"Allows close friends and family members to play one another's games."
Surprise, surprise, of all the digital media platforms and ecosystems talking about how to lock down content or introduce some kind of way to share content, Valve has announced "Steam Family Sharing."
Anna Sweet of Valve, "Our customers have expressed a desire to share their digital games among friends and family members, just as current retail games, books, DVDs, and other physical media can be shared. Family Sharing was created in direct response to these user requests."
One association with Valve's move that is hard to escape is Microsoft's much teased version of family sharing for the Xbox One, which was scrapped along with the rest of their vision not long after E3. It remains to be seen whether Microsoft will ever find a way to allow customers to share digital content on the Xbox One.
As for Valve, their Family sharing program is designed "for close friends and family members to play one another's Steam games while each earning their own Steam achievements and storing their own saves and application data to the Steam cloud. It's all enabled by authorizing a shared computer."
One important note on the feature is that while designed to share, "a shared library may only be accessed by one user at a time... If you decide to start playing when a friend is already playing one of your games, he/she will be given a few minutes to either purchase the game or quit playing."
Steam's Family Sharing program will debut next week in Beta form. Those interested in entering the beta need to join the Family Sharing Group. Unfortunately, according to Steam's Family Sharing page, the beta will begin with only a 1000 steam accounts.
Author: Brian Hoss