You Can Now Stream Your VR Games to Anyone via Steam Broadcasting
It is now possible for Steam customers to broadcast their VR games using Stream Broadcasting, announced, Valve Software on Wednesday. In order to enable this feature, users merely have to load up the Dashboard, invite a friend, and begin playing their game. To accept the invitation, all friends have to do is hit a button after the notification arrives.
Valve introduced Steam Broadcasting, which is still in beta form, back in December 2014. The service allows Steam gamers to stream what their listed friends are playing by hitting the Watch Game button. For instance, you noticed that a friend on your list is playing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, all you need do is right-click on his/her alias and you’ll see an option to watch the game on the list.
Procedure for Steam broadcasting
The great part of Steam Broadcasting is that users have the ability to decide who can and cannot watch a live stream. The first time a friend asks to watch a game, users are presented with the privacy settings list, with options including friends that only the user invites, friends that request to watch the game, any friend on the user’s list, and any Steam user. If the last option is chosen, the publicly exposed stream will be presented on that specific game’s hub.
In order to commence broadcasting, the user’s friend merely needs to click the Watch Game button — no manual startup is necessary save for launching the actual game. The stream automatically stops when the broadcaster is done playing and exits the game. A placeholder image is displayed, until the game resumes, if broadcasters need to pause and move to a different program for a moment because Steam can’t continue to render the game.
“You can optionally enable recording video of applications outside of your game through the Steam Client settings menu,” an FAQ by Valve stated. “Please remember that your broadcast viewers will be able to see any open windows when enabled.”
Steam broadcasting automatically transmits only the audio provided by the game. Broadcasters are however able to add additional commentary by plugging a microphone into their PC, using an option that can be enabled through the Steam Client’s Settings panel. Unfortunately, Steam Broadcasting is, for now, only supported on Windows 7 and Windows 8, and won’t arrive on Linux, Windows Vista, and OS X until sometime in the future.
In order to watch a broadcast on Steam, users will require the Steam beta client, Google Chrome version 39 or newer, Apple Safari version 8 or newer on OS X, Internet Explorer version 11 on Windows 8 only, or Mozilla Firefox version 42 or newer. Purchasing and installing a specific game will not be a requirement to watch its live broadcast.
Concerning specific rules when broadcasting, users are not allowed to show porn, broadcast movies, or TV shows, and cannot threaten or harass others, even if joking. Discussions relating to piracy, cheating, hacking, and game exploits are not allowed, and racism and discrimination is also not permitted. These are some of the restrictions put in place that can get users banned from Steam for life.
VR games on Steam broadcast
Adding Steam Broadcast support for VR games is a no-brainer. A large number of VR games currently exist in the Steam storefront for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, including Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, Zombie Training Simulator, Vanishing Realms, Apollo 11 VR, Catlateral Damage, Subnautica, Fantastic Contraption, and more.