Valve's big titles: Half-Life 2, CS:S and other source engine games.

Blizzard has even bigger games: World of Warcraft and soon Diablo III and Starcraft 2. Those three titles alone can turn the Blizzard Store into a well-known and credible platform.
Once that has happened they can move in the newest Activision titles, instead of offering them on Steam.

Re:Why OSX? (1)

gparent (1242548) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271708)

And for that matter, most if not all Blizzard games.

Re:Why OSX? (3, Informative)

am 2k (217885) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270526)

Torchlight is one out of my head. Well, the Mac version isn't out yet, but it has been announced.

Re:Why OSX? (1, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271438)

Uh...why was parent modded troll for pointing out that the Mac version of Torchlight isn't out yet? Come on, people...if you are going to mod, at least try to mod appropriately. For example, you should mod down my post because I'm about to make a shameless self-plug.

Here is my review of Torchlight: http://livingwithanerd.com/torchlight/ [livingwithanerd.com]

Re:Why OSX? (3, Interesting)

BlueTrin (683373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270558)

I would buy more games off Steam if I could get both versions for the price of 1 game, the key would be unique for both to prevent me playing on both computers at the same time.

I am sure that I am not the only one who has a Mac and a PC, especially here on Slashdot.

I would not mind playing Starcraft 2 on a MacBook when I am abroad.

Re:Why OSX? (1, Insightful)

iainl (136759) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270662)

Since you need to be logged in to your steam account, that's phenomenally easy for them to enforce, too.

Re:Why OSX? (2, Insightful)

BlueTrin (683373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271740)

There is a small issue in this, as you can use steam in offline mode, this allows you to play, usually, the single player portion of the games on multiple computers, but since you can do it with two PCs this is no worse than with a Mac and a PC !

Re:Why OSX? (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270772)

I would not mind playing Starcraft 2 on a MacBook when I am abroad.

IIRC, but Steam is more or less a front-end for the publishers and their ego. Highly likely, as it was always before, Mac ports would require a different key thus one has to purchase the Mac version separately. This is long standing tradition, mainly due to the fact that Mac porting is licensed/subcontracted to another company and has different money trail. Since it means -in theory- more profit for publishers, highly likely Mac v. PC on Steam would be the same as it is with boxed version of games.

Re:Why OSX? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31270868)

Blizzard releases their games for both OS/X and Windows, and you don't have to buy separate versions.

Re:Why OSX? (2, Informative)

Alphathon (1634555) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271138)

Very true, but they are the exception, not the rule. It's like saying most games are supported on linux because UT2k4 is.

Re:Why OSX? (5, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270560)

I'm not sure what portion of Steam's sales they account for, but Steam does distribute a decent number of indie games [steampowered.com] , and Mac sales often account for a disproportionate share [wolfire.com] of indie-game sales, possibly due to Mac users being culturally more into "pay $10 for an app" mindset, and less competition from AAA titles.

Re:Why OSX? (2, Interesting)

halowolf (692775) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270692)

I game on my Mac quite nicely. But I also have it Bootcamped with Windows 7 and that is where my Steam is installed. I wouldn't bother putting it into my Mac OSX atm.

Yes... (1)

wfolta (603698) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270728)

Does anyone actually game with Macs?>

... yes, we do.

Re:Yes... (1)

Alphathon (1634555) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271164)

I'd be interested to see what Mac gaming is like in general. Since historically it's been PC>Mac for number of games, release date etc, and atm PC gaming is falling behind consoles, how is Mac gaming doing? Do you guys have the same rediculous DRM issues?

Re:Why OSX? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31270748)

Lots of casual games have Mac versions. Steam did get into a bit of casual, though it has nowhere near the selection of stores specialising in it.

For other games, there are few, but they do exist. One off the top of my mind is City of Heroes (an MMO I used to play).

Re:Why OSX? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31270928)

My Mac tripple boots between Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Windows 7 and Ubuntu. Any game I can play on OS X I do, however for those that don't I'll play under windows. Using Unreal Tournament 3 as an example I picked ALL of the Unreal Series up in a sale for $20. UT 3 for the Mac is STILL not released and currently being priced around 30 UK Pounds (~$45). I know this isn't Steam's fault of course but given the option I suspect most potential Mac Gamers are being driven off because the prices are extortionate and products delayed (assuming they make it in the first place). Give me the option to buy my game of choice on my platform of choice at a reasonable price and I'll leap it it. Hopefully Valve see this and can help deliver...

