If you're one of the few out there that thinks the Xbox One is great, or you're one of the larger group that aren't fans, you have to admit, the ability to share and lend games with your Xbox “family” is a pretty cool feature. Fortunately, it seems Valve did so too and it looks likely that it will let Steam users do the same before long.
A short section of code was spotted in the latest Steam beta release discussing a “shared game library,” which looks to allow other Steam users to use your games, but only when you're not playing them and only one player per game. If you attempt to play a title that your friend is playing, you'll get a message saying that it's in use, but a message is sent to them letting them know you want to play and they should quit – because it is yours after all.
The three lines of code that have gotten people excited are:
- “SteamUI_JoinDialog_SharedLicense_Title” “Shared game library”
- “SteamUI_JoinDialog_SharedLicenseLocked_OwnerText” “Just so you know, your games are currently in use by %borrower%. Playing now will send %borrower% a notice that it's time to quit.”
- “SteamUI_JoinDialog_SharedLicenseLocked_BorrowerText” “This shared game is currently unavailable. Please try again later or buy this game for your own library.”
This would be somewhat of an interesting turnaround for Valve, as it previously announced that it would not allow trading of games, in the wake of the the EU court case last year, that saw a judge declare all digital software downloads resellable, as long as the initial copy was destroyed. This isn't going quite as far as allowing the resale of titles, but it does open up people's libraries which would allow for some impressive demoing of a game to friends.
KitGuru Says: If this is indeed going to be implemented, I bet it makes better inroads into piracy than any DRM every invented.