Steam Link, without the extra hardware? I’m listening.
Steam Link, for those not in the know, is a little set top box you can plug into your TV in order to quickly and easily stream Steam games over your home network. It essentially allows you to access your Steam account from the comfort of your couch, without having to drag your gaming PC out to the living room or lay extension cables through the house.
As convenient as Steam Link is it’s about to get even better, as Valve and Samsung have teamed up to eliminate the hardware step in the middle. That’s right: Steam Link is ditching its limited physical form and manifesting in the world as an enlightened official app instead.
If you live in the US, have a Steam Controller and a 2016 or 2017 UHD Samsung smart TV, you can try this out right now. Just connect your gaming PC and TV to your home network, visit the Samsung Smart Hub to grab the free beta build of the Steam Link app, and voila: your Steam library is accessible on your telly. It even supports the HTC Vive.
Valve recommends using a wired network if you can, or at least 5 GHz WiFI if that’s not possible.
During the beta, the Steam Link app will stream at 1080p 60 fps, but when the app releases worldwide during northern summer, you’ll be able to stream in 4K – and you won’t even need a Steam Controller. Huh. Steam hardware has been available for less than two years, but Valve seems determined to find more elegant solutions.
Not as good as flying cars, but still pretty cool. Let’s hope other TV manufacturers get on board.