Last year at CES 2014, when Valve announced Steam Machines, one of the thing that stood out was the lack of a cheap, simple machine dedicated solely to streaming PC games from one source to another. After all, Valve had implemented Steam-in-home streaming into its venerated games service and pigeon-holed it as a cornerstone of the Linux-based SteamOS- a much-needed one, given relatively small number of native Linux games. But everything at CES was a computer in-and-of itself, capable of running games on its own accord.
Now, Valve is prepping a set-top box device that will make it easy to stream games from the PC to the TV. The maker also appears to be on track for the 2015 launch of its long-awaited Steam Machine.
About Steam Link, Valve said, it is designed to take advantage of the PC horsepower one already has at home, with In-Home Streaming. All that Steam Link requires are gaming PC and a fast home network. It will support 108p full HD streaming at 60Hz with low latency. The device is expected to hit the market by November this year at the price of $50. Steam Controller could be purchased for an additional $50. The rate applies only for US. Worldwide pricing will be announced more closer to the launch.
Using Steam Link is very simple. One need to connect Steam Link to your TV and Wi-Fi network and stream Steam library to the TV. According to Valve, the device will “discover any computer running Steam on the same network.”
The news comes after Valve last year delayed the launch of its Steam Machines until 2015. It was supposed to be out in 2014 but apparently Valve needed more time. The devices are on track for 2015, though, as Syber, a new Cyberpower division, announced today that it will have six Steam Machines on sale this fall, starting at $449. At GDC, Cyberpower is showing off three systems: a preview of Steam Machine-Mini; a prototype of Steam Machine-Mercury; and a concept of Steam Machine-Switch.
Valve, meanwhile, also has a new version of its game engine, dubbed Source 2, which will be free for content developers. Adding to the family, the company has displayed a virtual reality headset with HTC called Vibe at MWC this year.