In a big blog post reflecting on the life of Steam in 2018 (opens in new tab), Valve detailed some new features planned for the go-to PC gaming client in 2019. Below all the numbers and pie charts explaining growth and infrastructure changes and lessons learned, Valve finally puts a release window on a long-awaited library update built on the same technology introduced with the recent Steam Chat update. With Steam just reaching 30,000 games (opens in new tab) (not including DLC or software), it's about time.
Among the other updates, machine-learning driven changes to store discoverability are on the way. And thank goodness, too! I swear, I look at one sexy anime game and suddenly Steam thinks I'm the sexy anime game guy. The machines will learn the truth.
Steam's officially coming to China in partnership with Perfect World, a Chinese studio best known for its MMOs. A new events system will hopefully prove more insightful than alarming (that bing will always make me pee a little bit), and Steam TV will support all games in the near future, ideally making streaming on Steam a somewhat viable home for our beloved Content Creators.
But wait, there's more! The matchmaking tech behind CS:GO will become available to all games. Valve's been banning cheaters for over a decade now, so hopefully the tech proves reliable to smaller online games without the development muscle to make their own or the money to license it elsewhere. A new mobile Steam Chat app will make telling rogue TF2 item traders no much easier. And finally, the special PC cafe build of Steam is getting upgraded. I didn't even know there was a special PC cafe version of Steam to begin with, so it's hard to guess what an upgrade entails. Maybe there's an espresso menu built in this time. I'll take one half latte, three shots, please.
For Valve's complete description of what's coming to Steam in 2019, check out the blog post (opens in new tab) or read 'em below.
Store Discoverability: We’re working on a new recommendation engine powered by machine-learning, that can match players to games based on their individual tastes. Algorithms are only a part of our discoverability solution, however, so we're building more broadcasting and curating features and are constantly assessing the overall design of the store.
Steam China: We've partnered with Perfect World to bring Steam onshore into China. We'll reveal more details about this in the coming months.
Steam Library Update: Some long awaited changes to the Steam Client will ship, including a reworked Steam Library, built on top of the technology we shipped in Steam Chat.
New Events System: We're upgrading the events system in the Steam Community, enabling you to highlight interesting activities in your games like tournaments, streams, or weekly challenges.
Steam TV: We're working on expanding Steam TV (opens in new tab) beyond just broadcasting specific tournaments and special events, in order to support all games.
Steam Chat: We're going to ship a new Steam Chat mobile app, so you can share your favorite GIFs with your friends while on the go.
Steam Trust: The technology behind Trusted Matchmaking on CS:GO is getting an upgrade and will become a full Steam feature that will be available to all games. This means you'll have more information that you can use to help determine how likely a player is a cheater or not.
Steam PC Cafe Program: We are going to officially ship a new PC Cafe Program so that players can have a good experience using Steam in hundreds of thousands of PC Cafes Worldwide.