Valve Announces $50 Steam Link
As if announcing a high-quality virtual reality gaming headset weren’t enough, on Tuesday Valve also announced Steam Link, a new way to zap your PC games to your TV, without having to move your rig at all.
Called Steam Link, the $49.99 product (Valve won’t specify what, exactly, Steam Link is) will “extend your Steam experience to any room in the house.” The mystery device will allow users to stream Steam content from PCs or Steam Machines on the same home network at 1080p and 60 HZ with “low latency.” Hopefully that will be a very low latency, because latency is probably the biggest hurdle for devices like this to overcome.
Steam Link is set to launch this November, and will also be bundled with the long-awaited Steam Controller – which will finally debut at GDC very shortly – for another $49.99.
There are no shortage of devices that mirror what happens on one screen onto a person’s television. From Chromecast to the Amazon Fire Stick, to the Microsoft Display Adapter, it’s easier than ever to sling your content from your computer to your TV. But high definition, low latency game streaming is a different story. While it may not matter how many seconds it takes for your TV to mirror what’s happening on your smartphone, as long as the sound and audio show up at the same time, you won’t notice. That’s not the case for a video game, which relies on moment-to-moment reactions and interaction.
If Valve has cracked this nut for a mere $50, sign me up. In the meantime, with all these new virtual reality headsets starting to show up, it’s harder than ever to resist the allure of video games.