Steam Link was a big move for Valve in 2015, because it allowed users to stream games onto their televisions, but with the catch that they’d have to be on the same Wi-Fi network as their PC that was streaming the game. Valve's new Stream Link Anywhere effort is going to change all that, by allowing users to stream their games to anywhere with an internet connection - even a mobile connection.
The original Steam Link was a piece of hardware that connected to your TV. Valve discontinued it in November, in favour of a simple Steam Link app, which is available for Android and Raspberry Pi. (The app is currently unavailable for iOS users, as it’s blocked by Apple.) As for Steam Link Anywhere, it's now in early beta. Steam users can test it by downloading the Steam Link beta (build 688).
Download the beta build to your gaming PC. It works with the Steam Link app on your device (only Android devices can try the new functionality). You’ll need a good upload speed for the computer hosting the games you want to stream and a solid network connection on your device.
Valve is unveiling this feature as game streaming is becoming a booming topic in the gaming industry. Microsoft just debuted its own feature that will allow users to stream Steam PC games to an Xbox, which is basically the same idea as the original Steam Link. Microsoft is also prepping an xCloud gaming streaming platform designed to work across consoles, PCs, and mobile devices.
In addition to Microsoft, Valve is also going to be facing competition from Google in the very near future. That company is expected to be making a major announcement at GDC 2019 that will most likely debut a new Yeti game streaming service alongside a hardware controller.
With all of the major players competing in the world of cloud-based game streaming, it's not outlandish to suggest that streaming services may be on the cusp of replacing the consoles that have taken over our living rooms for the past few decades. We're excited. Are you?