Re:Why OSX? (2, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271584)

Exactly how many steam games have OSX versions? Does anyone actually game with Macs?

Gaming has never been that huge on the Mac. A large part of this is limited retail shelf space... If a retailer knows the PC version of a game is more likely to sell than the Mac one, they're more likely to stock the PC one. Which means less shelf space for Macs... So less Mac users go into the store to buy stuff... So you put less Mac stuff on the shelves...

These days we're seeing the same trend with PC gaming. Consoles are taking over the market and you're seeing less and less shelf space devoted to PC games.

But that doesn't mean that folks have stopped playing games on the PC, nor does it mean that folks don't game on the Mac - just that the marketplace you use to buy your software isn't a retail store.

There are tons of games on Steam that you will never, ever see on a store shelf. And why not? It isn't like you're giving up physical shelf space... Storage is cheap. Throw another disk in the array and call it done!

So, why wouldn't Valve try to expand their market a bit? Plenty of publishers still release games for the Mac... And right now they're struggling to get the games out there and in front of people's eyes... They'd probably love something like Steam.

I'm not quite sold. (3, Interesting)

Tromad (1741656) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270404)

I'm not steam's biggest fan, but I liked how minimal it was. I do like the different game layout views; the icon enlargements are a nice touch. I'm not sure how useful this is to me as I have many non-steam games, so I edit windows 7's crippled game explorer instead of using the steam launcher, so I rarely see the steam interface. The store does seem much faster though.

Re:I'm not quite sold. (4, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270450)

You do know you can add shortcuts to non-steam games in Steam too? That way you also get the in-game browser and community features in it. You're the first person I've actually heard of using the Vista/Win7 game explorer though, if not using Steam it's much faster to write part of the game's name to start menu search box and launch it.

Re:I'm not quite sold. (2, Informative)

Tromad (1741656) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270690)

Yah but then you don't get any icons for non-steam games, which are the majority of my games. Using vista game explorer editor I can have nice huge boxart for every single one of my games, even my old DOS ones I launch via dosbox (Wizard's Crown, Conflict: Middle East Political Simulator, Romance of the 3 Kingdoms III, etc).

See this for an example, though I have my boxart much larger.
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_C0PrNGg_f9I/SooziquYCbI/AAAAAAAAEU4/iRLdJma4PkU/s800/VGE%20Complete.jpg [ggpht.com]

Not just games (2, Funny)

chronosan (1109639) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270838)

It's quite amusing when you get 20+ people asking you if Math Input Panel is fun.

So (2, Interesting)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270416)

Tracking games and achievements have both gotten simpler, and Valve has dropped the Internet Explorer rendering engine in favor of WebKit.

So does that mean my game will stop locking up every time I join a game because idiotic admins put horrible bloated HTML bastardizations as their MOTD?

Re:So (2, Informative)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270444)

I downloaded the beta a few hours ago.

The first thing I noticed was, while the Supreme Commander 2 Demo was downloading, the UI kept locking up for ~120 seconds. (0% CPU)

The second thing I noticed was level load times dropped about 30% in TF2.

Browsing feels a whole lot quicker now - except during the freezes. :P

Neat UI after Battle.Net changes (1)

BlueTrin (683373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270420)

Am I the only one to wonder why it looks so similar to the new Battle.Net ?
Does anybody know if this project was started recently ?

On another note, I wish that there would be some kind of OpenGamingNetwork, with so many different networks such as: Live, Battle.Net, EA, Bioware, Gamespy (well I am happy that Gamespy is disappearing, the UI is horrible), it is very cumbersome to manage your accounts and keys.

Surely, this would be even better than a new GUI ? Isn't it Valve ?

Re:Neat UI after Battle.Net changes (4, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270660)

It's not just Battle.Net really, these are features that XBox Live has had for a while and that Microsoft has tried to bring to Windows with Games for Windows Live also, which now has it's own games store too.

I don't think this was so much about bringing new features for the benefit of users in general as much as it was about keeping up with the competition.

If Steam didn't introduce these features it would start to look very dated.

