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Steam announced 'Family Sharing'


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Announcement is available on Steam, as well as a detailed FAQ here:

Share your computer?

Now share your games too.

 

Steam Family Sharing allows close friends and family members to play one another's games while earning their own Steam achievements and saving their own game progress to the Steam cloud. It's all enabled by authorizing a shared computer.

Remember to sign up to beta access by joining the Steam Family Sharing Group.

 

Family Sharing isn't available for games with some forms of third-party DRM; refer to the The Big List of 3rd Party DRM on Steam for details.

 

Click here to view the article

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This is fantastic, especially for sharing single-player games with family members- my wife and my son (eventually) will really enjoy this feature. It'll help with not having to double up on most single-player games.

 

I hope that this new development will also allow me to sign into my Steam account in two places. I have an HTPC which I game on, and currently to play Steam games I have to log off my main machine to access my games. It would be great if I could be signed into both and then play a game (I'd only be playing a single game at a time).

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I oftentimes play games with my brother, and if he ever wanted to test out a game that I owned but he didn't this would be really helpful. I wonder how this benefits Valve, though? Wouldn't it hurt their profit?

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There are some limitations (as described in the FAQ), notably that two players can't play the same game simultaneously, so if you borrow a game and love it you'd then be inspired to buy your own copy to be able to conveniently access it.

 

Games with some types of third-party DRM can't be shared; once the beta becomes accessible The Big List of 3rd Party DRM on Steam should be updated with a yes/no for each type of DRM (e.g. Uplay will be a no for sure).

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Valve will probably allow publishers to opt out on a per-game basis (as with the Xbox One's proposed game sharing) so I wouldn't expect this to increase DRM.

 

It's also not exactly a free ticket to all your friend's games; currently they are saying you can't play different games at the same time, so if the owner wants to play anything the borrower has to be kicked out first. This seems like a silly limitation to me but I guess it will make publishers happy.

 

Family Sharing will probably also double as always-on DRM for the borrower to prevent the obvious workaround of launching a game, disconnecting from the internet, and then having the owner kick the now-inaccessible borrower.

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Been waiting to see what this entails ever since the first strings were shown, glad to see they announced it and could be a very cool feature. I personally probably won't have much use for it.

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It's weird. I'd initially thought family sharing would allow me to play a LAN game with my brother. And I kind of think this family sharing is useless because the principle of it is already available with steam. Just set to offline mode your main pc and then login to your secondary pc so you can download and install games. With that you could still play the same game on both pc's. I tried it with Medieval II: Total War and had a LAN battle with my brother.

 

But it's still a nice start to hopefully a system where we can sell activated keys of games we don't really want to play. I'm looking at you, War in the North. What an effed up pc port for AMD systems.

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I have no particular use for family sharing, nobody in my family is gaming. Although that is just taking it literately. I have a bunch of friends willing to be my steam family and I am looking forward to the beta to start (hopefully today!) this week.

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The trick is (because Valve is not that stupid), if you share, it is every game and software in your library, not game-seperate. That's my opinion. Very nice anyhow.

 

I thought you could designate which games are shared?

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