Not to be left behind by Epic Games’ store and its exclusivity offers, Steam continues to improve with its latest addition — Steam Labs.
Despite having achieved a dominant market share as a digital distribution platform, Steam doesn’t rest on its laurels.
Steam Labs is a permanent feature of Steam that holds temporary projects — which may or may not be integrated into future Steam redesigns. This gives users time to adjust for possible changes and gives Valve valuable feedback. More importantly, it avoids negative backlash when large scale changes are implemented.
So far, Steam Labs holds three experimental projects:
- Micro Trailers: a six-second trailer for every game.
- Interactive Recommender: a machine learning curator.
- Automatic Show: an automated show about games.
Valve's new Steam Labs hub will give first look at experimental featureshttps://t.co/hloLghdJYg
— GamesIndustry (@GIBiz) July 12, 2019
We can already tell this will be a huge time-saver when searching for new games to try out. Instead of having to enter the game’s page and then click on either screenshots or a slow-loading video, you can now simply hover over any game to discover what it’s all about.
There are small (but significant) tweaks on how you can view games in a grid:
- Hover over an individual game tagged with your interest category.
- Hover over an entire row of three games for the micro-trailers to play out.
- Micro-trailers play in rows of three as you scroll down the page.
- 2×2 grid micro trailers of a single game, so there are four simultaneously playing trailers in total for each game.
Machine learning is being introduced everywhere and relevant game recommendations are in dire need of it.
Now, Steam’s algorithms will:
- Look at how many hours users have played the games in their libraries.
- Compare it to popular games of the same genre on a sliding scale of popularity.
- Filter through exclusion and inclusion tags.
- Add a release date slider.
If you don’t like clicking and hovering around and having precise control, this feature is for you. A bot will generate a long video of all the games launched in a single month.
All you have to do is make the time to watch it.
What do you think about the Steam Labs updates? Let us know in the comments! If Xbox is your thing, check out the latest additions to Xbox Game Pass here.
Images courtesy of Christian Wiediger on Unsplash, PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay, Twitter/@GIBiz.