Steam Adding Online Support For All Local Multiplayer Games
Steam is gearing up to launch a brand new feature that'll let you play local multiplayer games together with friends over the internet "as though they were in the same room."
This truly marks the ultimate advancement in technology for me, as someone who loves gaming with friends but hates being in the same room as the messy feckers. Seriously, how hard is it not to leave packets of Monster Munch and yogurt pots on my sofa like some kind of bear that's hibernating for the window? I'm getting off topic.
Valve announced the "Remote Play Together" feature to developers via the Steamworks website (via PC Gamer). This handy new feature will work with any and all Steam games, and is planned for release in beta around October 21.
The Steamworks page detailing the feature explains it'll work automatically "all local multiplayer, local co-op and split-screen games," which implies that there won't be much work required on the part of the developer to make their games compatible. Though I'd assume they'll at least need to consent to enabling the feature, I don't see why any devs out there would be against it.
To clarify: it really is only for shared-screen or split-screen games. The tech is streaming your screen to your friend and capturing their input and sending it back to the game, so you are both playing the same game, looking at the same thing.- Alden Kroll @ PAX Australia (@aldenkroll) October 10, 2019
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Valve's Alden Kroll went into a little more detail on Remote Play Together over on Twitter, where he explained it's only for shared-screen or split-screen multiplayer games. It effectively works by streaming the host's screen to a second player, who can then simply play along as if they were streaming any single-player game, with the inputs being sent back to the host's machine.
This is, I assume, the kind of feature that will require a decent internet connection on the part of both players. Nobody wants to have to play with someone that has potato Wi-Fi, as the input lag would surely ruin the experience for all involved, at least if it's a co-op game. For any competitive titles, the host will have a key advantage as they'll be playing the game locally while their rival is streaming it.
It'll be interesting to see how well Valve pulls this off, especially since it's not the first time a company has had a crack at implementing a feature like this. Nvidia previously dipped its toe into similar waters with a game-streaming service called GameStream co-op, while
Nvidia previously offered a co-op feature with a game streaming service called GameStream co-op, and Sony already offers something like Remote Play Together via its PS4 Share Play service.
Featured Image Credit: Valve