A new version of Valve's Steam software launched this weekend and with it is host of new features. First and foremost is a long overdue update to the service's voice chat system, improving quality and reliability across the board for games utilizing it as well as in the client itself. These improvements should help co-op gamers have more reliable conversations while utilizing the client itself and for games like Left 4 Dead.
Another major feature is the ability for users to take screenshots in game for any game that supports DirectX 9 and up. Simply press the F12 key and Steam will take a screen for you. When quitting a game you are prompted to name, delete, and/or upload the screens you took during that session to your Steam Cloud. Users are alotted 1GB of storage. Once uploaded your friends can easily see what you've done and leave comments on your co-op shennanigans.
New Features and UI updates
- Added support for Steam Screenshots. Press F12 while in any game that runs the Steam Overlay to take screenshots, then publish them to your Steam Community profile, or anywhere else on the web. Each user is allotted 1 GB of Steam Cloud storage for screenshots.
Library Search capability and related navigation updates
- Added Search capability to the library for quick filtering of your list. Press Tab to move focus to and from the search field, press Esc to clear the search.
- Moved access to all library sub views (Games, Media Tools, Downloads, etc.) into the library's dropdown control
Voice quality improvements
- Changed microphone voice input from 11 kHz to 16 kHz
- Changed voice output from 8 kHz to 16 kHz
- Fixed the settings-dialog microphone test to correctly re-init the calibration client if the active voice device changes
- Reduced voice prefix buffer size from 200 to 100 ms, but increased trailing from 200 to 400 ms - reduces latency when transitioning from silence to active voice, but still should keep it from sounding like chat is cutting out mid-sentence
- Increased thresholds for voice activity detection, making it less sensitive
- Increased amount of gain applied to voice
- Changed disconnect message when a friend ends a voice call to '
has ended the call'
- Windows: Fixed microphone to reinitialize correctly if Windows signals that a device in the system has changed
- Windows: Changed voice output device for Steam to be the default communication device
- Added an option to display the client's URL address bar, and turned it off by default, given its limited utility
- Web views now include a "Copy Page URL" command in the context menu, to copy the page's web address to the clipboard
- Moved game invites from friends outside of the chat stream, into their own panel in the chat dialog for improved discoverability
- Added password strength meter to the Change Password wizard
- Added a prompt to choose a new password if you've recently had Steam Support change your password on your behalf
General bug fixes
- Fixed game invites not working from lobby-based games
- Fixed games not launching automatically after resolving a cloud conflict
- Fixed download rate sometimes erroneously reporting very high speeds
- Fixed a crash on startup or when viewing Games page
- Fixed client hang which could occur while hovering on links in any HTML-based display area
- Corrected check box states in the Friends window menu to properly remain in sync
- Fixed bug where some downloadable content was not downloaded until the client was restarted
- Fixed a rare and small, but steady memory leak caused by the Steam Overlay in some full screen D3D10/D3D11 games
- Mac OS X: Fixed a problem where attempting to resume a paused/interrupted download could always report ‘server unavailable’
- Mac OS X: Fixed password input fields in the Steam Overlay to correctly receive input
To receive the update simply start Steam, if not prompted, go to file->Check Steam for Updates. And while you are in Steam, don't forget to join the Co-Optimus Group