Back in March, we saw the first inklings of the customizable News Hub that will soon make its way to the Steam platform. The customizable feature would eventually be integrated into the main Steam experience but it would take time. Now we’re seeing the fruits of that labor. Valve is bringing the news feed to the storefront in order to fulfill their desire to make Steam more of an all-inclusive platform. The obvious goal of making Steam the de-facto place for games should be pretty apparent.
The Steam Labs News Hub is still in the early stages of testing but, it shows promise. The system will collect together all of the news bits from the games you follow or own, like patches and planned updates, and show them to you in one easy-to-read place. This will replace the library news snippets that are seen on Steam now.
Valve will likely make more changes as time goes on, so expect more news about the news soon.
Aside from seeing the news about games you own, you will also get to use the News Hub to see what new releases, demos and other planned updates there are for other games. Valve will likely use this as a way to spotlight upcoming releases, which should help sales. This is needed as the glut of games on Steam is making it hard for many developers to get noticed at all.
The News Hub will also have a Featured section that shows up-and-coming titles too. According to Valve, it will “include popular events from a broader variety of games as well as hand-picked events that our curation team here at Valve selects to highlight.”
The UI itself has also been made a bit sleeker and easier to deal with. A less-cluttered UI will definitely help users parse the data they’re seeing. The features are expected to get more tweaks though, so expect more streamlining and improvements over time.