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Valve Announces Family Sharing On Steam, Can Include Friends

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the microsoft-looks-on-sadly dept.

PC Games (Games) 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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263 comments

hmm (1)

DFurno2003 (739807) | about a year ago | (#44822267)

I kinda already do this.

Steambox (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:Steambox (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44822353)

What Steambox?

Re:Steambox (1, Informative)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#44822425)

A Steambox is a PC styled as a gaming console. You generally only play games on the system and it is dedicated to gaming/entertainment. I have 3 Steamboxen.

Re:Steamboxen (1)

Uninvited Guest (237316) | about a year ago | (#44822857)

Ah, Steamboxen, like XBoxen.

Re:Steambox (1, Informative)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#44823335)

Sorry, wrong. Steambox is the name of the new valve console and if the rumors are true its gonna be a game changer. Instead of being stuck with one company making one console with one set of hardware, imagine that YOU get to decide what hardware and form factor its in. You can DIY or buy from one of several vendors, want it in a laptop? As long as that laptop meets the minimum specs you can install SteamOS (based on Linux, hence why Valve came out with steam on Linux, to get the bugs out) and you're golden. Want it in a traditional console shape? Several vendors to choose from.

If this takes off I could see it totally changing the landscape, FINALLY giving console the ability to choose vendors and stores that we PC owners have always enjoyed. This is why my sales of HTPCs have gone up of late, as the increased competition (Steam,GOG,Origin,Desura,GMG,Humble Bundles,etc) makes PCs a MUCH lower cost gaming platform and with Steambox the average Joe will finally be able to just walk into any store and buy a prebuilt system that will open everything up!

Ironically this is happening at the same time that both major console OEMs are about to release their most bloated platforms yet thus losing one of the biggest selling points for consoles, how they run "bare metal" and thus dedicate every drop of CPU/GPU to gaming. Both the Xbox N and PS4 have been reported to use a full 4GB of the 8GB of memory for the OS, probably for all that TV crap that honestly many won't use nor need as most TVs have that "smart TV' crap built in, and as Jim Sterling noted with this last generation consoles have become just very crappy PCs [escapistmagazine.com] and if Valve manages to pull this off it will be trivial to turn hundreds of millions of PCs into nice consoles.

Re:Steambox (1, Interesting)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44822783)

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.

Re:Steambox (1)

lgw (121541) | about a year ago | (#44823161)

Most laptops have crap for vid cards, and so can't play any kind of demanding 3D game. That's about it though.

Re:Steambox (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44823299)

this is a proper pc to boot.

Except for the fact that the keyboard appears to be malfunctioning sporadically.

No co-op (3, Interesting)

sunami (751539) | about a year ago | (#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 (3, Insightful)

war4peace (1628283) | about a year ago | (#44822293)

I think this functionality depends on how the game is implemented, rather than what Steam can do about it.

Re:No co-op (5, Interesting)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44822295)

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.

Re:No co-op (2)

Michael Casavant (2876793) | about a year ago | (#44822545)

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.

Except for when they change this ToS and if you don't agree to something you're locked out of all the games you had purchased previously...

Re:No co-op (1)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44822753)

always a risk and possibility.

Re:No co-op (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44822977)

Negative nancy.

Right now that's just not the case. When/if it does happen, you can be damn sure someone will make a "decrypter" of sorts that'll allow you access to the games that you should've backed up by that point in time.

So get yourself an external hard drive, back those games up and keep it in storage.

Re:No co-op (4, Insightful)

PhxBlue (562201) | about a year ago | (#44822329)

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.

Don't console gamers have to have two copies of the game to play multiplayer, too?

Re:No co-op (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44822469)

They do. He's just being a troll.

Re:No co-op (4, Informative)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about a year ago | (#44822517)

I believe so. Maybe he's talking about split-screen on the same console, which seems to be available on more console games than PC games.

Re:No co-op (2)

twistedsymphony (956982) | about a year ago | (#44822519)

I'm fairly certain he's referring to "local multiplayer" in which 2-4 people play on the same hardware. Personally I see this as a major benefit of console gaming that has kept me from gaming on PCs for decades.

Re:No co-op (1)

cbhacking (979169) | about a year ago | (#44822535)

For games that don't offer split-screen, yes.

On the other hand, if I want to play one game (say, Halo: ODST) while a friend plays a *different* game, say Halo 3, we can do that. Even though I, and not he, own both games. Steam doesn't let you do that, even with this so-called "Sharing" feature. I didn't want to share access to my account's games list, I wanted to share access to my games, individually. Don't let us both play Foo at the same time if you must, but if I want to play Foo and he wants to play Bar, why the fuck not?

