Steam announced that it would be rolling out Remote Play Together, allowing users to play local multiplayer and co-op without being, well, together.
As spotted by PCGamer, the feature was initially unveiled in a post on the Steamworks website that could only be accessed by developers, but has since been shared publicly. It looks like devs keen to take advantage of the feature won't have to do much, with Steam revealing that that "all local multiplayer, local co-op, and split-screen games will be automatically included in the Remote Play Together beta."
Offering a brief explanation as to how the feature works on Twitter, Steam staffer Alden Kroll explained it uses a combination of screen streaming and input capture. "[Remote Play Together] will allow friends to play local multiplayer games together over the internet as though they were in the same room together," he wrote. "It really is only for shared-screen or split-screen games. The tech is streaming your screen to your friend and capturing their input and sending it back to the game, so you are both playing the same game, looking at the same thing."
Basically, think of it like handing a virtual controller to your friend across the internet. No need to sync up busy schedules for an IRL meetup schedule or travel to meet online friends, you can just play anywhere with one copy of a game.
Remote Play Together will come to Steam Beta during the week of October 21st. This may give Parsec a run for its money (it’s free, but you know what I mean) in the remote play scene, and I say the choice and competition is good. The one thing I’m wondering is if Remote Play will work for non-Steam games added to your library, or if those are still locked to Parsec and other netplay systems. We’ll start finding out in just a couple weeks.