Steam, the popular PC game digital distribution platform, has, in recent years, begun to focus not only on software but on hardware as well. The company has developed its own television-based gaming computer, controller, and virtual reality headset. One of its most interesting hardware innovations is the Steam Link, which is a small box that allows users to stream games from their PC directly to it so that they can be played on a television, making gaming a more comfortable and immersive experience. Samsung Smart TVs offer users a wide variety of features, including web browsing, built-in video streaming apps like Netflix and Hulu, and the ability to control the television from a smartphone. Soon, the two will be coming together, and in future versions of Samsung's Smart TVs, the Steam Link functionality will be built directly into the television itself.
The information was announced at the Steam Dev Days conference in Seattle, Washington. With Steam Link technology built into Samsung's Smart TVs, gamers will be able to stream modern games from their PC directly to their TV wirelessly, so that they can play their PC games from the comfort of any room. This allows all of the demanding, resource-intensive processing of the game to be done from the computer, so users can experience PC quality games without actually having to be physically close to their PC.
While many gamers will opt to use consoles such as the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One with their televisions, the built-in Steam Link functionality will eliminate the need to buy additional hardware, and may be an ideal option for those who prefer PC games over their console-based counterparts. As with the Steam Link itself, users will need to have some method of input to interact with the software, such as either a controller or a keyboard and mouse combo. It is possible that Samsung will include these items with the purchase of a Smart TV, or offer optional bundles that include them. There is no information available yet regarding when the first Samsung Smart TVs with Steam Link will be available, and the pricing options remain unknown at this point as well, though it's probably safe to assume that they will be priced similarly to (or slightly above) their latest Smart TVs currently available.