Steam Link

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Steam Link
DeveloperValve
TypeSet-top box
Release dateNovember 10, 2015 (2015-11-10)
Lifespan2015–2018
Introductory priceUS$49.99
DiscontinuedNovember 2018 (2018-11) (hardware only)
Operating systemCustomized Linux[1]
System on a chipMarvell DE3005-A1
CPU1.0 GHz Single-core ARMv7[1]
Memory512 MB
Storage4 GB
GraphicsVivante GC1000 GPU
Controller input
Connectivity802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, 100 Mbit/s Fast Ethernet
Online servicesSteam
Dimensions
  • 0.59 in (15 mm) H
  • 4.85 in (123 mm) W
  • 3.53 in (90 mm) D
WebsiteSteam Link

Steam Link is a hardware and software product developed by Valve Corporation for streaming Steam content from a personal computer or Steam Machine wirelessly to a mobile device or other monitor. Steam Link was originally released as a hardware device alongside the debut of Steam Machines in November 2015.[2] Valve discontinued the Steam Link hardware device in November 2018, in favor of supporting its software-based Steam Link application for mobile devices and smart televisions, as well as providing Steam Link as a software package for the Raspberry Pi microcomputer.

Functionality[edit]

Steam Link, whether in hardware or software form, supports the streaming of content from a personal computer running Steam to the video device (a connected television or monitor for the hardware unit, the mobile device's screen for the software version). In this setup, the device acting as the Steam Link (the hardware unit or the mobile device in software form) enables a game controller connected to it to be used to control the game over the connection to the home computer.

Prior to March 2019, both the personal computer and the Steam Link hardware device or mobile device using Steam Link software had to be on the same internal network. With an update in March 2019, Valve introduced the Steam Link Anywhere update that allows one to stream across the internet, though the performance of the streaming will be strongly affected by the bandwidth and latency between the personal computer and device with Steam Link.[3]

Hardware[edit]

Steam Link is a stand-alone hardware device to enable streaming of Steam content from a personal computer or a Steam Machine wirelessly to a television set, including integration of Steam Controller gamepad. The device was released along with the debut of Steam Machines in November 2015.[2] Valve quietly discontinued the Steam Link in November 2018, in favor of supporting its software-based Steam Link application for mobile devices, smart televisions, and a software package for the Raspberry Pi.

Steam Link is listed as having the following technical specifications:[4]

  • Wired 100 Mbit/s Fast Ethernet and Wireless 802.11ac 2×2 (MIMO)
  • 3× USB 2.0 ports
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • HDMI out
  • Support for the following control peripherals: Steam Controller, DualShock 4, Xbox One or 360 Wired Controller, Xbox 360 Wireless Controller for Windows, Logitech Wireless Gamepad F710, or keyboard and mouse

A tear-down revealed the following specific hardware parts:[5]

  • Marvell DE3005-A1 CPU
  • Marvell WiFi chip 88W8897
  • Vivante GC1000 GPU

The Steam Link comes with power adapters for various countries.

Software (hardware)[edit]

Operating system[edit]

The Steam Link uses a modified version of Linux based on version 3.8 of the Linux kernel.[1] It is possible to enable root SSH access to the system.

SDK[edit]

One month after release, support was added to the Steam Link to have Steam Link apps, which can be created using an SDK.[1][6] A number of such apps have been created, such as apps for accessing Kodi, but no database or store for them exists as of November 2017.