DRM is such incredible bullshit. Steam included.

Re:No co-op (1)

StrangeBrew (769203) | about a year ago | (#44822913)

For games that don't offer split-screen, yes.

On the other hand, if I want to play one game (say, Halo: ODST) while a friend plays a *different* game, say Halo 3, we can do that. Even though I, and not he, own both games. Steam doesn't let you do that, even with this so-called "Sharing" feature. I didn't want to share access to my account's games list, I wanted to share access to my games, individually. Don't let us both play Foo at the same time if you must, but if I want to play Foo and he wants to play Bar, why the fuck not?

DRM is such incredible bullshit. Steam included.

I only partially agree with you. It is total bullshit that I can't have two machines running two different games from my Steam account, yet I'm willing to sacrifice that flexibility to legally acquire fairly current games for insanely cheap prices. Steam sale prices on modern games often beat what even department store bargain bins can offer on games that are a decade old.

Re:No co-op (1)

darth dickinson (169021) | about a year ago | (#44823247)

Isn't that exactly what "family sharing" does?

FTA: "See a family member's installed game that you want to play? Send them a request to authorize the computer. Once authorized, the lender's library of Steam games become available for others on the machine to access, download and play. "

Re:No co-op (5, Informative)

Anaerin (905998) | about a year ago | (#44823345)

Read more carefully. The ENTIRE LIBRARY is shared. And not on a per-game basis, it's all or nothing. And if you (as the sharer) decide you want to play one of your games while someone is using your library, they get booted, even if it's not the same game. And if you're sharing your library with two other people, only one of them can play any game at a time. So you can't play Portal while friend A plays CS:GO and friend B plays HL2.

Re:No co-op (1)

LordNimon (85072) | about a year ago | (#44822565)

There are some loopholes with downloadable games on Xbox and Playstation that lets two people play the same purchased game.

Re:No co-op (1)

LordNimon (85072) | about a year ago | (#44822909)

I meant to add "... play the same purchased game at the same time on two different consoles, even against each other, using two different accounts".

Re:No co-op (1)

Bam_Thwok (2625953) | about a year ago | (#44822619)

Split screen

Barely an improvement at all, really. (2)

cbhacking (979169) | about a year ago | (#44822487)

To hell with that, still no way for me to play Foo while my friend plays Bar. If I want to play Halo ODST while my friend plays Fable 3, I hand him the Fable disc and put the Halo disc in my own console. Even though both games are in my "library".

Steam is still DRM bullshit. This just slightly improves the current system of sharing a single actual Steam account between multiple people. Note the key word "slightly" in there.

Re:Barely an improvement at all, really. (1)

Agent0013 (828350) | about a year ago | (#44823293)

Steam is still DRM bullshit. This just slightly improves the current system of sharing a single actual Steam account between multiple people. Note the key word "slightly" in there.

That's not how I read the summary. It isn't the account that is being shared, it's the games. So your games that you have in your account can be shared to my account. You can play Halo while I play your copy of Fable 3 that you shared to me. If you quite Halo and start up Fable, I have to quite playing since it is your game and I am just borrowing it.

This is different from sharing the Steam account. For one, you don't need to give others your password to your Steam account where they could purchase things and may charge you money. Haven't bought from Steam in a while, I assume you can link a credit card for purchasing. And sharing the full account would stop you from using anything else in that account while they were logged in, like you said. That capability currently exists by just giving someone your username and password. This sounds quite different and I can't wait to have access to the tons of games my brother buys. He has so many to play that I'm sure he would rarely, if ever, knock me off from playing the one I would be going through.

Re:No co-op (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44822769)

Valve does allow split screen in a lot of there Co-Op games (Read Left 4 Dead series.) however it takes some modding to make it work. But my brother and I used to play L4D split screen all the time when I was home from college.

Re:No co-op (1)

vux984 (928602) | about a year ago | (#44823137)

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.

Your being far too cynical here; this is a HUGE deal.

Consoles require you to have two copies of a game to play multiplayer too for the same class of multiplayer play.

The notable exception being split-screen multiplayer, and steam supports split screen multiplayer with just one copy the same as any console -- its the games that don't offer it. Its nothing to do with steam that few pc games support split screen multiplayer games -- and as more people are hooking their PCs up to the TV and buying game controllers -- then there might soon be enough of a market for split screen games on the PC to justify making them.