One thing I wish ALL these services would introduce is download scheduling though, over the last few years there's been a shift towards capped peak time downloads in the UK (and many other countries), and I can't afford to have multi-gigabyte game updates and downloads and so forth chewing into my bandwidth allowance. I don't have the option of just loading it up when the off-peak period starts and downloads aren't capped, and turning it off in the morning, because I go to bed a couple of hours before peak time starts, and get up and go to work a couple of hours before it ends.

It may sound trivial but for me, and I imagine others in my position it's actually a big deal- I don't buy games via Steam partly because it's annoying only being able to download said games on weekends when I am up at the right times to be able to get it going and stop it during the off-peak period. For me, it's actually more convenient to just buy games in shops, or order them online. Similarly I don't buy retail games on XBox Live or even bother trying multi-gb demos for this reason- I can't control when they will be downloaded.

Valve, Microsoft, Blizzard et al. seem oblivious to the fact that being too lazy to implement a download scheduler is costing them customers. Sure there are workarounds, and ways to implement these sorts of things themselves, but they're hacks that updates can break and there's nothing less amusing than coming home to find some update has fucked your scheduling hack and you've had 90% your monthly on-peak usage allowance chewed up right at the start of the month because of it.

Of course another option is to go to an ISP that oversells and doesn't have caps like this, but then that's equally useless because those ISPs are the same ones that are utterly hopeless for online gaming.

It's ironic that once again, it's a simple feature that's ignored, but that most popular BitTorrent, or USENET clients provide- yet again, it seems piracy offers the superior distribution mechanism.

Anyway, that's my rant for the day ;)

Re:Neat UI after Battle.Net changes (1)

ADT7 (1458965) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270720)

Assuming you're close enough to the exchange for ADSL to not suck, switch to O2. They've been the best ADSL provider I've had here in the UK.

No caps, no "peak-time" and the speeds are close to as advertised (I pay for a 20Mb line and get 18Mb, with BT it was down at 12Mb, on the same telephone line as well, so figure that one out)

Re:Neat UI after Battle.Net changes (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270804)

The problem is that our exchange isn't unbundled, or at least, there's no 3rd parties operating their kit on our exchange, so we're stuck with 8mbps ADSL max over BT's infrastructure.

That means that where I am we're stuck with ISPs who have to put up with getting ripped off by BT. The only upside is in a year or two we should gain decent connections from the Digital Region scheme so that might be something at least, although it's still a year or two off.

Re:Neat UI after Battle.Net changes (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270874)

It may sound trivial but for me, and I imagine others in my position it's actually a big deal

Yesm you and that other guy.

Re:Neat UI after Battle.Net changes (4, Informative)

Zeussy (868062) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271130)

I add steam as a scheduled task to start up in the off peak times. Before I go to bed, unpause the download, and close steam. Wait for the scheduled task to start it back up for me.

Webkit (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31270422)

Webkit is great. We are moving towards a world of web browser indifference. Now we don't rely on IE or Netscape idiosyncracies anymore.

It implies we also do not depend on a particular operating system anymore for web applications as the landscape diversifies.

Re:Webkit (4, Interesting)

_merlin (160982) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270994)

At this rate, WebKit could be the new IE6 - it could become so pervasive that people take it for granted, and develop web sites that only render correctly in WebKit. It's already in Safari, Chrome, Konqueror, iTunes, Steam, Midori, Maemo, Moblin, iPhone and WebOS, and will be coming to Blackberry soon. What does this mean for the interoperable web? (Yes, it's better than IE6 in that it's reasonably standards-compliant, cross-platform and licensed under LGPL2.)

Re:Webkit (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271308)

As long as you keep your website standards compliant there should be no issue. It should also be noted that while all these browsers share the same renderer, they don't all use the same Javascript engine. One thing that may help is that webkit is open source.

A good web developer should always make sure that their site renders on multiple browsers with different renders.

Beyond the W3C HTML validator are then any other cross platform tool that will test a website for standards compliance?

Re:Webkit (2, Informative)

tuttle (973) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271728)

Maemo and Moblin both use mozilla based browsers. Maemo comes with MicroB and Moblin comes with the Moblin Browser. Both can also use Fennec or Firefox Mobile. There may be some WebKit projects floating around for both of them, but I don't believe any of them are far enough to replace the platform browser. My guess is that the merger into Meego will continue to use Mozilla/Firefox.

I don't want to be tracked (3, Interesting)

GhigoRenzulli (1687590) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270446)

Why everyone keeps saying that tracking every single move you make on your pc is such a great feature?

