We don’t know precisely what Steam streaming will be like - what sort of resolutions we’re looking at, whether we’ll need to trail a piece of string between our desktops and our TVs - but the bits that’ll surround it are starting to appear already in Steam beta.
A new ‘In-Home Streaming’ settings menu has been added to the Steam client in the latest beta update. As the above screencap from Steam Database reveals, players will be able to sync their display to any eligible devices detected on their local network.
To connect the two, you’ll only need to log into the same Steam account on both devices - in what presumably will be a very specific exception to the rule that currently prevents players from logging onto two PCs at once.
The choices for streaming are similarly simple, restricted to dropdown menus related to bandwidth and framerate limitation, and a tickbox used to disable hardware acceleration. Alongside these options, Valve recommend a switch in resolution to improve streaming performance.
Early this year, Gabe Newell quietly announced that Valve would be releasing three Steam Machines of their own - an ace PC, a decent PC, and a super-cheap streaming box. They’ll only make the latter viable by making some serious strides in the kind of tech that failed to make OnLive a successful venture.
In his analysis of Steam’s next decade, our Tim suggested that in-home streaming would be a disappointing experience if it launched tomorrow. Valve’s competitors in the field have struggled with lagginess and latency issues. But what do you reckon?