Re:No co-op (1)

Anaerin (905998) | about a year ago | (#44823379)

Consoles require you to have two copies of a game to play multiplayer too for the same class of multiplayer play.

So does this. If you want to play your copy of any game in your library while someone is using it, they get booted. Even if it's a different game. 'cause it's the whole library that is shared, not individual games.

Re:No co-op (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44823231)

You know there are some PC games that actually had split-screen multiplayer, right?

Imagine this happening with music and movies (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44822281)

Sorry, I think I need to go to the hospital, I think I broke something laughing so hard.

This better not force you to be on line 100% of th (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#44822291)

This better not force you to be on line 100% of the time even if you don't use this.

Re:This better not force you to be on line 100% of (1)

PhxBlue (562201) | about a year ago | (#44822343)

I'm imagining you'd have to be online to actually share games, but the rest of the time, you could be in offline mode.

Re:This better not force you to be on line 100% of (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#44822451)

online to actually share games, but will it be 100% with any drop out leading to kickoff right at the time of drop?

Re:This better not force you to be on line 100% of (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about a year ago | (#44823057)

Based on the announcement, either you must be online when sharing to validate that the lendee cannot play the game or your accounts titles are no longer lended when you go into offline mode. Any other solution would likely make it possible to have to copies of the game playing simultaneously, which would be a violation.

Mostly Useless (2)

ninjabus (3024459) | about a year ago | (#44822317)

So now my girlfriend can't walk out with my steam collection and the cat. Whoop dee-doo.

Not family sharing, more like account borrowing (5, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | about a year ago | (#44822325)

Having the "family sharing" plan lock you out of your entire Steam library while a family member plays a game from your list is not family sharing. This is basically just a way to give your account to someone without having to give them your password. Also, they get to keep their achievements, whoop de doo.

I'm extremely disappointed. I was hoping for a real family sharing option, so I could play Portal in my mancave while my wife plays Gone Home up in the living room, but that's not what this is. It's almost completely useless to me. If Netflix can allow my family to stream multiple movies at once, why cant Steam allow them to play multiple games at once?

Maybe I should just make a new steam account for every game I buy? That way I can have one master account with my friends list, and everything I buy with the account will be a gift for the actual game account. That would let me actually lend games out and maybe even resell them. It would be a bit of a pain to manage, but seems better than this solution where letting someone borrow a game locks you out of every other game you own.

Re:Not family sharing, more like account borrowing (5, Insightful)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44822365)

TFA says the opposite, it will give your friends a few minutes to buy or save. You always get priority on your library. Not exactly an unfair policy, though I wish it were specific to that title, not to your whole library.

Re:Not family sharing, more like account borrowing (1, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | about a year ago | (#44822405)

Which I would hate to do, because it's pretty dickish to give someone a game and then have it cut out halfway through because I started to play a completely different game. I hope it at least gives you a warning when you start your game that someone else is using your library and that you're going to screw them over if you start playing.

Re:Not family sharing, more like account borrowing (1)

dlenmn (145080) | about a year ago | (#44822533)

Gee, I remember the good old days where there was at most one computer in a house; if someone -- such as a younger sibling -- was using it to play a game, you had to kick them off to play a different game. If you were kind, you gave them a few minutes to wrap up and save.

I don't see what's different here. Now quit whining and get off my lawn.

Re:Not family sharing, more like account borrowing (1)

letherial (1302031) | about a year ago | (#44822755)

you call that the good old days?

Re:Not family sharing, more like account borrowing (1)

oreiasecaman (2466136) | about a year ago | (#44823061)

Nostalgia is seeing the past with rose-tinted glasses

Re:Not family sharing, more like account borrowing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44823117)

When its anyone else doing it, its a dick move.

When Valve does it, people ask for seconds, third and fourths.

Re:Not family sharing, more like account borrowing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44823229)

I remember when playing a game meant getting a board out and sitting around a table. If you wanted to play a different game, you had to move to a different table.

Re:Not family sharing, more like account borrowing (1)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44822587)

I too hope it warns you that you will kick someone off. But still, you seem to be looking a gift horse in the mouth. Valve doesn't have to give us even this much.

Re:Not family sharing, more like account borrowing (1)

jandrese (485) | about a year ago | (#44822793)

Please enjoy this turd sandwich, remember, I didn't have to give it to you.

Re:Not family sharing, more like account borrowing (1)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44822951)

I don't even use Steam for anything but free play on TF2. I'm just looking at it objectively. If people are going to buy online games and depend on an account to keep their access going, this is better than only having access yourself.

