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Internet Explorer Games

Steam UI Update Beta Drops IE Rendering For WebKit 244

Citing massive growth in their user base ("25 million users, 1000+ games, 12 billion player minutes per month, and 75 billion Steam client minutes per month"), Valve unveiled a revamped UI for Steam on Tuesday, opening the beta test to anyone who wants to try it out. There are many changes, and an increased focus on social features: "Right from within your own game Library, you can now track which of your friends plays each game or invite them to play one with you. Before you've even bought a game, knowing whether your friends play it is one of the most useful pieces of information to have. So on the store homepage, there's a new listing of what your friends have bought or played lately." Tracking games and achievements have both gotten simpler, and Valve has dropped the Internet Explorer rendering engine in favor of WebKit. An enterprising user also found files that may indicate the existence of an OS X Steam client.
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Steam UI Update Beta Drops IE Rendering For WebKit

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  • by Tromad ( 1741656 ) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @07:07AM (#31270404)

    I'm not steam's biggest fan, but I liked how minimal it was. I do like the different game layout views; the icon enlargements are a nice touch. I'm not sure how useful this is to me as I have many non-steam games, so I edit windows 7's crippled game explorer instead of using the steam launcher, so I rarely see the steam interface. The store does seem much faster though.

  • So (Score:3, Interesting)

    by OverlordQ ( 264228 ) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @07:09AM (#31270416) Journal

    Tracking games and achievements have both gotten simpler, and Valve has dropped the Internet Explorer rendering engine in favor of WebKit.

    So does that mean my game will stop locking up every time I join a game because idiotic admins put horrible bloated HTML bastardizations as their MOTD?

  • Webkit (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 25, 2010 @07:10AM (#31270422)

    Webkit is great. We are moving towards a world of web browser indifference. Now we don't rely on IE or Netscape idiosyncracies anymore.

    It implies we also do not depend on a particular operating system anymore for web applications as the landscape diversifies.

  • by GhigoRenzulli ( 1687590 ) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @07:14AM (#31270446)

    Why everyone keeps saying that tracking every single move you make on your pc is such a great feature?

    Leave me alone, mind your own business and stop collecting my own usage data for your strinky marketing purposes.

    When I want to tell all the world that now I'm playing a game I will do it on my own, I don't need some steamy application to make it for me.

    And yes, I want to subscribe to an asocial network. You subscribe and no one cares about you. Relax. Enjoy.

  • YES! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by the1337g33k ( 1268908 ) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @07:14AM (#31270448)
    I love that now I won't have to install both the ActiveX flash player and the Mozilla/Chrome flash player plugin.

    Just tried it out and it seems that the store page is no longer has any flash elements at all. They seem to have written it all in javascript, which as most people will agree is much faster in WebKit then IE.

    The interface reminds me of when I owned my Zune though (disclaimer: doesn't mean thats bad), but the new My Games page layout is much improved and in my opinion, awesome.
  • by TheThiefMaster ( 992038 ) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @07:24AM (#31270474)

    The new steam beta window is HUGE. A lot of people used the old compact mode (most of the time), so that steam was just a menu of games, not a "gaming portal" or whatever other buzzwords.

  • by GhigoRenzulli ( 1687590 ) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @07:27AM (#31270492)
    I signed Steam to play games and not to be a part of some kind of gaming social network where others know what you're doing.
    I don't see a tight connection (nor a loose one) between playing and letting know to all the world that I'm actually playing and what.
    If I sign up to a dating site, it's for finding girls. It's not a valid comparison.
  • Re:Why OSX? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BlueTrin ( 683373 ) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @07:44AM (#31270558) Homepage Journal
    I would buy more games off Steam if I could get both versions for the price of 1 game, the key would be unique for both to prevent me playing on both computers at the same time.

    I am sure that I am not the only one who has a Mac and a PC, especially here on Slashdot.

    I would not mind playing Starcraft 2 on a MacBook when I am abroad.
  • Re:Why OSX? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Trepidity ( 597 ) <> on Thursday February 25, 2010 @07:45AM (#31270560)

    I'm not sure what portion of Steam's sales they account for, but Steam does distribute a decent number of indie games [], and Mac sales often account for a disproportionate share [] of indie-game sales, possibly due to Mac users being culturally more into "pay $10 for an app" mindset, and less competition from AAA titles.

  • xmpp for chat (Score:2, Interesting)

    by slashdotmos ( 819804 ) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @08:02AM (#31270638)
    Good now if they add support for xmpp things would be highly looking up indeed!
  • by Xest ( 935314 ) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @08:05AM (#31270660)

    It's not just Battle.Net really, these are features that XBox Live has had for a while and that Microsoft has tried to bring to Windows with Games for Windows Live also, which now has it's own games store too.

    I don't think this was so much about bringing new features for the benefit of users in general as much as it was about keeping up with the competition.

    If Steam didn't introduce these features it would start to look very dated.

    One thing I wish ALL these services would introduce is download scheduling though, over the last few years there's been a shift towards capped peak time downloads in the UK (and many other countries), and I can't afford to have multi-gigabyte game updates and downloads and so forth chewing into my bandwidth allowance. I don't have the option of just loading it up when the off-peak period starts and downloads aren't capped, and turning it off in the morning, because I go to bed a couple of hours before peak time starts, and get up and go to work a couple of hours before it ends.

