Valve has announced a new content delivery system for Steam, which it said is designed to deliver better, global download rates and streamline the publishing process.
According to the firm’s official announcement (via AE Portal), the “maximum aggregate bandwidth of the system,” will be greater that the current system which will make downloads faster when activity spikes during a big release.
“We will also be able to send content from more places, to better serve people all around the globe,” read the statement. “All the content on the new system is sent via HTTP; this is more firewall-friendly than the current system, and will automatically take advantage of web-caching proxies installed at ISPs.”
The new content system also improves bandwidth hogging by “requiring each user to download less data.”
“With the Steam content system that’s been in place for a few years now, if an individual file on disk were modified by a game update, your client had to download the whole file,” said Valve. “That can be painful when the file in question is really large. The new system supports delivering only the differences between the old and new files, meaning game updates will be much smaller overall.
“These changes have given us an opportunity to write new tools for game developers and content publishers that simplify the process of both publishing and updating a game on Steam. Simplifying the publishing process means it takes the partner and us less time to ship each product, so we can ship more stuff to more users.”
Valve said the new system will also allow it to build “several new features,” it has heard requested by users. Some of these additions will be implemented in new client updated and will include: download scheduling, bandwidth throttling, title prioritization, and the ability to download an update while you’re playing a game and it patch upon exit.
The firm said that over time, more content on Steam will be delivered using the new system and confirmed Dota 2 will be delivered using it.
You can try the new system out now by downloading a trailer from the service.