Valve's Steam Trading feature has gone live, graduating from a four-week beta in which over 1,000,000 exchanges took advantage of the system. The feature adds an Item Inventory to your Steam Community profile, allowing Steam Gifts and items within compatible games to be traded with other users. So far, only three titles support the new feature, but the platform's most item-rich game is already on the list.
Team Fortress 2 – aka Valve's flagship item-collection community – is the title the company used to test the capabilities of the system, so it's the first title to go live. For TF2 players, Valve says the new system is an improvement on previous trading mechanics as trades are now more transparent and less open to exploitation.
Added to the roster of Steam Trading-supported games at launch are Portal 2 and the Sega-published Spiral Knights. The latter is worth noting as it proves that Valve has no intention of muscling third-party devs out of the fun. Also tradable are games received as Steam Gifts.
Jason Holtman, Valve's head of business development, says the feature was added in response to fan feedback: “We look forward to seeing how gamers and developers have fun and move this functionality forward.” Valve has a fuller explanation of the system as it stands here.
Sep 6, 2011