Gaming giant Valve has recently announced that later this year it will start a beta test for the upcoming streaming functionality for it’s digital game-download service Steam. Players who want to be part of the beta for this service should join the new Steam In-Home Streaming community.
With the Streaming feature, Valve plans to make playing computer-based games more like playing console games. The idea: Run the game on a powerful system, such as a game-optimized desktop PC; then stream that game to a less powerful computer, say a laptop in your living room, whether you are playing it right there on the couch or hooking it up to your TV.
The In-Home Streaming will be a key feature for the company’s upcoming Steam Box — a specialized TV set-top box running the Linux-based SteamOS. Steam games made for Linux will run with little work, but considering that about 90% of games on Steam are made for Windows and not Linux, the In-Home Streaming is necessary to send those games from your computer to the Steam Box.
Along with the announcement in September of the SteamOS and Steam Box, came a Steam Controller. The ecosystem that these three provide, supported by in-house streaming, is Valve’s attempt to keep computer games competing with console gaming for home dominance.