Steam is readying a new feature that will allow users to play local multiplayer games over the Internet. Remote Play Together is an upcoming functionality that essentially converts any local-only game into an online experience.
Remote Play Together
Game developers were quietly made aware of Remote Play Together earlier this week via an email. However, it didn’t take long for the news to quickly pop up on the Unity forums and Twitter. According to the email, all games with local multiplayer capabilities will be supported by Remote Play Together, which is scheduled for launch on October 21st.
“We think this feature will be very valuable for customers and developers and are excited about the beta,” reads the email. “Any controllers connected to the second player’s computer will act as if they’re plugged directly into the first computer. The player hosting the game can also choose to allow or block inputs to their shared keyboard and mouse.”
As for its functionality, Valve says that Remote Play Together builds upon the existing technology to allow up to 4 players to connect simultaneously. For a “successful low-latency session”, which provides 60 frames per second at a resolution of 1080p, Valve recommends a connection speed of 10 to 30 Mbps. Note that the experience of the game will vary depending on the connection quality. Additionally, if your connection is fast enough, more than 4 players may join.
The best part about Remote Play Together is that only the host needs to own the game to start a session. Other players don’t need to own the game and can join the session by simply accepting an invite. Valve knows that this mechanic has the potential to be exploited, and says:
“We don’t believe it’s feasible to use Remote Play Together to avoid purchasing games on Steam entirely, and like other promotional tools and features, we believe the additional exposure and fun players have will lead to additional revenue and player growth.”
Steam Remote Play Together is shaping up to be a really neat feature. Depending on how optimized it is in terms of latency, it could overtake alternate game streaming programs like Parsec. In addition, its direct integration with Steam is sure to attract a bigger audience.