Valve's online game verification and distribution network, Steam, will gain a host of new community features
, in what they are calling “the largest update to the Steam platform since the launch” almost three years ago. Steam’s website has been updated to include a post concerning the upcoming update:
"Beginning in July, Steam users can set up their own personal Steam pages and profiles, create and join groups, schedule games with friends, review who they've played with, see how well everyone played, chat with groups, chat via voice, and more. These new community services and features can be used with all Steam games, which include new releases and classic titles from leading publishers and independent developers. Free of charge, the new community features will be accessible via the Steam desktop client and via the web."
Valve may be getting ready to compete with Microsoft's Games for Windows Live program, which aims to bring the Xbox Live experience to the PC platform, but unlike Microsoft’s offering, Valve’s new community features will be accessible free of charge, something that will sure appeal to PC gamers unhappy with Microsoft's attempts to charge them with "Games for Windows Live".