Valve have quietly discontinued production of Steam Link hardware, the wee black box which plugs into your telly and home network to let you play PC games on the big screen streamed from another room. Their plan is to instead focus on the Steam Link app for mobile doodads and certain models of television. Supplies in Europe are already sold out, and Valve say they’re almost gone in the USA too. I am now kicking myself for not picking one up all those times they were £2 in sales.
“Moving forward, Valve [intend] to continue supporting the existing Steam Link hardware as well as distribution of the software versions of Steam Link, available for many leading smart phones, tablets and televisions.”
But continued hardware support is not continued hardware production. Flip. I should’ve grabbed one. I’ve heard good things about the Steam Link, an easy way to slouch on the couch with controller games. Sure, they added a little latency, were beholden to network conditions, didn’t look as good as playing on your PC directly, but that’s the nature of the technology. There are many games with which I’d accept that trade-off, and I know enough folks who recommended it with those provisos (including our Alec). And yet I kept forgetting to buy one.
The app works about the same but it’s not as simple as plugging a box into the telly. Mobile-wise it’s only on Android after Apple rejected Steam Link on iOS. And some fancy televisions can run the Steam Link app, but not the one we have at least. Frig. I should’ve got the box.