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Free your PC games with Steam in-home streaming

Jonathan Lester
PC games, Steam

Free your PC games with Steam in-home streaming

Following an extensive beta period, Valve has now unleashed Steam's in-home streaming functionality to all, allowing us to run our games on a beefy gaming desktop but play them on less powerful laptops, notebooks or Home Theatre PCs.

Game on.

The newly-updated splash page contains everything you need to know about the new service, which boils down to simply logging into Steam, logging in on another computer on your home Wi-Fi network and then selecting the game in question. It'll run on your primary gaming system, but footage and controller inputs are streamed wirelessly between the two machines with little latency.

"It all happens in milliseconds," claims Bandai Namco. "With good hardware and a fast home network, you’ll forget the game is running remotely."

The benefits are manifold. Not only can you open up your PC library to other rooms in the house using your existing hardware, without investing in new rigs or pricey wired/wireless solutions, but you also won't have to download the same games several times on each machine.

We suspect that you'll ideally need a decent dual-band router, though, such as we see with the NVIDIA Shield. Yes, I do actually own one of those. I should probably write something about that in due course.

With the 'Steam Machines' just around the corner, we reckon that Valve and participating OEMs will look to position several models as dedicated powerful base units, and others as inexpensive streaming clients. Mind you, they'll have to sort out Linux compatibility first - it's "coming soon."

Either way, more choice is good and we'll check out the service shortly. For now, give it a go and let us know how you get on!

Add a comment6 comments
imdurc  May. 22, 2014 at 12:26

Yeah, I've been in the beta from very early on and right from the start, it really impressed me.

I was playing games like Just Cause 2 and Spec Ops: The Line on my 2006 laptop with little to no issues. Only Black Ops II gave some trouble, but being a twitchy online FPS, that was to be expected.

I haven't tried it in around 6-8 weeks, so it'll be interesting to see how much further the optimisation has gone. They certainly added some nice options to tweak it to your own personal situation.

Now, if only Steam captured video... :P

chieftex  May. 23, 2014 at 00:15

I'm in the same boat - tried it about 3 months ago and liked it, but will be interested to see what's new now.

By the way, what have Namco Bandai got to do with this? I see their quote, is it to do with Dark Souls 2?

Oh and also, I think you meant "manyfold" rather than "manifold", which means something else :)

Last edited by chieftex, May. 23, 2014 at 00:17
JonLester  May. 23, 2014 at 09:01

@imdurc: Heh, I'm sure they'll add video capture at some point - especially since many gamers will demand it on SteamOS/Steam Machines.

@chieftex: As far as I can see, Dark Souls II is the poster boy for in-home streaming. On merits of it being super-popular and stuff.

Oh, and I do mean '"manifold"'. ;) Though "manyfold" would do just fine.

Last edited by JonLester, May. 23, 2014 at 09:02
chieftex  May. 23, 2014 at 09:29

Fair enough - I though it was a "US vs British" English thing, in terms of common use :)

theslickmeister  May. 23, 2014 at 10:31

I would dearly love to be able to minimise the game on the host machine so you can continue to use it for other means (so the kids can play while I work), but I don't see that happening without developer support and virtual mouse/keyboard handling, but I can dream.

davidpanik  May. 23, 2014 at 11:18

I hadn't even realised this was in beta! So they all really need to do now is release the Steam controller, and that will be all of the promised components of the fabled "Steam Box" a reality.

I did try this out at home last night, but my pishy Netbook running XP just wasn't up to the task.

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