Re:Not family sharing, more like account borrowing (1)

stewsters (1406737) | about a year ago | (#44822615)

Yeah, what I see this being used for is when I want one of my friends to try a game I can essentially give them a demo. You wouldn't want to play something like Skyrim on here.

When I picked up a new game for the PS3 or XBox I can take it over to a friend's house and let them play the beginning of it. I see this as essentially giving that same ability to the PC.

Well said (1)

Radical Moderate (563286) | about a year ago | (#44822397)

I agree, if a friend can't play one of your games while you play another, it's not much of a sharing system. I like your idea about one account per game. Actually, I hate it, but it's about the only way to get around Steam's policy. I'm generally pretty happy with Steam, but this ranks a big "meh".

Re:Well said (1)

cbhacking (979169) | about a year ago | (#44822603)

One account / game is the way to go if you absolutely must use Steam. It lets you do such crazy things as re-sell games (unofficially) as well...

DRM is bullshit, Steam included. GOG, HumbleBundle (the not-DRMed ones, thanks), or direct from the dev!

Re:Well said (1)

lgw (121541) | about a year ago | (#44823227)

Is GOG still strictly non-DRM? They've started selling current games, so do they actually say the games they sell don't have their own DRM of any sort? That would actually be pretty cool.

I have a few GOG titles, but I'm starting to look at it as a general-purpose alternative to Steam, mostly because every damn time I want to play a game on Steam, I have to wait for the steam client to patch itself with a 100MB patch. WTF Valve?

Re:Not family sharing, more like account borrowing (0)

Dins (2538550) | about a year ago | (#44822401)

It would be a bit of a pain to manage, but seems better than this solution where letting someone borrow a game locks you out of every other game you own.

It doesn't, though. If you decide to play something, the friend gets kicked out or asked to buy the game. I actually RTFA (I know, I know...) and this is from it:

As the lender, you may always access and play your games at any 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.

Re:Not family sharing, more like account borrowing (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about a year ago | (#44822583)

That's still pretty unclear. If my playing Borderlands 2 kicks my friend out of Borderlands 2, that's one thing. It's a totally different, vastly inferior situation if my playing Portal kicks my friend out of Borderlands 2.

Re:Not family sharing, more like account borrowing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44822491)

Having the "family sharing" plan lock you out of your entire Steam library while a family member plays a game from your list is not family sharing. This is basically just a way to give your account to someone without having to give them your password. Also, they get to keep their achievements, whoop de doo.

I'm extremely disappointed. I was hoping for a real family sharing option, so I could play Portal in my mancave while my wife plays Gone Home up in the living room, but that's not what this is. It's almost completely useless to me. If Netflix can allow my family to stream multiple movies at once, why cant Steam allow them to play multiple games at once?

Maybe I should just make a new steam account for every game I buy? That way I can have one master account with my friends list, and everything I buy with the account will be a gift for the actual game account. That would let me actually lend games out and maybe even resell them. It would be a bit of a pain to manage, but seems better than this solution where letting someone borrow a game locks you out of every other game you own.

What are you smoking. That's not how this works. The original owner of a game always has access to a game. So if a friend is playing a game and you want to play the same game it will kick them out of said game. As long as you want to play different games at the same time it works just fine.

Re:Not family sharing, more like account borrowing (2)

jaymz666 (34050) | about a year ago | (#44822567)

No, if you want to play ANY game in your library it kicks them out.

Re:Not family sharing, more like account borrowing (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year ago | (#44822613)

You are missing the point. They are trying to emulate the home console, and game swapping (as best they can). Not give 10 of your friends free copies of all of your games.

Re:Not family sharing, more like account borrowing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44822639)

If Netflix can allow my family to stream multiple movies at once, why cant Steam allow them to play multiple games at once?

Because Valve is negotiating with a different set of parasites.

Parent is blatantly lying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44822839)

As some of the other comments said, this does not lock you out of your entire Steam library while they are playing. You're free to play any game on your account, but once you do, it kicks THEM off (or maybe it's just if you play the same game as them; this point is unclear right now). That is directly contrary to what parent is claiming. How the hell did this get to +5?

Re:Parent is blatantly lying (1)

jandrese (485) | about a year ago | (#44823041)

Depends on the situation really. If I know I'm going to be slapped upside the head by my wife shortly after starting a game then I'm going to be effectively locked out while she's in a game.

