The Steam Client Might Finally Be Getting A Makeover

It's certainly been coming for a while.

In files that shipped with a new beta build of Valve's Steam marketplace, the SteamDB third-party tracker picked up a couple of concept images outlining some visual changes to the digital storefront.

It's about time: while the store page has gotten a visual refresh in recent years, the Steam client itself hasn't changed a great deal. The inclusion of Big Picture mode made a big difference if you were playing in the living room, but it's not the default for most people. That's what Steam seems to be doing though: taking some of the stylings of Big Picture and merging that into the regular client.

There's also a peek into what might be happening with individual game pages:

Obviously Metal Gear Solid isn't getting mashed up with Dota 2, but you can see the general idea. It's a lot less cluttered, there's more of a focus on images on the sides rather than text boxes.

The files were originally available in the /clientui/ folder of the Steam install - for those on the beta branch of the program - but Valve quickly pushed out a new build that removed the images. And it's worth remembering that this is really just concept art for now, not a final indication of what the Steam UI or game pages will look like.

But the implications are obvious: Valve is giving the Steam client a makeover, eventually. We don't know 100% what that will look like, but the images from the earlier beta build today at least give users an indication of what to expect.


    I agree it's long overdue. People have 100s or 1000s of games in their libraries now, and the current UI is a pretty poor way to manage and display that amount of information.

    I'd like to see them fully open it up to third-party skins so Steam can look as snazzy as something like XBMC.

      Valve love outsourcing their responsibilities, so there's every chance that will happen.

      It's currently possible to use third-party skins. I use the Metro for Steam skin:

        I'm already using Metro too, but it's still mostly just a new colour palette.

        After getting used to programs like XMBC (now Kodi) or Plex for movies and tv shows, Steam feels really outdated.

    The UI needs an overhaul but right now Steam is content overload. There's so much shit on Stream - actual rubbish games - that it's just become a platform of total noise. I can't use the store page because it's full of things I'd never be interested in, or Early Access titles that will likely never be finished. Valve need to fix this first - and the community aren't going to fix it for them.

      You can filter out Early Access games. I certainly have.

        see, i think that kind of answer is a bit of a cop-out. They really need to take responsibility and overhaul shit like Green Light, and Never-Out-Of-Early-Access games, rather than just ask us to turn a blind eye to it

          You're right. Something needs to be done. I'd propose something along the lines that all early access games require bi-monthly updates at the very least, with non-complying games being pulled from the store. You could also quarantine a percentage of revenue until the game leaves Early Access. Games that make it to full release can then claim the ransomed funds as a bonus for actually finishing their game.

    I'm not getting my hopes up that they'll do anything that's helpful given how the last few store designs have been more about cramming more purchase suggestions in your face and less about letting you find the things you're actually interested in. Having more information displayed in your game library seems to be good though. One of the really frustrating things about it now is having to follow links to find out anything.

    I really wouldn't mind if Steam just looked like a regular application and integrated better with the operating system.

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