Well, I guess I don’t need this Steam Link I bought at launch anymore. If you own a Samsung Smart TV, you can now stream Steam games as if you had a dedicated box thanks to the Steam Link app available as a beta in the Samsung app store.
Valve released the Steam Link box in the fall of 2015. The box was meant to let you get your PC game on in your living room without having to drag your computer out or run some absurdly long cables. You simply plug the box into your TV, connected a compatible controller to the box, and you’re off and gaming.
There’s a catch (or three)
The app is free, but the requirements are pretty steep and compared to the actual Steam Link, the app is somewhat limited in capability. In addition to needing to own a Samsung Smart TV and a capable gaming PC, you’ll need a sturdy network connection. Wireless might work okay, but it’s not going to work for high-intensity games. You really want a wired connection for this.
The app supports 1080p resolution at a maximum of 60 frames per second right now. The only controllers currently compatible are the Steam Controller and the wired Xbox 360 controller.
If you weren’t already in the market for one of Samsung’s 4K sets, the Steam Link box is still going to be cheaper. If you already have the hardware, though, this is pretty nice, and the app is sure to improve by the time Valve and Samsung roll it out officially. Alongside PlayStation Now, Samsung is offering some viable ways to get gaming in your living room without ever having to plug in a cable or buy a console.