Re:Parent is blatantly lying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44823195)

Haha, fair enough.

Microsoft wanted to do this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44822327)

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.

Re:Microsoft wanted to do this (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about a year ago | (#44822623)

> 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. Of course, but if you have a point there, I don't see it. Steam has already taken the ability to resell away from the buyer, so that loss does not occur at the point of implementing this system like it did with the Xbox plan. People using Steam have already accepted those terms.

Re:Microsoft wanted to do this (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about a year ago | (#44822649)

again with formatting
> 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.

Of course, but if you have a point there, I don't see it. Steam has already taken the ability to resell away from the buyer, so that loss does not occur at the point of implementing this system like it did with the Xbox plan. People using Steam have already accepted those terms.

Re:Microsoft wanted to do this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44822757)

The only point I was making is that it's a bit hypocritical of those particular people. Which isn't really a point at all, more of an observation. As much as I like Valve, I'm going to cringe when people who earlier told me how awful they thought the Xbone's system was now say they think nearly the same system is "innovative and wonderful, praise Valve." It's the same kind of corporate worshipping that makes the worst Apple fanboys impossible to be around.

Re:Microsoft wanted to do this (3, Insightful)

cbhacking (979169) | about a year ago | (#44822687)

Actually, Microsoft was going to do *much* better than this: they would allow two people to use the same account *AT THE SAME TIME* which Steam (still) does not allow. Two different people could play different games that were both purchased on the same account. Steam doesn't even let two people use the same account at the same time at all.

The always-online thing was, I think, a bigger deal than the first-sale issue; Steam has *never* respected the doctrine of first sale, and people sing its praises all the time. All DRM (including both Steam and downloaded games on the Xbox) on so-called "purchases" can go die in a fire, along with everybody pushing it.

(I'm OK with DRM on things that are explicitly rentals, like Netflix, so long as they're reimburse me if it doesn't work for me because of the DRM.)

Too Little Too Late IMO (0, Offtopic)

dryriver (1010635) | about a year ago | (#44822361)

I can see how this functionality can work well with school-agers/teenagers. But with adults/married couples? Maybe if you know other couples who like to game or something. ----- This is better than nothing, I suppose. But it still doesn't let me do what I most want to do: To SELL games over Steam that I don't use/play anymore. ---- In the final analysis, I think that this is mostly about Steam trying to desperately pretend that it isn't draconian DRM; That Steam somehow has "a heart", even though it is all about DOLLARS in actuality. ------- Wake me when I can buy/sell games 2nd hand over Steam. THAT would actually make me happy.. =)

Re:Too Little Too Late IMO (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about a year ago | (#44822453)

I can see how this functionality can work well with school-agers/teenagers. But with adults/married couples? Maybe if you know other couples who like to game or something. ----- This is better than nothing, I suppose.

Actually, this will save me a small amount of money each year, because at least a couple of times a year either my wife or I gets a game and its "cheap enough" to get for both of us because the other shows interest, and then quickly looses it.

Few games (like fallout 3) we both have played the shit out of and it made sense to buy for each of us, however, for many games, its kind of silly...and if each of us could just try out games while the other isn't playing, it would likely save us a few bucks... admittedly, we are talking a total of maybe $50 a year, but, we will definitely use this.

Re:Too Little Too Late IMO (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | about a year ago | (#44822599)

I'd like to be able to play Civ V while someone else can play some other game in my library. Nope

Re:Too Little Too Late IMO (2)

JakeBurn (2731457) | about a year ago | (#44822901)

"Wake me when I can buy/sell games 2nd hand over Steam. THAT would actually make me happy.. =)"
That's a nonsense reason to be mad at Steam. Every penny that you think you would be getting is more than made up for by being able to buy at steep discounts. I got Black Ops 2 for half price shortly after it was released. It's still going for 50 bucks pre-owned at Game Stop on 360. Even following a trade in process like that I would be at the same place monetarily but no longer the owner of the game. The only thing that would be remotely close to being worth it monetarily would be an open market where people could trade/sell games but that won't happen. For Steam to even keep on existing it can't happen. The liability issues alone would make them never even think of implementing such a stupid idea. How could they possibly endorse a system that had no ability to cross reference the millions of transactions that would take place with every system out there to find out if that cd key had been banned from online play? VAC would be easy but that's not the only ban you would have to worry about. Do you think, even with a seven thousand page TOS, that people wouldn't be suing the crap out of Valve every time someone sold them a game that they couldn't play online? Its a PR nightmare, a litigation nightmare and would screw the rest of us that are smart enough to see that only suckers buy games at full price instead of waiting a couple of months and getting a 50-90% discount.