Games and applications[edit]

Any Steam game that can run on the host computer can be streamed to the Steam Link. On Linux host it is also possible to stream a Windows game using the Proton beta (released August 2018[7]). Non-Steam games can be played as well.[8]

Discontinuation[edit]

Valve announced in November 2018 that they are no longer manufacturing the Steam Link hardware device, and will sell off the remaining stock. Valve will continue to support software and device updates to existing Steam Link hardware, but are directing users towards the mobile app to provide the same functionality.[9][10]

Software (application)[edit]

Steam Link
Developer(s)Valve
Initial release2018; 6 years ago (2018)
Operating systemiOS, Android, Linux, macOS, Windows, tvOS, Android TV, Meta Quest[4]
Websitestore.steampowered.com/steamlink

In May 2018, Valve announced it would release the Steam Link application for iOS, Android, tvOS, and Android TV devices that will allow users to play streaming games to these devices, without the need for the Link hardware.[11] However, Apple rejected the application from its App Store because of "business conflicts with app guidelines".[12] The app was eventually released on iOS in May 2019.[13]

In December 2018, Valve released a Linux version of the Steam Link software for ARM architecture, targeting Raspberry Pi 3, 3 B+, and 4.[14][15] In March 2021, Valve released the app for X86-64 Linux platforms and macOS.[16][17]

Steam Link had been released on Samsung smart TVs in 2018.[18] However, with the introduction of Samsung's Gaming Hub across its devices, Samsung discontinued the app in November 2023.[19]

Virtual reality[edit]

On November 30, 2023, Valve released the Steam Link client for Meta Quest 2, 3 and Pro,[20] which allows streaming content from a PC running SteamVR to the devices over a local Wi-Fi network. On Meta Quest Pro, eye and facial tracking data can also be transmitted to VR software using OSC. The software competes primarily with the Meta Quest "Air Link" feature, and third-party app Virtual Desktop.[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Lawler, Richard (March 3, 2015). "$50 Steam Link streams PC games anywhere within your house". Engadget. Retrieved March 6, 2015.
  2. ^ McWhertor, Michael (March 14, 2019). "Valve's new Steam Link update lets you stream anywhere". Polygon. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Steam Link". Valve.
  4. ^ "What's the Steam Link Made of ? – Boiling Steam".
  5. ^ "Steam Link beta build 449 :: Steam Link General Discussions".
  6. ^ "Steam for Linux :: Introducing a new version of Steam Play". Valve. 21 August 2018.
  7. ^ "Steam Link FAQ". Valve. Archived from the original on 30 May 2018.
  8. ^ Hollister, Sean (November 19, 2018). "Farewell to the Steam Link, the best wireless HDMI gadget ever made". The Verge. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  9. ^ "Valve's Steam Link is dead, and that sucks". PCWorld. 2018-11-20. Retrieved 2018-12-15.
  10. ^ Pereira, Chris (May 9, 2018). "Valve Will Soon Let You Play All Your Steam Games On Your Phone". GameSpot. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  11. ^ Apple rejects Valve’s Steam Link game streaming app over ‘business conflicts’ – Nick Statt, The Verge, 24 May 2018
  12. ^ Byford, Sam (May 15, 2019). "Valve's Steam Link app is finally available for iOS and Apple TV". The Verge. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  13. ^ "Valve's Steam Link For Raspberry Pi Now Available – Phoronix". Phoronix.com. Retrieved 2018-12-15.
  14. ^ Cross, Brad (December 3, 2018). "Valve's Steam Link app for Raspberry Pi lets you build your own PC game-streaming box". PC World. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  15. ^ Peters, Jay (March 2, 2021). "You can now beam Steam games from your PC to practically anyone, anywhere, for free". The Verge. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  16. ^ Warren, Tom (March 23, 2021). "Valve releases Steam Link app for macOS". The Verge. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  17. ^ "Samsung TV Steam Link App – Steam Link – Knowledge Base – Steam Support". support.steampowered.com. Retrieved 2019-01-02.
  18. ^ Roth, Emma (October 23, 2023). "Samsung TVs had Steam Link, but now the game streaming app is going away". The Verge. Retrieved December 1, 2023.
  19. ^ "Steam News - New: Play Steam VR games on Meta Quest 2, 3, and Pro - Steam News". store.steampowered.com. 2023-11-30. Retrieved 2024-03-25.
  20. ^ Peters, Jay (2023-11-30). "Steam Link can now wirelessly stream VR games to your Meta Quest headset". The Verge. Retrieved 2023-12-03.

External links[edit]