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.
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!