Steam In-Client Automatic Broadcasting And Viewing Options Available Now
Valve has announced a significant new beta feature for the Steam client. Now, any game in your library is available for streaming in the Steam client and you’ll be able to spectate your friends while they play.
The process seems simple. Once you opt into the beta client (available in the Settings > Account section of the preferences), you’ll see new options.
Watching a game is as simple as clicking the “Watch Game” button from a friend’s profile in the drop-down. When a friend requests to view your in-progress game, you’ll be presented with privacy options (and you can set your preferences to “invite only”).
Broadcasting begins automatically when a friend starts watching and stops when you close the game. That means you won’t need to fiddle with third-party software. You also won’t be broadcasting your desktop, as only the game is transmitted.
There are broadcast notifications so you know who is watching. You’ll also be able to see a list of viewers in the Steam overlay. There is no archiving though, so if you want videos on demand, you’ll want to keep using another service that offers that.
There are etiquette rules that prohibit offensive content of a sexual, racist, or threatening manner. The prohibitions also extend to swearing, so keep a clean mouth or you may be reported.
As a first step, this will provide an extremely easy way for more people to start streaming. The integration with the friends list makes this a strong addition to Steam’s social profile.
I’d like to see archiving added at some point, especially to make this more usable in a work setting. I also hope to see integration for voice chat through the broadcast for multiplayer settings. As is, this is wonderful news that will likely only improve over time.