Steam, the immensely popular digital video game distributor, announces in a news release this afternoon that it has made some changes to its behind-the-scenes code, server and client side, to optimize downloads.
The new content system is designed to do two things: deliver better download rates in more places around the world, and also to simply streamline the publishing process on Steam, ultimately making it possible to ship more games than we would have been able to with the old system.
In addition to now utilizing a more efficient protocol, the new system optimizes updates by calculating only the differences to files instead of replacing the whole file. This will make updates smaller and faster. Through rewriting the system, Steam has improved the workflow for both game developers and the publishers for new games and updates.
New features will be coming down the pipeline soon. These frequently requested features include: download scheduling, bandwidth throttling, and prioritizing game download order. Updates will also be able to be downloaded in the background while you’re playing a game.
More content will be rolling out via the new system shortly but for now it’s trailers from the Steam Store. You can try it out by downloading a 1280×720 trailer.