Valve is now taking orders for its Steam Link device that will enable PC gamers to play games from their Steam catalog on any TV in the house.
The Steam Link is a bridge which can plug into your PC via Ethernet and display the imagery on another display. It can decode compressed 1080p, 60-frame-per-second video from the PC and then route it to your TV. The Steam Link has HDMI out, USB, and wireless connectivity so that you have several options for how to connect to the TV. This lets you play small indie games or big-budget PC blockbusters in your living room, besting the options found in setup boxes (provided you have a good home network).
In the living room, you can play a game using a Steam Controller (sold separately) on your couch. Steam Link’s performance is entirely dependent on the performance of your PC, as it is streaming imagery from your gaming computer. Video and audio data is sent from the computer to your TV, and your controller input is sent back in real time. Just about every Steam game can run on Steam Link, Valve says.
The Steam Link is now available for preorder for $50.
Doug Lombardi, head of marketing at Valve, said in an email that Valve started shipping orders today for those who participated in the limited preorder in June. The full launch is November 10, and Valve is now accepting preorders for that date. The current incentive is a free copy of Rocket League and Portal 2.