Valve today announced the release of two new apps for Android and iOS, both of which will allow you to access your Steam libraries from your phones or tablets. Don’t get too excited, though, as it will come with some limitations.
The larger of the two apps, Steam Link, would allow users to stream games from their PC or Mac to devices ranging from phones and tablets to Apple TVs. They could be controlled with Steam controllers or MFi controllers, with the company implying that more forms of control would also be available.
That’s not to say there aren’t caveats. For starters, you won’t be able to stream games to your phone from anywhere. To use Link, you must connect your device to your host system via a 5 GHz Wi-Fi network or via an Ethernet cable.
So at best, you’ll be able to play your Steam games in your living space. It’s not bad, but it’s not as free as “Playing Steam games on your phone” might imply. Also, the company hasn’t specified what other types of controllers will be available for Link players – touch control would be almost necessary for phone streaming, I think.
If the name sounds familiar, that’s because Steam Link is also the name of a device you can connect to your TV in order to stream games from your computer to the big screen. The app works pretty much the same, but without having to shell out $50 for an extra piece of plastic (we hope).
The company’s second offering, Steam Video, will allow users to watch videos from your Steam account on the go. While not quite Netflix or Hulu quality, Steam’s library of movies and shows isn’t insignificant. So if you need to catch up on Neill Blomkamp’s recent work, you can do so offline and streaming.
According to Valve, Steam Link is set to launch on May 21, with Steam Video coming “later this summer.”
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