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Valve Announces Family Sharing On Steam, Can Include Friends 263

Posted by Soulskill
from the microsoft-looks-on-sadly dept.
Deathspawner writes "Valve has today announced its next attempt at a console-killer: 'Family Sharing' is a feature that will allow you to share your Steam library with family and close friends. This almost seems too good to be true, and while there are caveats, this is going to be huge, and Valve knows it. As Techgage notes, with it you can share nearly your entire Steam library with family or friends, allowing them to earn their own achievements, and have their own saved games. 'Once a device is authorized, the lender's library of Steam games becomes available for others on the machine to access, download, and play. Though simultaneous usage of an account’s library is not allowed, the lender may always access and play his games at any time. If he decides to start playing when a friend is borrowing one of his games, the friend will be given a few minutes to either purchase the game or quit playing.'"
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Valve Announces Family Sharing On Steam, Can Include Friends

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  • Re:No co-op (Score:4, Insightful)

    by war4peace (1628283) on Wednesday September 11, 2013 @03:37PM (#44822293)

    I think this functionality depends on how the game is implemented, rather than what Steam can do about it.

  • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Wednesday September 11, 2013 @03:40PM (#44822325) Homepage Journal
    Having the "family sharing" plan lock you out of your entire Steam library while a family member plays a game from your list is not family sharing. This is basically just a way to give your account to someone without having to give them your password. Also, they get to keep their achievements, whoop de doo.

    I'm extremely disappointed. I was hoping for a real family sharing option, so I could play Portal in my mancave while my wife plays Gone Home up in the living room, but that's not what this is. It's almost completely useless to me. If Netflix can allow my family to stream multiple movies at once, why cant Steam allow them to play multiple games at once?

    Maybe I should just make a new steam account for every game I buy? That way I can have one master account with my friends list, and everything I buy with the account will be a gift for the actual game account. That would let me actually lend games out and maybe even resell them. It would be a bit of a pain to manage, but seems better than this solution where letting someone borrow a game locks you out of every other game you own.
  • Re:No co-op (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PhxBlue (562201) on Wednesday September 11, 2013 @03:41PM (#44822329) Homepage Journal

    Still no ability to play multiplayer with somebody without them buying the game, the one spot where I feel consoles definitely have the advantage over PC games.

    Don't console gamers have to have two copies of the game to play multiplayer, too?

  • by intermodal (534361) on Wednesday September 11, 2013 @03:44PM (#44822365) Homepage Journal

    TFA says the opposite, it will give your friends a few minutes to buy or save. You always get priority on your library. Not exactly an unfair policy, though I wish it were specific to that title, not to your whole library.

  • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Wednesday September 11, 2013 @03:47PM (#44822405) Homepage Journal
    Which I would hate to do, because it's pretty dickish to give someone a game and then have it cut out halfway through because I started to play a completely different game. I hope it at least gives you a warning when you start your game that someone else is using your library and that you're going to screw them over if you start playing.
  • by cbhacking (979169) <been_out_cruising-slashdot@yahoo. c o m> on Wednesday September 11, 2013 @04:03PM (#44822687) Homepage Journal

    Actually, Microsoft was going to do *much* better than this: they would allow two people to use the same account *AT THE SAME TIME* which Steam (still) does not allow. Two different people could play different games that were both purchased on the same account. Steam doesn't even let two people use the same account at the same time at all.

    The always-online thing was, I think, a bigger deal than the first-sale issue; Steam has *never* respected the doctrine of first sale, and people sing its praises all the time. All DRM (including both Steam and downloaded games on the Xbox) on so-called "purchases" can go die in a fire, along with everybody pushing it.

    (I'm OK with DRM on things that are explicitly rentals, like Netflix, so long as they're reimburse me if it doesn't work for me because of the DRM.)

  • by DrGamez (1134281) on Wednesday September 11, 2013 @07:50PM (#44824959)

    Steam must be for hard-core gamers only, and just because they may not use this feature, it's now "barely added functionality"?

    I'm glad I can let my brother play my games without having to worry about him mucking up my profile, market, inventory, friends, CC# info, etc. I guess I'm sad that I cannot let 10 of my friends play free games off my account at the same time while I'm also using my games and account?

    It's really grasping for straws to shake angrily at Valve here.

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