Leave me alone, mind your own business and stop collecting my own usage data for your strinky marketing purposes.

When I want to tell all the world that now I'm playing a game I will do it on my own, I don't need some steamy application to make it for me.

And yes, I want to subscribe to an asocial network. You subscribe and no one cares about you. Relax. Enjoy.

Re:I don't want to be tracked (4, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270470)

So then just don't use Steam. There's a difference between being tracked involuntarily a la Google Analytics and tracking your game stats and achievements on a gaming platform that contains such community features, which you signed up for.

Your complain is like signing up to a dating site and then complaining how the girls won't leave you alone.

Re:I don't want to be tracked (4, Funny)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270482)

Your complain is like signing up to a dating site and then complaining how the girls won't leave you alone.

More like the bots won't leave him alone, and he can't find any real live women.

Re:I don't want to be tracked (1)

GhigoRenzulli (1687590) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270518)

It's nice when a guy with such a signature try to teach you something about real life :)

Re:I don't want to be tracked (4, Interesting)

GhigoRenzulli (1687590) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270492)

I signed Steam to play games and not to be a part of some kind of gaming social network where others know what you're doing.
I don't see a tight connection (nor a loose one) between playing and letting know to all the world that I'm actually playing and what.
If I sign up to a dating site, it's for finding girls. It's not a valid comparison.

Re:I don't want to be tracked (4, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270522)

How does Steam let the whole world know if you're playing or not? Even if you use your usual nickname with Steam, set your profile status to private (it's friends only by default if I remember correctly) and don't add friends on it. No one knows you're playing then.

99% of games you can also buy on other media or download services than Steam (MW2 and a few other games being exceptions, since they use Steam).

Complaining about Steam's community and friends features is stupid because you don't need to use them if you don't want to.

Re:I don't want to be tracked (1)

YojimboJango (978350) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271554)

Even more stupid is that the whole thing is 100% opt-in. If you don't want anyone knowing when you're playing a game then don't add them as a friend. Or if you just have to add friends to the service select the option to always appear offline and never log your stats.

Re:I don't want to be tracked (1)

Aldenissin (976329) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270562)

I guess he has a point. Playing Peggle Deluxe you wouldnt want your friends to see you. However, for the rest of us, knowing what those of us with similar tastes are into is good intel. I have bought a few games partly based on what I saw others liking enough to spend time in. There is your connection. I don't love tracking so much either though, but what are you going to do? Cross the streams and give Google a Steam ip and vice versa? heh

Re:I don't want to be tracked (1)

naz404 (1282810) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270512)

Your complain is like signing up to a dating site and then complaining how the girls won't leave you alone.

girls? it's the men who won't leave me alone that bother me! *shudder*

Re:I don't want to be tracked (5, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270924)

girls? it's the men who won't leave me alone that bother me! *shudder*

Stop playing a female night elf then. Sheesh.

Re:I don't want to be tracked (3, Insightful)

Krittick (1740572) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270676)

Your complain is like signing up to a dating site and then complaining how the girls won't leave you alone.

I highly doubt most /. users will be complaining about girls not leaving us alone.

Re:I don't want to be tracked (1)

GF678 (1453005) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271458)

So then just don't use Steam. There's a difference between being tracked involuntarily a la Google Analytics and tracking your game stats and achievements on a gaming platform that contains such community features, which you signed up for.

Unfortunately there are a growing number of games that now REQUIRE Steam, despite being available as a retail purchase. Given the size of Steam and the attraction PC gamers and developers have to it, it wouldn't surprise me if 90%+ of all major titles require mandatory Steam installation and registration in the future.

So sure, he can avoid using Steam. He'll just be left with a dwindling supply of non-Steam games, at least on the PC. It shouldn't have to be that way.

Re:I don't want to be tracked (2, Informative)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271658)

You can make your profile private which effectively opts you out of any social features. You can also disable in-game overlays but I find those handy whenever I want to pull up a web browser.

Re:I don't want to be tracked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31270480)

They've been tracking it for a while now. Nothing new here.

Re:I don't want to be tracked (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31270880)

Then good luck playing any high-tier games in the near future.
Everyone will be putting their games out through things like Steam due to the increases in piracy.

