Steam Remote Play Beta Lets You Play Local Games With Friends Across The Country

Steam does a stream.

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Steam's Remote Play Together feature, which lets you play local co-op and split-screen games online, is now in open beta. You can try the feature for free to play with your friends across vast expanses, and only the host player will need to own the game. All other players will have it streamed directly to them.

The announcement walks you through the steps to get started. You'll have to join the Steam Beta, and then, as the host, start up a local multiplayer game. Once you're in, you can invite your friends using the "Remote Play Together" option in the overlay and the process should be seamless, as your friends will be added to your game as if they're in the room with you.

The Remote Play feature uses streaming technology to make it easier to share games with your friends without having to handle several separate installs for games they may not own. It's one unique application of a larger trend we're seeing, as several companies compete to set up streaming services of their own. Google Stadia is launching next month, and Microsoft is currently testing its xCloud service.

The central purpose of most of these streaming services is to allow players to access games on a variety of devices through streaming, but Stadia has proposed more expansive options--like allowing streamers to invite their viewers to jump into their games, for example. Allowing other players to sample games with you without owning them a la Remote Play is another feature idea we could see more of as streaming services become more common.

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