New look Steam unveiled
Valve Software has this week launched a few new changes to the Steam content delivery system, and promise that the freshening-up to the look and interface are just en route as part of more significant overhauls. The shop, games list and tools sections have now garnered tabs, in anticipation of the promised 'Steam 3' launch, we're told. Steam was used to sell Half-Life 2 via the net, and acts not only as a multiplayer client but also an auto updater for Valve's products. Not only that but other Valve creations such as Counter-Strike can be acquired via the service, which also distributes community content such as maps, mods and the like.
"Today's release allows Steam to offer a larger and more varied collection of games to our customers, and introduces a-la-carte purchases," a Valve statement explains. Day of Defeat: Source is Valve's latest creation available for the grabbing, but a third-party game called Rag Doll Kung Fu (created by Lionhead's Mark Healey) will also go on sale soon. This is the first third-party game unrelated to Valve or their software to go on sale for download via Steam, and basically positions Valve's system as a means of publishing videogames online. A new area with lots of potential, Valve believe.
Ritual's SiN sequel (dubbed SiN Episodes) will also be published via Steam later this year, and has been built using the Source engine to be published in experimental episodic form, which will be interesting. We'll keep you posted.