And why do you think Valve care about you, as an individual?
Do you think you are somehow special, amongst the X amount of users of Steam?
You are a statistic, nothing more.

Also, they have Asocial networks, it is called blogging with privacy mode enabled.

Re:I don't want to be tracked (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271354)

Then good luck playing any high-tier games in the near future. Everyone will be putting their games out through things like Steam due to the increases in piracy.

And what I don't understand is why people seem to be happy about another (near) monopoly being built?

Re:I don't want to be tracked (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271056)

Surely, I can't be the only person who saw the article blurb and thought "WTF?"
I mean, has what your friends play online now become the reason for whether to play or not? I hope and trust that this is only true for the minority of players in their teens and early twenties, while the majority of players in their 30s and 40s have gotten past the need to always have what their "friends" have, always do what their "friends" do, and constant single-syllable social networking.

I mean, it's nice to provide a "friends" chat interface (if it follows standards, like XMPP, so it doesn't become your only choice), but it's also nice to default to being able to play a game without anyone else being able to interrupt, or even knowing.
My friends have no business knowing that I sometimes prefer playing a single person game to playing with them, or how much I like my pink pony mane braiding simulator. Much like I close my front door and don't install webcams in every room, there are times for friends, and times for no friends, and the latter takes precedence.

And when I do want to play a game with my friends, I honestly prefer sitting in the living room, sharing a nice 25yo single malt, and playing together on the big screen. The simple joy of being with friends, Steam will never be able to provide or compete with.

Re:I don't want to be tracked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31271168)

Yeah, you're right. I can't think of a single reason [wikipedia.org] why I'd want a game that my friends have, other than simply wanting to fit in. I'm so juvenile.

Re:I don't want to be tracked (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271692)

And when I do want to play a game with my friends, I honestly prefer sitting in the living room, sharing a nice 25yo single malt, and playing together on the big screen. The simple joy of being with friends, Steam will never be able to provide or compete with.

What about the other side of the spectrum? It's 10pm and you're in your jammies and you see on Steam that a friend is playing a casual game. With one click you can join his game, play together for 10 minutes, and make plans together for the weekend while chatting. There's a lot of value in that, even if it's not your very favourite means of gaming.

Re:I don't want to be tracked (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271796)

You can do exactly that. Set Steam to appear offline for your friends list when you don't want to be bothered, and online when it's ok.

On the latter point, playing with friends in the living room with some beers is of course fun. But it doesn't mean it's either that or this, you can have the both. Many of the multiplayer games are more fun with friends even if you're playing on your computers (and the added bonus of being able to play with foreign friends).

I dont just buy some game if I see some friend playing it - you're allowed to think with your own brains and evaluate it. But there has been cases where I've spotted some of my friends playing some game and looked it up, and then buying it as it looked interesting and heard it was fun. Just like you could heard it on slashdot, some forum or gaming mazagine.

But any point about social interaction and such is quite stupid with Steam, as no one forces you to use those, and even if you do, you can easily decide when.

Re:I don't want to be tracked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31271624)

You can log out of the Steam Community from the Friends panel. I haven't tried it, but it should keep it from broadcasting what game you're playing.

YES! (3, Interesting)

the1337g33k (1268908) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270448)

I love that now I won't have to install both the ActiveX flash player and the Mozilla/Chrome flash player plugin.

Just tried it out and it seems that the store page is no longer has any flash elements at all. They seem to have written it all in javascript, which as most people will agree is much faster in WebKit then IE.

The interface reminds me of when I owned my Zune though (disclaimer: doesn't mean thats bad), but the new My Games page layout is much improved and in my opinion, awesome.

Bring back compact mode! (4, Interesting)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270474)

The new steam beta window is HUGE. A lot of people used the old compact mode (most of the time), so that steam was just a menu of games, not a "gaming portal" or whatever other buzzwords.

Re:Bring back compact mode! (4, Funny)

MrNemesis (587188) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271034)

Haven't you heard? If your application doesn't have a synergistic community portal for leveraging paradigm-changing reality matricies you're officially a member of the Software 1.0 generation. I can't wait until the new version of TurboTax comes out with 1-click facebook export, twitter feed for liability expenses and a CoverFlow-alike system for making your tax returns totally pimped.

