Valve just rolled out what they're calling "The Discovery Update 2.0" on Steam. It revamps the front page of the store and (slightly) changes the role of curators in Steam's broader ecosystem.
The new front page is actually pretty similar to the old one, but with a few key differences. Handily, game listings are now accompanied by screenshots, and if you mouse over them, you can see them in glorious Big-O-Vision.
There's also a new section for friend activity, so you can see what your friends are into and, if you're willing to fork over the cash, join them. The sidebar now includes more information, and many sections like "recently updated" and "under $10" are now personalised based on the games you own. Also, many buttons are now bigger and bluer. It's a bold new world.
On the curator front, it's no longer just about recommending games. For quite a while, curator groups like The Framerate Police and the Anti-Consumer Practice Report have used the system to provide information and warnings as well as recommendations. Valve has finally baked that feedback into the system's DNA, allowing curators to indicate whether they're recommending a game or not, or if they're just offering information.
So anyway, those are the basics. I haven't had enough time to render a verdict, but to be honest I'm not super impressed right now. As I've discussed at length in the past, Steam has serious issues. Valve's positioned this as their big update for 2016, and all it really solves are a few minor usability problems. I'm not looking for a silver bullet, but an indication Valve is moving Steam in a different direction would be nice. I'm sure they have more cooking, but it's hard to say when they will roll it out. For the time being, Steam remains largely the same - which is to say, deeply, deeply flawed. Have you had a look around? What do you think?