Nevermind that almighty Gaben and Valve treat Linux like a first-class citizen when it comes to gaming, having enabled somewhere north of 7000 Windows-only games to be played on Steam for Linux practically out-of-the-box.
They’ve sincerely cranked up the good vibes now, and I am approximately 10x more excited about PC gaming today than I was yesterday (as long as I don’t have to buy any graphics cards), following Steam’s remarkable “Remote Play Together” news
OK. Hop on the nostalgia train and transport yourself to a time when playing Goldeneye 64 or Mario Kart with three of your buddies was as easy as inviting them over and handing them a controller.
Only one of you needed to own the game; the rest of you could enjoy it together on the same TV.
Well, the Steam Link app is kinda like the TV and controller in that classic scenario, and Remote Play Together is the modern-day split-screen party.
Valve really hit this one out of the park. Remote Play Together now allows you to launch one of literally thousands of games, and send a URL to any of your friends or family to join you in some local multiplayer.
- They don’t need to own the game.
- They don’t need to be on your Friends List.
- They don’t need a Steam account
- They don’t need Windows – they can play with you on Linux, macOS, iPhone, Android device, or smart TV.
All they need is the Steam Link app
installed, and that URL you send them. Steam Link is a lightweight utility with no registration or login required (at least for the purpose of Remote Play Together). And it runs on pretty much anything now – including macOS, any Linux distribution under the sun, and newer Raspberry Pis!
As for the list of games? It’s impressive so far. We’re not talking about some token offering of indie titles no one’s heard of. Remote Play Together supports thousands of games that include local multiplayer, ranging from AAA hits like Mortal Kombat 11, Civilization VI and NBA 2K21 to indie gems like Stardew Valley and The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. And of course Valve classics like Portal 2 and Left 4 Dead 2.
You can view the entire list here
There may be some latency depending on the game, the connection, and the distance. But kudos to Newell and Valve for not playing the greed card here.
Valve now hovers at the top of my list as one of the most consumer-friendly companies out there. When it comes to juggernaut gaming entities (*cough* EA *cough* Activision *cough* Epic Games), can we agree that most of them are decidedly anti-consumer in their practices?