Brilliant idea (1)

St.Creed (853824) | about a year ago | (#44822463)

Even though the first posters all respond like they've been touched in a bad place, I think it's a great idea. There are several games I don't really play and some of my friends would like to try. Or vice versa. Brilliant.

Re:Brilliant idea (1)

Ardyvee (2447206) | about a year ago | (#44822609)

The only issue is that you can't play while your friend plays. Proof! [puu.sh]

And no, I don't think I'm misunderstanding as it doessay library instead of game.

Re:Brilliant idea (1)

St.Creed (853824) | about a year ago | (#44823307)

Okay - so my next games will be purchased on different accounts. Problem solved.

Re:Brilliant idea (1)

oGMo (379) | about a year ago | (#44822751)

They added a feature. Despite the whiners, it's not taking anything away, and if someone doesn't like it, they don't have to use it.

I would like to see resale (or at least trading) of games, but this isn't a bad feature and certainly has its uses. Going on vacation or something? Let a friend play your stuff. Etc.

Kick friends out of games at random. How fun! (2)

Goat of Death (633284) | about a year ago | (#44822471)

If you play any one game from your library it kicks the person you're sharing with from your library. A library is an all at once or nothing share. So my wife can't play Skyrim from my account while I'm playing Borderlands 2. Without being able to share individual games, the feature is pretty worthless. Step in the right direction, sure, but barely. I still have to make sure I'm not in my account (or go offline) if my wife wants to play one of my games. It's pretty much no change from how we have to do things now. Hence, worthless.

Microsoft's sloppy seconds (0)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | about a year ago | (#44822473)

So, it's exactly like the XBOne feature that the Internet howled SO derisively at, that Microsoft dropped it, despite it being a fantastic idea?

Oh, wait, you can't spell Valve with a dollar sign. I don't know, could we start calling it $team?

Re:Microsoft's sloppy seconds (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#44822497)

Nothing like that feature, but nice try at getting your hate boner up.

Re:Microsoft's sloppy seconds (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | about a year ago | (#44822551)

Can you enumerate the differences? The XBOne version allowed you to designate friends/family who could play your games, with the option for them to go ahead and buy. I don't see any difference with the Steam version.

Re:Microsoft's sloppy seconds (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#44822701)

Can you enumerate the differences? The XBOne version allowed you to designate friends/family who could play your games, with the option for them to go ahead and buy. I don't see any difference with the Steam version.

The Steam version is an all-or-nothing - once a friend decides to play a game, if you want to play ANY game in your library, it kicks them out. So if your friend is playing Portal and you want to play Portal 2, you can start playing Portal 2 and your friend will have a few minutes to quit or buy Portal.

On the Xbox, it would let you play Halo while they played Ryse. You just couldn't have both playing Ryse or both Halo at the same time.

And I presume if you have two friends sharing your Steam account, one locks out the other (you as owner have priority and will kick whoever else is using it out). The Xbox allows full sharing as if you passed the disc on.

Steam still doesn't allow selling games, though. Even if the publisher gets a cut like how the Xbox was also supposed to allow.

Re:Microsoft's sloppy seconds (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44822967)

"The XBOne version allowed you to designate friends/family who could play your games, with the option for them to go ahead and buy."

I think your confusing the family share with the digital lending Xbox One would have let you do. It would allow you to lend a friend, who you have been friends with for some generic number of days, a copy of one of your titles with a time restriction.

This is a Qaulity of life in preperation for steambox, that lets you finaly get your wife/brother/sister etc acheivs on an account of their own without buying the game twice. It's intended to work like netflix accounts but with one active at a time.

Even tho it kicks anyone off when you log in to use your library they still get the full game and can resume after your done. Fair shake for up to 10 "friends" in my opinion. I would usualy just copy my steam folder to another computer and just put it offline but this lets me actualy seperate things out.

I do wish they would allow 2 different titles at once tho, that would be bomb as hell.

Re:Microsoft's sloppy seconds (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44822693)

So, it's exactly like the XBOne feature that the Internet howled SO derisively at, that Microsoft dropped it, despite it being a fantastic idea?

As you already knew when you began composing your dishonest post, the objections were not to Microsoft's sharing plan, but the always-online requirement (which was and remains a terrible idea). The sharing plan simply was not considered a worthwhile trade for the check-in requirement.

