We could all talk about Steam’s wonderful benefits until Half-Life 3 arrives, but you can’t deny that digital has its downsides over physical. Like lending games to friends and family. Not anymore. From next week, Steam will offer Family Sharing to a select number of Steam users, allowing them to share your Steam library with close friends and family.
“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,” explained Anna Sweet of Valve. “Family Sharing was created in direct response to these user requests.”
To make the sytem work, all you’ll have to do is authorise another device to access your Steam account. Your library of Steam games becomes available for others on that authorised machine to access, download, and play. Though simultaneous usage of an account’s library is not allowed, you can access and play your games at any time. If you decide to start playing when a friend is borrowing one of your games, your friend will be given a few minutes to either purchase the game or quit playing.
Upto 10 machines can be authorised to share you Steam library, so that should more than cover your family and close gaming buddies.
Check out theSteam Family Sharing websiteto sign up for the beta. As with Steam Trading Cards, by joing theSteam Family Sharing group, you’ll be eligible to be picked for beta testing. A thousand accounts will be selected for the mid-September beta.