Valve has announced a new feature for its Steam service which promises to automate the backup of game save and configuration data. Steam Cloud will remotely store all the vital data associated with games, including game saves, keyboard bindings and settings.

This will then extend Steam's ability to allow an account holder to play games in their account at any PC. This means if you're running low on hard drive space you can safely remove all reference to a game from your PC and then at a later date install it again with all the save game data and settings intact. The service should also prove popular amongst PC enthusiasts who often upgrade their machines and format their system for new installs.

Steam Cloud will come at no extra cost to the gamer and there will be no quota or storage restrictions. The first games to support the service will be the Half-Life series, CounterStrike and Team Fortress 2. Upcoming cooperative shooter, Left 4 Dead, has also been developed to utilise the service.

Other updates for Steam are on the way. Developer John Cook mentioned auto-updating of device drivers, social planners, official community pages, localised pricing and a recommendation system.