Valve has quietly updated the Steam page for the Steam Link. The message says that Valve is discontinuing the Steam Link. The device will become unavailable once all units have been sold.
When Valve introduced the Steam Link in 2015, your TV setup was completely different. Google, Amazon and Apple had just released Android TV, the Fire TV and tvOS. Smart TVs weren’t so smart. In other words, you had no way to install an app and run it on your TV.
The Steam Link was a tiny box with an HDMI port, USB ports, an Ethernet port, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and more. It could only do one thing — you could connect the Steam Link to a Steam client running on a powerful computer and play games on a different screen. Even before the Nintendo Switch, companies were thinking about ways to play the same game in multiple ways.
And if you were wondering why the Steam Link has yet to receive an update, you now have the answer. The company is switching to a software strategy.
“The supply of physical Steam Link hardware devices is sold out. Moving forward, Valve intends to continue supporting the existing Steam Link hardware as well as distribution of the software versions of Steam Link, available for many leading smart phones, tablets and televisions,” the company says on the store page.
You can still find devices on third-party retailers, but they’ll soon be all gone.
Going forward, you’ll be able to install the Steam Link app on your phone or Android TV device (including on the Fire TV if you side-load the app). You can then launch a Steam game on your PC and play it on your TV.
Unfortunately, Apple currently refuses to allow the Steam Link app on the App Store. I really hope that Apple is going to change its mind because it would be a pretty good gaming and entertainment system.