Valve just announced that its Steam Link Anywhere software is now in open beta testing on Android, Raspberry Pi and Steam Link devices.
As a software successor to the original Steam Link hardware that Valve killed off at the end of last year, Steam Link Anywhere allows you to stream any game from your Steam library to whichever of those aforementioned devices you choose. Keep in mind you’ll need strong enough internet signal for both the home PC and whichever device you’re streaming to for the whole setup to work.
Before Valve killed it off at the end of last year, the Steam Link was the best way to stream your game library from your PC to your living room. The drawback, however, was that the Link only worked on your home network.
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Steam Link Anywhere promises a more versatile experience, one that you can take with you… well, anywhere, and doesn’t require additional hardware.
The future of game-streaming
What Valve is doing with Steam Link Anywhere mirrors a lot of what’s happening elsewhere in the industry. Sony’s PlayStation Now software streams a library of games from Sony’s server to the PS4 and PC, while Microsoft has been hyping its upcoming xCloud software that will stream games to iOS, Android and, according to some rumors, even Nintendo Switch.
The difference between these services is that PlayStation Now and, presumably, xCloud, will be streaming games you don’t own via a subscription service model whereas Valve is simply making your own games available to you for free – a model that will appeal to more cost-sensitive gamers and those of us with already-massive Steam libraries.
In the same press release introducing Steam Link Anywhere, Valve said it will make more announcements at next week’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, specifically around new Steam Networking Sockets APIs that should make developing lag-free online play even easier for Steam developers.
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