Soon you’ll be able to enjoy your entire Steam library of games on your mobile device. No that’s not a typo. Well, sorry, it is a typo - Steam will actually be available on mobile devices plus devices running Android TV and your Apple TV.
Anything that runs iOS and Android, basically.
It’s all thanks to a new Steam Link app that Valve just announced. The app will be available on Android (phone, tablet, TV) and iOS-based (iPhone, iPad, Apple TV) devices, and will allow you to play games from your Steam library while connected via 5Ghz network or wired via Ethernet to a Mac or PC.
What we’re picturing in our heads is a Steam Link but on your phone and tablet - a game-changing feature for Valve’s Steam platform.
Valve also announced an app for Steam Video, which brings the Steam video library with to your Android and iOS devices over Wi-Fi or LTE as well.
According to a follow-up email from Valve, the Steam Link app is targeting a release date somewhere during the week of May 21, with a public beta available for Android owners at some point in the near future.
Goodbye Steam Machines, Hello Steam Handhelds
The news of the two new Steam apps was delivered via a short blog post. Valve didn’t offer much in the way of additional details - but, with the release date for the app so close, Valve would probably rather us wait to test the software for ourselves instead of posting a convoluted explainer that could be subject for misinterpretation.
On paper at least, the idea of a mobile Steam Link app is great. It’s the evolution of the Steam Machine idea brought to mobile phones, a device everyone owns.
More importantly, it shows that Valve is willing to forgo releasing frivolous hardware if it can instead reach more customers - an approach that many companies might be afraid of taking. Most times, if there’s money to be made on hardware, a company will take it.
We’ve yet to use the app for ourselves, but we’ll be sure to post our impressions of the app’s performance when we do.
- Speaking of impressions, don't miss a second of our team's coverage of Google IO 2018