Valve, the company behind the popular gaming platform Steam, has announced that it will be ending support for Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 operating systems starting on January 1, 2024. According to an official blog post by Valve, the newest features in Steam rely on an embedded version of Google Chrome that no longer functions on older versions of Windows.
Future versions of Steam will rely on features and security updates that are present only in Windows 10 and beyond. With Microsoft halting support for those operating systems earlier this year, it was only a matter of time before others such as Steam followed suit.
As per Valve’s February Hardware and Software Survey, only a small percentage of players use these older versions of Windows. Only 0.09 percent of players use a Windows 7 system, with an additional 1.43 percent running Steam on the 64-bit version. Only 0.34 percent of players use the Windows 8.1 slot while Windows 10 constitutes the largest amount of players with over sixty-two percent using it.
Using Steam and any games purchased through the app from 2024 onwards will require users to update to a recent version of Windows. While upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10 is possible without hassle, moving to Windows 11 requires a TPM 2.0 setting for security reasons which can be enabled through your motherboard’s BIOS settings.
Earlier this month, Fortnite also dropped support for these older versions citing security concerns as well as the implementation of Unreal Engine 5.1. For those unable to upgrade their operating systems, game streaming via Nvidia GeForce Now was mentioned as an alternative.
On a different note, Dolphin Emulator – the go-to app for playing Nintendo Wii and GameCube games on PC – will soon be available on Steam with plans to release sometime in Q2 of next year.
In February this year, Steam unveiled its entire Sales and Fests scheduled for 2023, allowing users to mark their calendars and plan out their game shopping sprees. Last year, the company also updated its regional pricing tool, setting higher recommended game costs for countries outside the US. According to that chart, default PC game prices in India could increase by up to 85 percent, provided the developers accept those increments and make changes to the base prices of their games.
As stated before, Steam support for Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 ends on January 1, 2024. So if you’re still using any of these operating systems and want to continue using Steam or any games purchased through it after this date, it’s time to upgrade your system.