    It may sound trivial but for me, and I imagine others in my position it's actually a big deal- I don't buy games via Steam partly because it's annoying only being able to download said games on weekends when I am up at the right times to be able to get it going and stop it during the off-peak period. For me, it's actually more convenient to just buy games in shops, or order them online. Similarly I don't buy retail games on XBox Live or even bother trying multi-gb demos for this reason- I can't control when they will be downloaded.

    Valve, Microsoft, Blizzard et al. seem oblivious to the fact that being too lazy to implement a download scheduler is costing them customers. Sure there are workarounds, and ways to implement these sorts of things themselves, but they're hacks that updates can break and there's nothing less amusing than coming home to find some update has fucked your scheduling hack and you've had 90% your monthly on-peak usage allowance chewed up right at the start of the month because of it.

    Of course another option is to go to an ISP that oversells and doesn't have caps like this, but then that's equally useless because those ISPs are the same ones that are utterly hopeless for online gaming.

    It's ironic that once again, it's a simple feature that's ignored, but that most popular BitTorrent, or USENET clients provide- yet again, it seems piracy offers the superior distribution mechanism.

    Anyway, that's my rant for the day ;)

  • Re:Why OSX? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by halowolf ( 692775 ) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @08:10AM (#31270692)
    I game on my Mac quite nicely. But I also have it Bootcamped with Windows 7 and that is where my Steam is installed. I wouldn't bother putting it into my Mac OSX atm.
  • Re:Why OSX? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ladadadada ( 454328 ) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @08:45AM (#31270906) Homepage

    As a counter-example to your assertion, I started playing WoW about three weeks ago on a Mac.

    Despite WoW being an old game, it is constantly being updated with expansions and new content. Even old players are still finding it a rewarding experience.

    I understand that this doesn't mean that a lot of users are like me, but to say that "Everyone who wants to play WoW is already playing it." is not correct.

  • Privacy options? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JSBiff ( 87824 ) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @08:58AM (#31270980) Journal

    I sure hope there is a way to turn off reporting what games you own or have played recently? If I want someone to know that, I'll tell them. It's none of anyone else's business what I own and play.

  • Re:Webkit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by _merlin ( 160982 ) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @09:00AM (#31270994) Homepage Journal

    At this rate, WebKit could be the new IE6 - it could become so pervasive that people take it for granted, and develop web sites that only render correctly in WebKit. It's already in Safari, Chrome, Konqueror, iTunes, Steam, Midori, Maemo, Moblin, iPhone and WebOS, and will be coming to Blackberry soon. What does this mean for the interoperable web? (Yes, it's better than IE6 in that it's reasonably standards-compliant, cross-platform and licensed under LGPL2.)

  • by MrNemesis ( 587188 ) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @10:10AM (#31271618) Homepage Journal

    For a minute there I thought you were joking. One google later shows that turbo tax is only too happy to use people bragging about their personal finances as a marketing tool.

    Un. Fucking. Believable. []

    Maybe it's because I started drinking before I started using the internet but I really don't get this obsession with broadcasting absolutely everything in your life to anyone within a mile radius. It's like we're being punished like the Belcebron's [] in reverse and I get the impression that if I don't start telling everyone how me and my owtrageyusly hawt gf just had sex or that I'm popping out to the garage to get some oil for the lawnmower I'll be looked on as a freakish outcast.

  • Re:Why OSX? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by The Ultimate Fartkno ( 756456 ) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @10:38AM (#31271908)

    That point can't be emphasized enough. The difference between gaming on a Mac and a PC and the difference between their target markets is incredibly important. Your average Slashdotter will buy a game, get a message about needing to update a driver (download a patch, tweak a setting, stock up on magic smoke at the nerd store, etc.) and not only look at it as an excuse to tinker under the hood for an hour, but actually enjoy themselves the entire time. The typical Mac owner not only doesn't enjoy tinkering under the hood, they aren't even aware that such a thing is possible or that there's even a hood. Never underestimate the number of people who want their software to plug & play as reliably as a USB device. Also, the people who are attracted to Macs because of their ease of use are also the ones who are least likely to spend hours and hours learning how to play a twitchy shooter and most likely to enjoy a game they can pick up in five minutes and play in short bursts rather than devoting an entire weekend to it.

    A platform like Steam that integrates neatly into an OSX desktop and makes buying and playing games as easy as a mouse click or two might not sell a million copies of the Orange Box, but I can easily see sales from the Big Fish Games catalog going up a few hundred percent in no time. People who are willing to spend $3,000 on a Mac that's outperformed by a $1,000 PC are exactly the ones I'd be aiming my $10 game at.

  • by Yvan256 ( 722131 ) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @10:43AM (#31271938) Homepage Journal

    Yeah but then Wine goes into a shame spiral and it's all downhill from there.

  • Re:Why OSX? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 25, 2010 @11:05AM (#31272156)

    I am surprised in 2010 short-sighted assessment of Macs and OSX still exist.

    But then I recall the Greater Internet Dickwad Theory.

    1. Mac users care more for whats under the hood. I like running a *nix like environment in a package that is stable, fast and supported widely. (You do know that Mac is BSD under the hood, right?)
    2. If you payed 3g's for your Mac, you got a pretty hefty system. Are you playing with Photoshop for a living? Good for you.
    3. Outperformed is a great unspecific term. it lets you spew opinion as fact, with no actual content, or corroborating evidence.
    4. Halo was written on Mac. Many Mac's actually.
    5. Mac's are workstations, true hardware comparisons (with Lenovo, HP, Dell, and Acer) actually puts the price in line with its features.

    I'm just saying...

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming