It was one of the better features that the new Xbox One had when it was first announced, but it was stripped away when we threw up our arms at the daily activations, perhaps never to be seen again. At least, on the Xbox One that is. On Steam though, family and friend sharing is very real, as Valve plans to trial it with a select few people within the next week.
If you’re one of the lucky few chosen for the trial, you’ll have to activate it yourself. In order to do so, you need to authorise another device to access your Steam account, at which point your entire library of games becomes available for them to download and play. However, you can’t both play the same game at the same time.
If you do try though, it won’t boot your friend out, but will give them a warning that within a few minutes their session will end and yours will start.
But it’s not just one or two people. Up to 10 different friends and family members can play games from your library at once – quite a spread. This not only allows for you to let your mates try a game you want them to buy, but also allows families to have one account between them, making it much easier for parents to manage expenditure on it and age ratings of games.
If you want to sign up for the Steam Sharing beta, head over to the official page here.
Kitguru Says: This isn’t quite as good as letting us sell on our games like the European courts legally allow us to do, but it’s a great start and a real boon for families.