If you’ve been a loyal Steam customer for the past several years and have been dying for a way to share your games with other users without giving them your account credentials, then it’s time you bring out that Jack Daniel’s you’ve been hiding away for a special occasion. If you don’t drink, well… there’s always Peng.
Valve has recently announced via their Steam client, that a new feature called Steam Family Sharing will soon be available as part of their digital distribution service. It allows a user to share his or her game library with other accounts they have authorized either within the borrower’s client itself or via E-mail. The borrower will then have access to whatever shareable games are available in the lender’s library, until the borrower decides to revoke access of course.
However, both users can’t play a game from the same library simultaneously. The lender will always have the highest priority, and will be able to interrupt any other user currently accessing his or her games. The person borrowing the games will either be kicked out or asked to buy the game – and is then forced to wait until the lender is done playing.
It’s not available to anybody at the moment though, and the limited beta will only be available to the certain users who join the relevant Steam group. It would be nice if you could share individual games, though I suppose it’s better than no sharing at all.
Another downside is that certain games will not be shareable, which all depends on the developers of the game.
You can read more about it’s progress here, if you like.