Even though Valve's absence from E3 this year spoke volumes on the lack of relevancy the show is becoming with each passing year (regardless of how crazy Gabe Newell gets over the same time span), the company was still able to announce some news that gained some attention. This would be much like last year, when they announced Counter-Strike: Global Offensive during Microsoft's press briefing.
This year, however, Valve announced a pretty big Steam update that will include some features gamers have been wanting for a while. And, if you've been running the beta client, you would have seen these features come and go over the past couple of months.
First up is the new Trade Offers feature. Bringing some in-game economy features from Team Fortress 2, among other, into the full Steam platform, Trade Offers will allow you to send a trade request to other Steam users, outside of a game. You will be able to trade any items from any inventory in any of your Steam games and users can then choose to accept or reject any offers made. As of right now, this will be limited to your friends list, but Valve has said they will incorporate the entire Steam community in the near future.
The second big update is Item Gifting. As it stands, you can gift games that you purchase to pretty much anyone with an email address. However, it is still not possible to gift away inventory items, like TF2's Premium Upgrade item. Instead, you currently have to trade for the item, and only can do so in games that feature a trading system. Now, Item Gifting will let you choose in-game items and cosmetics to send to your friends, or even strangers if you wanted to.
The update should be rolling out soon, so keep looking back for the infamous Steam pop-up box about an update.read more...