Never thought I'd be such a cynical old fart at 30, but if I want to socialise with people I'll do it down the fucking pub thank you very much :)

Re:Bring back compact mode! (1)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271204)

Haven't you heard? If your application doesn't have a synergistic community portal for leveraging paradigm-changing reality matricies you're officially a member of the Software 1.0 generation. I can't wait until the new version of TurboTax comes out with 1-click facebook export, twitter feed for liability expenses and a CoverFlow-alike system for making your tax returns totally pimped.

Crap. That's an awesome idea! I can totally see how we can utilize this agile platform for demonstrating first-order capabil...wait...what? Am I a manager? Why, yes, yes I am. Why do you ask?

TurboTax DOES have 1-click facebook export already (4, Informative)

ahecht (567934) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271430)

I just finished my taxes last week, and in one of the last steps after e-filing TurboTax offered to post a "I just finished my taxes with TurboTax and I'm getting a $XXX refund!" message to my Facebook profile.

Re:TurboTax DOES have 1-click facebook export alre (2, Interesting)

MrNemesis (587188) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271618)

For a minute there I thought you were joking. One google later shows that turbo tax is only too happy to use people bragging about their personal finances as a marketing tool.

Un. Fucking. Believable.

http://www.insidefacebook.com/2010/02/03/turbo-tax-uses-facebook-connect-to-allow-friends-to-spread-the-word/ [insidefacebook.com]

Maybe it's because I started drinking before I started using the internet but I really don't get this obsession with broadcasting absolutely everything in your life to anyone within a mile radius. It's like we're being punished like the Belcebron's [otostopcu.org] in reverse and I get the impression that if I don't start telling everyone how me and my owtrageyusly hawt gf just had sex or that I'm popping out to the garage to get some oil for the lawnmower I'll be looked on as a freakish outcast.

What about that big bug (1)

conan1989 (1142827) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270486)

There is also a rather nasty big bug causing game files to be re-downloaded
http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1157669

Re:What about that big bug (1)

FlyveHest (105693) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270550)

It IS a beta, you know :)

Re:What about that big bug (1)

happy monday (574985) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270602)

Yes, I'm having to re-download Modern Warfare 2. Lame. Isn't not making your program randomly delete files the first thing they teach you in programming school? Bad show Valve, go and sit in the corner and put on your fricking dunce hat, idiots!!

Re:What about that big bug (1)

drb_chimaera (879110) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271678)

You can just restore from a backup - I maintain a backup of all the really big games to save redownloading. When MW2 decided to re download following the beta activation I simply deleted stored data and ran the backup data installer, this installed fine and required no subsequent download or update.

More annoying is the lack of Steam Voice support atm (you can place a call, but the 'answer call' button doesn't work) and some people have reported issues with the Steam overlay too...

I wonder how it works on Wine (1)

Engeekneer (1564917) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270620)

Are there any ideas how moving to webkit affects using Steam over Wine? Now I manage to get the basic Steam installed, but buying games or downloading demos just doesn't work. Let's hope these changes help with that too.

Re:I wonder how it works on Wine (3, Informative)

Ailure (853833) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270798)

Unfortunatly, steam client is broken in Wine now http://appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.php?sClass=version&iId=19444 [winehq.org] , but it doesn't seem to be webkits fault!

Hopefully it might eventually wind up being working better than the old Steam client ever was now that the IE dependency is thrown out.

Re:I wonder how it works on Wine (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31271312)

It works great if you configure wine up to pretend it's Windows 7.

Re:I wonder how it works on Wine (3, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271026)

Ditto. It's frustrating, since wine is now a pretty solid platform for gaming.

I'd love to give Valve money, but I'm not paying a Microsoft Tax in order to do so. I guess we're far too small a market for them to care about though.

Re:I wonder how it works on Wine (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271288)

There was a rummor a while back that someone had found linux-compiled executables in a few steam games (CS series). That combined with this new "drop the windows-specifc embedded browser) could mean that we won't need to use wine at all in the future :D

Here's hoping!

Re:I wonder how it works on Wine (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271614)

Well, I imagine a lot of code for the game must already run on Linux, as they have Linux server binaries.

It's the graphics-related code that doesn't. Or so I assume.

If your friend jumped off a cliff would you do it? (2, Funny)

DrXym (126579) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270628)

"Before you've even bought a game, knowing whether your friends play it is one of the most useful pieces of information to have."

Steam - now with added peer pressure!

