Steam Family Sharing beta begins

Valve sends out 1,000 initial invitations for trial period; no details provided on when program will go live for all.

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Steam's Family Sharing plan, through which users can share their libraries of games with friends and family, has officially entered beta, Valve has announced.

An initial wave of 1,000 invitations have been sent through through email with instructions on how to participate. Valve encouraged those in the beta to leave feedback and bug reports in the Family Sharing feedback discussion hub.

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Valve announced Steam Family Sharing earlier this month. The program allows users to share their libraries with up to 10 others, who are individually able to earn achievements and save progress. Libraries can be accessed by one user only at a given time.

For more on Steam Family Sharing, check out GameSpot's previous coverage. Valve did not say when the full Steam Family Sharing program will roll out for all users.

Valve is the first digital ecosystem to allow trading. Microsoft had planned to be first out of the gate with its own Family Sharing plan for the Xbox One, but itscrapped this plan in June when it reversed a number of its digital policies.

Still, this initiative is not gone forever. Senior Xbox director Albert Penello told GameSpot at PAX Prime that the Family Sharing plan will return.

"I get a lot of mails saying, 'God, please bring back the family sharing.' We'd love to figure out how to bring that back. I still think it was a good idea," Penello said at the time. "Maybe it was a little too soon for some people, but I still think there were a lot of good ideas in there. And we'll bring it back when the time is right."

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