Microconsoles are so hot right now. It’s a little ironic, given the increasing size of standard consoles over the years, but less space taken up on the entertainment center is nothing to complain about. Funny, but who would have suspected Valve would attempt to do it’s own micro-device for your big screen? That’s exactly what the company announced though, with the Steam Link.
The Steam Link is a streaming device that allows someone to simply and easily take the Steam games on their PC and put them on their favorite HDTV. No need to get the HDMI cables out and attach your PC to your TV. That would probably have been a bit of a nightmare for those of you with desktops. Nope, all this needs is to be connected to the same WiFi network as a computer that’s playing Steam games, and you’re set.
Which is why it’s so much better than any of those Steam Machines Valve and its partners have planned. They were good ideas in concept, and were the best option for playing on the big screen until the Steam Link was announced. But now that the Steam Link is here, well, who would want to go for a Steam Machine?
Think about it. The people who are most interested in playing Steam games on the big screen, all cozy with a controller in their living room, already have some sort of gaming PC setup. You don’t get to a PC library of 100+ titles by not having something that can handle them. A Steam Link would be a simple means of getting the games from point A to point B. Setup certainly sounds minimal, since the box automatically detects games it can stream on the network.
Plus, there’s the price to consider! The Steam Link is only going to be $50. That’s the price of a game. A Steam Machine, on the other hand, will be at least $350. Common sense dictates someone buy the streaming device and save the $300+ that would have gone toward a Steam Machine to use on games, or perhaps even another console to keep all gaming bases covered.
This also allows the serious PC gamers to keep doing what they do best – build their ideal computers. People do amazing things in pursuit of making the perfect platform for playing games. Adding $50 to their budget for their custom rig would almost be like letting them create their own Steam Machine.
The Steam Link is a great idea. The price point is perfect. The ease of use will allow anyone to set one up in their home. Plus, it will allow people who already have a comfortable setup enjoy their games in a more central environment compared to what they may have set up now. Plus, there’s no big Steam Machine investment. For $50, you really can’t go wrong when it’s released in November.