Steam's new 'microtrailers' want to help you absorb every game on Steam in 6 second bursts

(Image credit: Valve)

It's so hard to keep track of what's coming out on Steam every week, every day, every hour, that our team at PC Gamer likes to follow a pair of Twitter accounts, @microtrailers and @whatsonsteam, that list new games as they're released, along with six second trailers and screenshots. Apparently Valve likes those accounts too, because as part of a set of experimental new Steam features called Steam Labs, it took the idea and ran with it: "Micro Trailers are six-second looping videos designed to quickly inform viewers about titles on Steam with a presentation that's easy to skim. This experiment is a fancier version of the Twitter bot of the same name."

The micro trailers page asks the question "What if you could absorb every game on Steam in just moments?" and shows off a range of trailers in various categories, like roguelikes, visual novels, and "dragons." (Also, based on the 31,000 or so games on Steam, it would actually take about 52 hours to absorb every game on Steam in 6-second bursts).

The presentation of these trailers is quite nice: they're big thumbnails until you mouse over them, at which point they start smoothly playing a video clip. It's not really enough to get a good sense of these games, in most cases, but it is probably enough to help you decide if you'd like to know more.

(Image credit: Valve)

The Steam Labs page shows off a variety of ways these micro trailers could be presented, with larger and smaller thumbnails, whole rows that play at once, and some especially nice 2x2 grids of four clips from the same game playing at once. All the micro trailers are sourced from the trailers developers upload to Steam. (We had nothing to do with the PC Gamer curator page being featured on the Steam Labs page, but hey, cool).

Because it's an experimental feature, we don't know how, or if, these micro trailers will be fully integrated into Steam, or how much manual work is involved in what we see here. But we're glad to see that What's on Steam's creator had a part in turning his bots into official Steam material.

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).