You can now stream your Steam library to another computer, allowing you access to PC quality gaming without the need of a huge gaming machine in your lounge.
Earlier this year, the company allowed a small test group access to the service, but now anyone is able to access in-home streaming. The major change that you will notice too, is that it’s now possible to have two Steam clients logged in at the same time. To use streaming, you’ll need this, and both machines will need to have the client installed and running.
The really great news is that the “receiver” doesn’t need to be that powerful. It doesn’t even need to run Windows, so those old Linux and Apple laptops you might have could be brought back into service, as long as they aren’t too long in the tooth.
Valve’s gaming platform, Steam, is one of the most popular ways to play PC games. And, Valve seems keen to keep innovating to because last year it announced that it would allow you to stream games from your main, powerful, desktop computer to another, less powerful machine elsewhere in your house.
The idea is really that, rather than stream a game, you’re sending video to a less powerful machine, and control signals back from that machine to control the game. It’s simple in theory, but in gaming milliseconds count, and lag is unacceptable. Testing the beta was interesting, and not everything worked, but for the most part, the results were encouraging. It certainly gave some pause for thought about buying a next-generation console.
With all the fuss about Steam Boxes, the in-home streaming innovation seemed to get somewhat lost. For us, this is a more useful technology than buying a whole new gaming machine. This is something we can all do, and do it we shall. Right now.