By Nathan Grayson on September 11th, 2013 at 10:00 pm.
Here’s something I never expected to say: Steam has stolen a feature from the Xbox One, and it’s really, really cool. Back before Microsoft cut the cord on that X-est of bones’ online requirement, it touted a family sharing program as one of the (few) perks that constant connectedness would bring. But then there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth about, well, everything else, so Microsoft packed up its whizzbang new toy and went home. The only real winners in that whole scenario? Us! Soon, we’ll be able to share our entire Steam libraries with up to ten people of our choosing.
Sounds totally nuts, right? There is, however, a slight catch. Friends/family can play your games in full (with DLC, if you’ve purchased it), create their own save files, and unlock their own achievements, but they can’t do it with you.
“A shared library may only be accessed by one user at a time. 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.”
Also, entirely arbitrary regional limitations are still in place.
So the system’s not entirely ideal, but it’s still a pretty damn seismic step in the right direction. A beta is kicking off later this month, and you can learn a valuable lesson about the value of sharing and friendship before all of your dumb friends by joining Steam’s family sharing group. So then, what are you waiting for? Get on it, and then give me – and only me – unfettered access to all of your most precious belongings.