Apologies, I’m a tiny bit late on this one as it seemed to pass me by, but it turns out that Valve is going to be releasing a Steam Link app for iOS and Android, and it’s going to be out this month. In a nutshell, this is an app that will do exactly what a Steam Link will do, allowing users to stream Steam from their PC to their mobile device, or even pipe it over your home network and straight onto an Apple TV or a TV running Android TV.
The initiative will be formed of two free apps - the Steam Link and the Steam Video app. The Steam Link app is what you’ll be wanting for all your gaming needs. It’s launching on the week of May 21st, and it’ll run over wired Ethernet or through a 5Ghz wifi network. For optimal performance, a wired Ethernet network is of course preferable. Over 5GHz, Valve’s target is 1080p at 60 frames per second, while with a very capable PC and a wired network, it is feasible to stream at 4K 60FPS.
In terms of getting the app working, all you’ll need to do is install the app on your phone, tablet or TV, pair it up with a compatible Bluetooth controller, and then use the app to connect to your local computer. From within the app you’ll have total access to the Steam library that’s currently on your PC, and can download, play online, etc.
When it comes to the Steam Link hardware, Valve insists that it still has a purpose as it supports a wide variety of input devices and is specifically designed for low latency streaming on a TV. As such Valve will continue “to support the product and believe it is a valuable part of the Steam Link ecosystem.”
To all intents and purposes though, the Steam Link hardware is deader than Half-Life 3 after this news. Pretty much everyone has a smartphone these days, while Android TV is also becoming ubiquitous for anyone who picks up a new display. To that end, there’s just no need to have dedicated hardware when it can already by devices that plenty of people already own. If you’ve already got a Steam Link then it’ll do the job (albeit limited to 1080p), but it makes the hardware a tough sell from here onward.
The second, altogether less interesting app, is Steam Video. This app will allow users to stream video from their Steam video library to their Android or iOS devices, devices which already have unfettered access to potentially millions of videos already. Still, if you’ve got a burgeoning Steam video library, the choice is there.
Anybody planning to give the Steam Link app a shot? Is this the beginning of the end for the Steam Link hardware?