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Valve Announces Family Sharing On Steam, Can Include Friends 263

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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  • Steambox (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 11, 2013 @03:35PM (#44822271)

    As long as Steambox allows me to play games with a keyboard and mouse, it will be a superior choice to any other console.

  • No co-op (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sunami ( 751539 ) on Wednesday September 11, 2013 @03:35PM (#44822275)

    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.

  • Re:No co-op (Score:5, Interesting)

    by intermodal ( 534361 ) on Wednesday September 11, 2013 @03:37PM (#44822295) Homepage Journal

    Perhaps that will come. But still, this is a step that Valve didn't have to take, and another reminder that as far as global companies controlling intellectual property are concerned, Valve is about the closest we've got to a "good guy" to root for.

  • Interesting... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by seebs ( 15766 ) on Wednesday September 11, 2013 @03:54PM (#44822503) Homepage

    This is sorta cool.

    Oddly, this ties closely to the main barrier for me with Steam games: Steam's DRM, while very open in a large number of ways, is more restrictive than any other DRM system I've ever seen in one key way, which is that all Steam games on an account are subject to the same simultaneous usage requirement. Many of the games I play are turn-based games which I might well leave up and running for hours at a time, returning to them occasionally. Some are little fidgets I might play for brief windows. And with Steam's system, although I can have games installed on two machines, I can't play games on two machines at once.

    Yes, I am aware of the "offline mode" option. I have asked Valve, and they have stated that it is specifically forbidden to use offline mode to run games from the same library on two machines at once, no matter what. So if I have two adjacent computers, and I want to play Game A on one machine, and Game B on another, I can't do that if I got them through Steam. This is sort of weird to me, because even the most restrictive of other DRM systems I'm aware of allow you to install one game on one machine, and a different game on another machine, and run them at the same time.

  • Re:Steambox (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Wednesday September 11, 2013 @04:09PM (#44822783) Homepage Journal

    What Steambox?

    it's like buying a mid range pc to run steam and pay extra to valve for it. for some reason people are waiting for it anxiously. I never understood why, especially if they want to use kb and mouse. just buy a pc.

    typed on my laptop. with wireless kb. with wireless mouse. sitting on my sofa, typing on a 55" screen. I genuinely don't understand why the fuck I would like a steambox, since all the games on steam work perfectly with this and this is a proper pc to boot.

  • by tgd ( 2822 ) on Wednesday September 11, 2013 @05:28PM (#44823753)

    As much as I hated a lot of the initial Xbox One launch ideas (especially the limit on how long you could play offline, which was just asinine), this was an idea they were trying to do, from what I understood of their press releases. I'm glad that Valve's doing it, it's a great idea, but I guarantee some of the people singing its praises are the same ones who hated the idea from Microsoft because it interfered with first sale.

    Some? I'd be willing to bet its virtually all of them.

    That hypocrisy has been pointed out to death, though -- people didn't flip out that Steam games can't be resold, nor will people flip out when the addition of sharing in Steam carries with it online requirements. Oh wait, of course, Steam DOES require the Internet.

    A noisy bunch of morons made a mess of Microsoft's plans, and the same noisy bunch of morons are going to be bouncing up and down at how "innovative" this is...

  • Baby step (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Wednesday September 11, 2013 @06:00PM (#44824159)

    This isn't as good as I'd hoped. But its not "bad". Its not taking anything away we didn't have before, and it gives us options we didn't used to have.

    I am happy about this feature, but not satisfied with it.

    It lets me create steam accounts for my kids and let them use my library. This is good -- now my friends won't message them, invite them to play games, etc. Now they can each have their own steam-cloud save files, and their own acheivements, etc.

    Up until now I've just logged in for them, told them they aren't allowed to buy anything, and to ignore any messages or invites. And they've been good about it but this still makes it better.

    But the big problem I had (and still have) with steam is the complete lock on the entire library. If my kids were playing on my account before, I couldn't play. I couldn't play the same game (and I was fine with that) but I also couldn't play a different game -- if my son is playing scribblenauts I can't play Left 4 Dead. And I have always disagreed with that.

    As it stands now, the situation there hasn't changed. If my son is logged in to his account, playing a game on my library I still can't play a different game. So for me, although this feature is a step forward it still falls short.

  • Re:Steambox (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Wednesday September 11, 2013 @07:36PM (#44824865)
    We're all hoping Valve will subsidize the hardware like the rest of the console manufactures and we'll get mid range PCs for $200 bucks cheaper.

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.