Valve has introduced a new look to the Steam Homepage. It doesn’t look very different, just a wee bit bluer, but most notable changes are made to ensure a better library browsing experience.
In the past few months, with dozens of atrocious titles making their way on to Steam, the service came under fire from media and consumers alike. It seems Valve prepared this overhaul, dubbed ‘Steam Discovery Update’ to address most criticism leveled at it by providing a heavily customizable / personalized homepage. As such, the new store-front recommends games based on past purchases, what you have been playing most, and even friend recommendations.
An even more interesting addition is the Steam Curators tab, which allows individuals or organizations with opinions on games to create entire lists of recommended titles. Following said curators (you will find them all here) will send their recommendations to your own homepage.
Of course, becoming a curator is open only people who created a group, or are already an officer or moderator in a group.
These are the biggest changes brought to Steam, but alongside them, there are several other small ones, including an updated search-tool. Taking a look at the General changelog below:
• Changed ‘New Releases’ to ‘Popular New Releases’ to filter out less popular titles and provide a more functional release list.
• Adding colored indicators wherever titles are listed that show the item is in your library, on your wishlist, or in your cart.
• Updating the main ‘Games’ drop-down menu to link to tag pages for most popular genres. Browsing genres pages through these links now come with the benefit of the powerful filtering controls on the right-hand side of each tag page.
• Adding a main ‘Software’ drop-down menu for quicker browsing to specific software genres.
• Updated the visual design, layout and typography of the store to reflect a more contemporary Steam brand direction (also commonly referred to as “Making the store blue”).
• Removed the ‘Recommended for you’ page. This page has been replaced by the entire home page of Steam.
• Most areas of the store now default to showing you games only for the operating system you are currently browsing from. This can be overridden by changing the ‘Customize’ options in many sections or by removing the OS filter (for search results and genre pages).
One of the striking additions is the change from New Releases to Popular New releases, meaning that less new popular titles are not going to get the same face-time, while already popular ones already will get more exposure. However, at the bottom of the homepage there’s an ever-expanding recommendation feed, where less popular, but personally tailored titles are listed.
However, you should also keep in mind that all this is user customizable. You can tick what exactly you want to be presented to you, whether it’s early-access, pre-purchases or DLC content.
There are a many changes in several departments, and you can read the full changelist here.