PC software titan Valve announced today that the physical hardware for their Steam Links is sold out in Europe. For the U.S. audience, the hardware is nearly gone as well. Valve has committed to supporting currently existing Steam Links, although the company will not be producing any more for the foreseeable future. After the hardware sells out in the U.S., the only way to stream PC games to other devices via Steam’s interface will be through the Steam Link app.
Moving forward, Valve plans to continue distributing its Steam Link app, which is currently only available on Android devices via the Google Play Store. While initially slated for a release on iOS, Apple rejected the app because of concerns regarding “business conflicts.” The Steam Link app allows users to stream games from their PC to their phones. With most smartphones having Bluetooth, users can link most major controllers to their phones to play these streamed games.
The physical Steam Link came out November 10, 2015, coinciding with the release of the Steam Machines. The little device facilitated live, interactive game streaming from your PC to another display, ideally a TV in the living room. The Steam Link attempted to bring the PC into a communal space, assuming your home network could handle it. Gamers could pair a slew of controllers with it, including the Dualshock 4, the Xbox One controller, and the first-party Steam Controller.
In recent years, Valve has deeply discounted the $50 hardware, selling it sometimes for as low as $5. It has also been bundled with a variety of games, including DOOM, at a discount.
It’s a shame to see the Steam Link go out with a whimper. I own one, and I’ve found a lot of use from it. However, the discounts seem indicative of the Steam Link’s lack of success. Its three-year shelf life reflects poorly on device’s return on investment. With Valve shifting focus to the mobile app, I expect to see an iOS release sometime soon.
Have you been using the Steam Link app? If so, what do you think of it? Where would you like to see a Steam Link app appear next? Let us know in the comments below.