But again, you already knew that, you just decided to lie about it by pretending that "the Internet" objected to sharing Xbox games.

How do you think this is going to work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44822925)

if you're not always online. Can't exactly kick your friend out of a game if he's not always online, in order to let you in (where you must be online to make sure your friends aren't in a game too).

Always Online is Always Online.

Re:How do you think this is going to work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44823281)

Always Online is Always Online.

Yes. But Steam is not Always Online.

The sharing feature requires you to be online at the time of sharing, but if you go offline, your own games still work (as they do now). That's not "Always Online", it's "Online When You Want To Share Games". That was NOT true of the original plan for the XB1; if you went offline, your own games would cease to work after 24 hours. And THAT is what people were objecting to.

Understand? If Microsoft had done it this way from the start, they wouldn't have gotten a far better reception, like Valve is getting now.

Re:Microsoft's sloppy seconds (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#44822849)

So, it's exactly like the XBOne feature that the Internet howled SO derisively at, that Microsoft dropped it, despite it being a fantastic idea?

No, it's a lamer version of it.

Of course, Microsoft's problem is twofold.

1) They're Microsoft. Everything they do incites hate. See: Apple. They can cure cancer or world poverty or hunger and people will still hate them.

2) Microsoft also has a communication problem (this is a bigger issue). They just cannot communicate with the public well. And a lot of what they needed to explain, can't be explained in 140 characters. So instead of being able to explain the entire thing calmly and completely, they leak out little bits that the internet amplifies. Of course, twitter is also far more trusted than the "official source" where the tweet came from, so whoever posts the initial tweet can easily misread something and the whole Internet gets worked up over nothing. (Which then becomes a meme as people believe it to be true).

Hell, we had it happen to McAfee yesterday, and probably dozens of other examples exist as well, like how Microsoft charges $40K to submit new revisions and stuff like that.

Perhaps what SHOULD be worrying is that Sony is unusually silent on the matter - perhaps they also charge $40K for updates (but their NDAs are better so no dev is allowed to even talk about it). Or perhaps the PS4 will have the exact same DRM requirements. Sony has not said anything about going towards how the Xbox was originally envisioned with always on DRM. (Of course, everyone assumes that the PS4 won't have it, but since Sony doesn't actually confirm it for good, they forget that it really means Sony is reserving the ability to do it later).

AFT (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#44822481)

About Fucking Time.

Interesting... (3, Interesting)

seebs (15766) | about a year ago | (#44822503)

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:Interesting... (1)

PRMan (959735) | about a year ago | (#44822787)

Just use a different Steam account for each game. Problem solved.

OFFTOPIC (1)

Idetuxs (2456206) | about a year ago | (#44822559)

Have anyone noticed that a lot of the news articles don't even get 100 comments? Some do and just a few pass the 200 mark.
May be I see just a few articles a day and that is what I get. Is someone keeping statistics?

Local LAN games (1)

LubosD (909058) | about a year ago | (#44822589)

The biggest problem I have with Steam are LAN parties. Or the lack of such possibility with a single account (=single copy of a game). Some games can be played via LAN in offline mode, but it's not guaranteed to work. And even if you convince all your friends to create a Steam account and buy the game, you'll spend the evening downloading N copies of the game once they come to your place. Fail.

Re:Local LAN games (1)

Nos. (179609) | about a year ago | (#44822711)

Install the games ahead of time. When we organized LAN parties, we'd put together a list of games we'd be playing, and what patch level was to be expected. We usually had an internet line there we'd share out, but it was rarely a fast line, and nobody expected to be able to download a full game to play. It just requires some preparation ahead of time.

Re:Local LAN games (1)

LubosD (909058) | about a year ago | (#44823261)

I do install games ahead of time, but not Steam games. I have a network booted Linux-based system, so everybody just plugs in his PC and can start playing.

Re:Local LAN games (1)

deroby (568773) | about a year ago | (#44822903)

Wouldn't creating a game-backup from within Steam; sharing it over the network (or sneakernet) and restore it for each pc be faster ?
That way you only need to download it once, and frankly, chances are already at least one person will have it installed... with a bit of luck even already backed up to a share or external medium like an usb-stick or drive.

Re:Local LAN games (1)

JustNiz (692889) | about a year ago | (#44823005)

Seems like a lot of effort to replace what is a one-time few minute wait for a download if you have broadband.

'Friends' not 'Family' (2)

oneiros27 (46144) | about a year ago | (#44822815)

See a family member's installed game that you want to play? Send them a request to authorize the computer. Once authorized, the lender's library of Steam games become available for others on the machine to access, download and play.

