Steam Gets A Makeover With All-New UI, New Open Beta Starts Now

Valve has revealed its plans for a brand new version of Steam, its digital distribution and social networking service. And it's letting Steam users test its long list of new features out, starting today.

The visual and functional update to Steam includes an expanded Friends List, letting players keep closer tabs on what their Steam buddies are playing, and an aggregated news feed, helping PC gamers stay informed without having to visit fancy web sites or RSS readers for their video game news fix.

There are also sharp looking UI improvements, both for the Steam client and the game overlays, plus some great "Library Wrangling." The custom categories one can apply to one's Steam game library does sound nice, Valve. Thanks. There's a longer list of everything that's new at the official announcement.

If you want to opt-in to the public beta (which may be experiencing some birthing pains right now) you can do so from within your current version of Steam. Hit up Valve's official Steam site to learn more and see the new UI in pretty pictures.

(Oh, and if you've somehow found your Steam friends list has been deleted, you're not the only one. That may be tied to the changes Valve is making, but we'll check in.)

A Brand New Steam [Steam]