Valve's relationship with video card manufacturer ATI has taken another step forward: ATI drivers will soon be auto-updated through the Steam service, and future ATI driver downloads will include the Steam installation software.
According to information gathered through Steam, the vast majority of ATI owners are running out-of-date drivers. The new service will automatically update existing video drivers whenever a new version is released by ATI. Valve has also begun offering ATI owners free copies of Half-Life 2: Lost Coast tech demo, as well as Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, when they create an account on Steam.
While the idea of automating the video driver update process may be appealing to less technically-inclined individuals, some gamers have expressed concerns that updated drivers containing optimizations for new games may break support for older titles. The presence of the Steam software in future driver releases has also raised questions among ATI video card owners who are uninterested in the service.