[Update: Available Now] Steam Link is coming to Android to stream your PC game to your Android device
For many, games on Android are casual. They tend to be timewasters, with very few Android games actually being serious. That’s set to change with the introduction of the Steam link application launching on May 21st (in beta) on Android. It is also planned for an iOS launch at a later date. Users of the platform will be able to stream their PC games to their mobile phone, though only through an ethernet connection or 5GHz WiFi connection. Once connected, users will be able to use Bluetooth controllers, including but not limited to the Steam Controller itself.
Of course, a major drawback is that you won’t be able to play over your LTE connection, but that’s fine – not only will bandwidth be an issue for many, but latency as well will be a problem. You won’t exactly be playing high-octane games on your phone either, with slower pace games such as Game Dev Tycoon or Scribblenauts being better suited to a touchscreen. With a Steam Controller, however, there’s nothing stopping you playing the likes of Portal 2, Grand Theft Auto, Civilisation V, and more. This opens the door to a huge amount of games you can play on your phone, and while it may be a niche for some, others will find that it will become one of the best ways to play games on Android.
It’s unknown just how well it works yet, but thanks to the nature of Android it also means that you should, in theory, be able to also stream the games to your Android TV. Those who have Samsung Smart TVs or an NVIDIA Shield will already be able to stream their games from their PC running Steam. For those who are interested in attempting to stream games from their PC now, you can give Moonlight a try. It incorporates the NVIDIA Shield protocols in a third-party implementation – though it only works if your PC has an NVIDIA graphics card.
Update: Steam Link (BETA) available now.