ATI users can automatically update their drivers via Steam starting with Catalyst 10.9.
Tuesday AMD senior marketing manager Peter Ross said that the company struck a deal with Valve Software to distribute the latest Catalyst drivers for the ATI Radeon graphics card on Steam. Although no specific details were provided, Steam users will (obviously) be alerted when the latest available drivers for their hardware becomes available on the platform, and will be able to install the package with just one click.
"Earlier this year at GDC we announced AMD Gaming Evolved, a program that demonstrates AMD’s ongoing commitment to PC gamers, PC game development and the overall PC game industry," Ross said in his official blog. "AMD and Valve teaming up to make sure that Steam gamers always have the most recent drivers for their graphics cards is just another way that we are showing our commitment to the promise we developed in our Gamers’ Manifesto."
According to Valve's most recent Steam Hardware Survey, 87-percent of DirectX 11 gamers consist of ATI Radeon or ATI Mobility Radeon hardware. For Nvidia fans, the same survey reveals that 59.11-percent of Steam gamers use Nvidia-based graphics while 32.98-percent use ATI-based GPUs. Only 5.6-percent of the systems surveyed actually support DirectX 11.
Given the popularity of Valve's content distribution network, it's surprising that AMD--or Nvidia for that matter--hasn't already entered into this type of distribution agreement. As Steam now serves as the premier content distribution platform for the PC, it seems only natural that both AMD and Nvidia should take advantage of its prominence.
Nevertheless, Ross said that driver distribution will officially begin on Steam with ATI Catalyst 10.9.