New options aren't functional, but provide a peak at Steam's future
An update to the beta version of Steam has partially revealed Valve's plans to make in-home streaming available to its users.
The feature isn't functional yet, but the news suggests the company is prepping to make streaming available to the 300 beta testers that are to receive their prototype Steam Machines at the end of the month.
In-home streaming has been billed as a major feature of Valve's campaign to bring PC gaming into the living room, teased in the Steam Machine and Steam OS announcements.
Right now the menu only allows one device with Steam installed to recognize another on the same network, and until Valve allows users to log in to a single Steam account on multiple devices streaming won't actually work.
It takes some tinkering to get to the streaming menu, but Steam Database has documented what needs to be done to see the new feature, even if a user can't actually stream games yet.
The fact that multiple devices will be able to access a single account simultaneously will be a big departure from the current purpose of Steam. Beneath the veneer of thousands of PC games available for purchase and download through a single portal, the platform is primarily about DRM.
Security might be a concern, but the new settings drive the imagination towards a future where gaming on a personal computer isn't quite so personal, but an experience that can be shared in the living room – maybe even allowing a family to have a single heavyweight computer driving several underpowered devices streaming from a shared account.