Valve is ending Steam support on some older editions of Windows. Starting January 1, 2024, Steam will cease to function on Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 operating systems. The official blog post reads, “The newest features in Steam rely on an embedded version of Google Chrome, which no longer functions on older versions of Windows.” Furthermore, future versions of Steam will rely on features and security updates that are present only in Windows 10 and beyond. With Microsoft itself halting support for those versions 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 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 take up the Windows 8.1 slot, while Windows 10 constitutes the largest amount of players — 62.33 percent. Meanwhile, 32.06 percent of players run Steam on the new Windows 11, coming in second place. Using Steam and any games purchased through the app from 2024 onwards will require users to update to a recent version of Windows. While any PC running Windows 7 can be upgraded to Windows 10 without hassle, moving to Windows 11 requires a TPM 2.0 setting for security reasons. This can be enabled through your motherboard’s BIOS settings.
Earlier this month, Fortnite dropped support for Windows 7 and 8, citing security concerns as well as the implementation of Unreal Engine 5.1. For those unable to upgrade, 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. A store page for the emulator is now live, featuring an option to wishlist it and plans to release sometime in Q2 2023.
“When we launch on Steam, we’ll have a feature article detailing the process and features of the Steam release,” the Dolphin blog post reads. “We’re pleased to finally tell the world of our experiment. This has been the product of many months of work, and we look forward to getting it into users’ hands soon!” the post continues. The Steam page also notes ‘Partial Controller Support’ for the Dolphin Emulator, alongside a promise for cloud saves. When ready, it will be launched in Early Access, as the developers continue gathering data for a streamlined experience later down the line.
In February, Steam unveiled its entire Sales and Fests scheduled for 2023, allowing users to mark their calendars and plan out their game shopping spree. 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.