Steam starts streaming movies, thanks to deal with Lionsgate

Lionsgate on Steam
Lionsgate on Steam

Everybody is getting into video streaming these days. It's like you can't turn around without another big name trying – perhaps somewhat haphazardly – to follow in Netflix's footsteps.

To cement that point, Valve, creators of the incredibly lucrative Steam online marketplace, have partnered up with Lionsgate to bring over 100 films to the Steam platform. This deal will include the Hunger Games, Twilight, Saw and Divergent franchises, with more standalone films and franchises to come down the line.

Instead of an all-you-can-stream model, however, Valve will sell films on a rental basis with most titles set at $4-5 (£3.49-5.59 and AU$3.99-7.99) and available to stream in 1080p resolution – sorry 4K fans, looks like you'll need to stick to Ultraflix for all your UHD needs.

Valve says that you'll be able to view videos on all Steam-supported platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux, SteamOS and in virtual reality via SteamVR on the HTC Vive.

There is one small caveat, however: Valve recommends at least a 12Mbps connection and a Core i3 processor for smooth, lag-free playback.

Admittedly, if you're watching a film on your gaming PC where I presume you would already have Steam installed, a Core i3 processor and a 12Mbps connection are probably a low-bar for you to jump.

To be totally honest, a movie partnership with Lionsgate doesn't make a whole lot of sense from Valve's point of view unless, perhaps, it's interested in filling out the Vive's content catalog with a few films that it can use to lure in potential buyers.

A game rental business like Sony's PlayStation Now program would probably be a bit more of a logical step to take, but there's always more than meets the eye when it comes to these sorts of deals – i.e. don't be surprised when Valve and Lionsgate announce a Half-Life or Portal film adaptation.

Some films are available to stream starting today but only in certain regions. Check out the Lionsgate sale page on the Steam store to see which films are available to stream in your location.

Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.