Couch Co-op in the Past
Remote play hasn’t always been around. Imagine. It’s the weekend. You get a break from school and you spend those two blessed days hanging over at your friend’s house. What do you do? You stay up all night playing Halo together or Smash Bros. Melee. It’s the time of your life. This friendship, this bonding, will stick with you for the rest of your life. I’m willing to bet that you can still remember the feeling of beating your friend on Mario Kart after getting beat for hours. The feeling of split-screen gameplay isn’t just for competing, but cooperation too. Halo’s co-op mode is something that I can specifically remember playing with my cousin years ago. Indeed, I don’t think I could ever forget.
Nowadays, multiplayer revolves around LAN connections and large servers filled with thousands of nameless players. If a game is advertised as multiplayer, you can tell without checking that it doesn’t include split-screen. When my 8-year-old brother wants to play a game with me, I’m hard-pressed to find a two-player title that doesn’t require a separate console. Solo campaigns and massive multiplayer collaborations are the current norm. Playing with friends has been reduced to an impersonal digital invitation to play. How do you recapture that feeling of playing your favorite couch co-op games when the world has evolved into server-based cloud gaming?
Remote Play on Steam
Steam swoops in to save the day with remote play gaming! You’re probably thinking “Aren’t all games technically remote?” To that, I say shut up and let me feel smart. Split-screen gaming is kept current with 4,000 titles able to be played over a network. No cold invitations, no uninvited strangers, and no separate copies of the same game. Sure, this isn’t traditional couch co-op, but the spirit remains. Steam is updating these split-screen games to be played over distances with a friend without them having to own the game. As long as you or your buddy owns the game, the two of you can still play together. This means that cooperative gameplay is more inclusive than ever.
Remote Play, Remote Wait
I know you’re excited. I am too! However, the service is currently undergoing beta testing and isn’t available to the general public. Yet. If this teaser isn’t enough for you, then feel free to check out the Steam blog page. They go into specifics on how to start sessions, not to mention all updates regarding the release of the Remote Play Together service!