There are some games that my neighbor plays that he won't even let his kids watch, much less play on their own. I remember that there was one where the (at the time) 9 year old was able to download the demo for free, which he only knew about because his dad & uncle played the game.

If this were truly a 'family' plan, you'd be able to set which games a specific account is allowed to have access to.

...and... (0)

JustNiz (692889) | about a year ago | (#44823049)

...and... who does Israel then share it with?

BarbaraARosas (-1)

BarbaraARosas (3064219) | about a year ago | (#44823069)

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Console killer? Really? (0)

Altanar (56809) | about a year ago | (#44823073)

"Valve's attempt at a console-killer"? Really? No, this is Valve's panicked reaction to what had been the Xbox One's planned digital game sharing, which MS had to temporarily shelve while they re-wrote how the Xbox One handles disc-based games. If you don't remember, the Xbox One was originally going to let any console owner set 10 people to be members of their family sharing plan. Those "family" members (MS stated that they didn't have to be family), could then check out any game out of the owner's library at any time.

Here's the difference between the two plans:

Steam: If the owner of a shared game wants to play any game in their library, any person playing the shared game will be booted, even if the owner wants to play a different game than the one being shared. You are accessing a shared account, not a shared game. Also, Steam knows this immediately. The person accessing the shared library "will be given a few minutes to either purchase the game or quit playing." You can infer from this that shared gaming will not support offline mode... I.E., Always-on internet access is required to access a shared library.

Xbox One: The system treated shared games as a temporary license transfer. The library wasn't shared; individual games were. Your friend could play the game you lended to them without interrupting your play of any other game on in your library. To handle this license sharing, the Xbox One would, once per day, detect the status of the games and licenses on a console. Despite the constant FUD, the Xbox One *never* required an always-on connection. The requirement was for the console to be connected to the Internet at least once a day while the system did a license check for lended games.

So yeah, you can call this a great accomplishment by Valve and their "console-killer" if you want. You can hail the greatness Valve. But you have to ask yourself, why when Microsoft did it, were they burnt the stake and when Valve does it they're uplifted as a savior?

My friend cheats though. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44823291)

Ive already had a friend get one of my accounts banned. Of course he's not getting access to my new one legitimately or not, but whats the new punishment for this kind of thing?

Even more blatantly artificially scarce. (0)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#44823315)

...

Thus, further demonstrating how arbitrary and pointless the artificial scarcity of information is in the information age.

We're going to deactivate the game that you are currently playing because there is another person who wants to run these same 1's and 0's through their computer, and we say you can't both so at the same time.... because, you know, gamers suck at economics 101:
Infinite Supply = Zero Price; // Regardless of cost to create.

The problem is that they have chosen to monetize the games' production by leveraging artificial scarcity. If instead they monetized the production up front, you know, do work and get paid to do it, then the work belongs to whomever paid for it ( in this case the public at large ), then we would have more games, more content (have to keep working to make more money), and all games would be "free" after they were created.

Imagine if Michelangelo put forth a business model whereby he would make the statue David for free, but then charge each person who looked at it a fee for experiencing the art. He'd be laughed at and ridiculed by today's businessmen... yet that's how the games industry is run.

Oh, I don't blame you... This is your first generation growing up in the Age of Information. Every species has growing pains, but the economist usually set things straight pretty fast -- You let the money makers be in charge of scarcity laws.... "Copyright". You are trillions of copies of a single cell, duplicating information is the function of life, and you made laws against it? No wonder your race doesn't have any self sustaining off-world colonies, not even a moon base, and yours is made of the same exact stuff as your planet, so you have no excuse.

Regular mass extinction events, then suddenly they stopped.... your planet is over two extinctions overdue, you're living on borrowed time, the mass extinctions just by chance coinciding with the rise of larger brained life with potential for intelligence... If you ask me, they were wrong about that. One messily gamma ray burst or medium sized asteroid is all it would have taken to wipe your whole planet out, and we've got gems like this: "Artificial Information Scarcity".... in the Information Age of all times! It would be funny if it wasn't so sad! When the next big rock comes, my vote will be to just let it hit you if you haven't figured out Economy 101 by then.

Oh but you can SHARE the information with your FRIENDS, under certain circumstances you can even use it! A better way to freely share information is the only thing you have over the other apes, and you're fucking squandering it.

either just a particularly more moronic, soulless, and greedy and set things straight pretty fast.

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