Steam goes to China with the help of Perfect World

Steam now publishes over 20 new games a day

PC gamers using the Steam client have typically had to turn to third-party programs such as Discord or Teamspeak to power in-game voice chat, but it looks like Valve is finally getting around to integrating the much-desired feature with the introduction of a new Steam Chat service.

Xiao, Perfect World's CEO, says the company will introduce more games to China through Steam China, "providing quality content and improving the experience for both gamers and developers". While in that mode, you can see your friends (and enemies) and chat just like normal, without so many people chatting at you that you spill your tea into your lap.

A preview of the Steam Chat platform.

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Next comes the new group chats. Other parts of the client have received some visual upgrades as well, including the in-game overlay, but the main brunt of the update is focused on the chat system. Your friends are now grouped together based on what game they're playing, whether or not they're currently in a game with each other, and their presence in one of your group chats.

Within a group chat you have the option to add additional text channels, voice channels, member permissions. Voice chat has also been rebuilt from the ground up, with Valve saying it now sounds a lot cleaner than it did before. It is now easy to really create a community using the service, you can send game invites from within groups, and create separate channels within those groups too. As the new overhaul is only available in the client to Steam beta users, interested parties will need to go to the client's Settings and opt into the Steam Beta Update in the Accounts tab. Valve is collecting feedback via this section of its forums.

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