Re:If your friend jumped off a cliff would you do (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270680)

Except that (a) lots of games are mainly fun for the multiplayer, and (b) lots of those are a bit rubbish if you can only play with strangers (Left 4 Dead, for instance).

So knowing whether or not you'll be able to get a game is handy.

Re:If your friend jumped off a cliff would you do (2, Informative)

Spad (470073) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270730)

If your friend jumped off a cliff would you do it?

No, but if my friend said they liked a game and historically liked similar games to me then it might make me buy it.

xmpp for chat (2, Interesting)

slashdotmos (819804) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270638)

Good now if they add support for xmpp things would be highly looking up indeed!

Download bar? About time (3, Informative)

nikomo (1338131) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270694)

Finally you get to see how big the update is when one is released. And it only took almost 7 years to code it.

Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31270800)

A few years ago we were told that Valve's official policy was to not support Linux with Steam, even if some games are Linux compatible because they didn't want to create pressure for games that weren't. This was for Red Orchestra which works on Linux, as do Unreal games AFAIK.

So I only believe the OSX talk if I see it working on a Mac.

Re:Linux (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270870)

OS X != Linux, and there are many more games that do support OS X.

My friend played WHAT? (2, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270832)

  • Hell's Angels (TM) Biker Gang *Headshotkill played this twice last month
  • Hello Kitty (TM) Magical Princess Tea Party *Headshotkill played this 14 times in the last week
  • Hellspawn 2: The Redecapitationing *Headshotkill owns this
  • Invasion (TM) WWII: Poland *Headshotkill played this once last month

Headshotkill? What the hell, man?

Re:My friend played WHAT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31271706)

Tell me about it. What kind of person plays a game that doesn't start with "Hell"?

OS X = Yay (1)

Thyamine (531612) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270856)

But with more emphasis. I just haven't had enough coffee yet. I use Steam for a few games on the Windows side (notably HL2, et al), but I'd like to have it on OS X for gaming as well. I doubt this will push most manufacturers to release an OS X compatible version of their game, but it could help drive more gaming on Macs, leading to more interest from developers.

Privacy options? (2, Interesting)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270980)

I sure hope there is a way to turn off reporting what games you own or have played recently? If I want someone to know that, I'll tell them. It's none of anyone else's business what I own and play.

Re:Privacy options? (2, Informative)

Ailure (853833) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271018)

You just set your profile to private, it's that easy. Infact by default it's set on private mode, and you have to opt in for the community features. Even the JSON/XML pages for fetching various Steam stats aren't accessible by others when your account is set on private mode (Valve cites apparent legal reasons for this).

Fixes an interesting issue. (5, Informative)

Orbijx (1208864) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270998)

With this beta release of Steam, they fix an interesting issue that cropped up with the release of Windows 7.

For users of that particular OS who have either removed Internet Explorer, or did not have it installed at all when the OS was installed (see: Europe, and the rest of the world that couldn't even stand the browser), Steam was half-broken. One could not see any screenshots for a game before purchasing. Anything that needed a popup window in Steam would NOT default to the main browser installed on the system.

People complained about this, asking Steam to start looking for the default browser on the system so they could at least go back to browsing for games and possibly buying them.

It's good to see them actually address that issue.

Maybe I'll buy Space Giraffe to celebrate.

Re:Fixes an interesting issue. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31271512)

What's interesting about that, troll?
Steam (used to) rely on IE's rendering engine. Win7 was available without IE, therefore steam was broken on some versions of Win7.

That simple, eh?

Re:Fixes an interesting issue. (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271700)

There's nothing that pisses me off more than a Windows app that opens (Internet Explorer) instead of (system default browser). The developer always comes back with a blank look "Who would ever not use IE? It's the web browser!"

Horrible UI fonts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31271236)

Looks like they've done created their own font-smoothing technique that can't be disabled in any way. Horrible. Check it out.

http://mplazear.com/steam.png

OSX Client - Cider wrapper? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31271514)

I can imagine that an OSX Steam client will wrap the games in a wrapper such as Cider that will make them playable on a Mac. It's a good idea, but may come with a performance hit.

But has the incompetent designers finally .... (1)

Snaller (147050) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271622)

But has the incompetent designers finally made an interface where you can set the font size so you have interface readable by adults and not just the kids with perfect vision?

Eh no, of course not - the shit is developed by kids after all!

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