If you haven’t been following the news lately, Valve is doing a lot of legwork to invade the living room space that consoles like the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 are dominating. Valve’s attack is three-pronged, with SteamOS providing the base for their attack on Windows, the Steam Controller aiming to kick the Xbox 360 controller for Windows in the nads and the Steam Machines project, which allows system builders to sell Steam Machines that comply with minimum specification requirements that Valve has set out.
But there are a few other tricks that the company that does not develop Half-Life 3 is working on and one of those is game streaming, in the same way that Nvidia allows for game streaming to the Shield handheld gaming console. The closed beta for it started this week and already people are leaking out details about it to the world. Hit the jump for the first leaked video showing game streaming in action.
Game streaming is probably going to be the buzzword for 2014 and it’s going to be a really interesting change to how people play games in their home. The idea is that you have a much more powerful desktop sitting in your gaming cave or bedroom and instead of needing to sit down at your desk to play games, you can instead stream any game in your Steam library to any other compatible device in your home. This includes streaming to laptops which don’t have good integrated graphics, to tablets which are running the Steam client and also to SteamOS-running machines which will eventually have the feature baked straight into the operating system.
But because this is still in its infancy and doesn’t appear to need specialised hardware to function, it will take some time for the software to be properly ready because everything will have to be done in software. There will be some lag involved and in networks that don’t have 802.11n routers and compatible adapters there will be a bandwidth and coverage issue for most people that don’t have their Wi-Fi optimised. If you’re running on wired connections, though, there shouldn’t be any issues and it should be lag-free.
The video below shows the DayZ standalone alpha being run on a desktop computer and streamed to a run-of-the-mill Intel Core i5 laptop with integrated Intel HD graphics. The fact that it looks lag-free and could almost be running natively is incredible and I can’t wait to test this out on my own machine, assuming that it doesn’t need newer or more powerful hardware to function. Borderlands 2 on my netbook? Yes please!