Valve's Steam Family Sharing lets users share games, beta coming next week
Valve has announced a new Family Sharing program that will allow Steam gamers to share their library of downloaded titles with up to 10 additional computers.
Valve's new strategy of letting users share any title in their library will work as long as just one person is using the program at a time. Steam said it would make the program available in a limited beta next week. Initially, only 1,000 accounts will have access.
A Steam user will need to send a request to an account lender to authorise a supported computer. Once authorisation occurs, it'll use up one of the 10 device slots allowed to access that account lender's library. But then the library will become available for others on the machine, and each user can save their unique achievements, sensitive details and game progress.
"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," Valve explained on its website. "It's all enabled by authorising a shared computer."
Since only one computer can access the account lender's library at a time, Steam will boot any additional user after the account lender signs on. Steam also clarified that the beta won't support some games, such as titles that require third-party serial numbers or subscriptions. Steam users also cannot share regional games outside of their locked region.
Valve's Steam service is one of the primary sources for downloadable PC games and third-party games. With its new Family Share program, Valve is likely trying to attract Xbox One gamers dismayed by the headache involving how game sharing will work on their console.