Valve introduces a new way for you to play PC games in your home

In-home streaming leaves beta and is now available to all 75 million Steam users.

Valve announced today that its new in-home streaming feature, which allows you to stream games from a "main" computer to any other rig in your home, is now available to all 75 million Steam users. Previously, the feature was only available to some users in beta.

One of the main benefits of Steam in-home streaming is that you can play your PC games on a lower-spec computer because they are not actually running on that rig, only being streamed to it. Video and audio are streamed from your main computer over your network.

Steam's in-home streaming service also works across platforms, allowing you to stream from a Windows computer to a computer running OS X, Linux, or SteamOS. In the future, Valve says it will allow OS X, Linux, and SteamOS machines to host streams.

Using Steam's new in-home streaming, you could also hook up your laptop or low-end PC to your TV and stream games to it using Steam's Big Picture mode.

The arrival of in-home streaming comes ahead of the official release of Steam Machines and the Steam Controller later this year. You can read more about Steam in-home streaming at Valve's website.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and is a big UCONN athletics fan.

Discussion

336 comments
Kingjahobe
Kingjahobe

Playstation does it and it's lame.Valve does it and it's innovative????????????????

gamefreak215jd
gamefreak215jd

Cool so now you could connect a low end mini atx PC (steam machine) to your TV and then stream all the juice from your beastly rig and then play games sitting on a couch with a controller.

KSSuperhero
KSSuperhero

Wow Valve releases another thing we dont need or care about. Im gonna love watching their steambox go flop flop.

danyjr
danyjr

Big up to Valve. For me, they are the winner of this generation of gaming.

zakaweb
zakaweb

I played Dark Souls 2 on my Dell Venue Pro 8 last night in bed and it was amazing.  There is no lag and it's like playing max settings on any game.  This was a pleasant surprise.  I love all gaming consoles, mobile, pc...

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Steam is expanding into the living room at a pretty good pace.  While Microsoft and Sony and Nintendo fight like fools Valve is quietly taking over.

majere613
majere613

I hope no-one who's been bashing the power consumption of the recent generation of consoles is planning to use this.

Anyway, I'm sure it'll be handy for some people, but it seems to me that a better-performing alternative just involves a couple of long USB cables and an HDMI lead.

gtg246x
gtg246x

I tried this yesterday, worked really well.  I have a little more money invested in my network though, so my expectations are a little higher....(shielded cat 6, DGC 16 port unmanaged gigabit switch) between both computers.  One being a steam box downstairs, the other being a custom PC.   Still the performance was good, there was some definite input lag when using the "best looking" setting.  But then I realized it was trying to capture and stream at native resolution upstairs(3840x2160), which downsampled to 1080p in the living room and looks flipping apazeballs.  Once I adjusted the resolution upstairs the input lag got alot more tolerable.

Hurvl
Hurvl

That'd be great if I had more than one computer and if I played games that required more hardware juice than my current PC, but my gaming laptop can play anything I want to play and I mostly want to play old games or really old games.

GSGuy321
GSGuy321

I always picture EA meetings as guys in suits (who know absolutely nothing about gaming) sitting around a conference table looking at pie charts and graphs. Almost always making horrendous decisions that are short sided and only focused on meeting quarterly profits. 

Meanwhile over at Valve, Gabe is like, "so what are the gamers saying on the forums... Ok, lets do it." 

Without the added interference of shareholders, Valve almost always gets it right. A truly remarkable (privately held) company.

smlrll
smlrll

there will be too much lag for on-line games!!!!

GSGuy321
GSGuy321

It's a brilliant way of getting around the fact that SteamOS (Linux) will ship with limited support for games. Now, if you already have a Windows Rig, it effectively allows a Steam Box to run all those games from the get go and beyond. Gabe just basically allowed SteamOS (Linux) to receive the entire library of games from the get go.

It's much better idea than say PS Now which is a cloud streaming service that effectively makes the PS4 run PS3 games. Cloud streaming needs to go, and The Gaben even said he would like to see it gone forever.

jb34304
jb34304

I can't be alone here, but I would rather see Half-Life 3 released. I mean come on we already made him a religious symbol. Ask and we shall receive right? http://gm1.s-ports.ru/sites/default/files/styles/400x/public/jesus-gabe-newell_o_932197.jpg


But my real point is: The Steam Box was designed to run the games. This software completely circumvents that, and takes away from the core business model of the Steam Box. I genuinely feel bad for the companies that invested in creating the dedicated Steam Boxes.


Sure the Steam Boxes can do this too, but why would someone buy one when a person could stick  $300 worth of new computer parts in their computer and get the same or better result? And it would upgrade the general performance of their PC. I am all for pro consumer options, and this really is pretty much a win-win for the consumer only. Except for Steam that is....


Blank2k2
Blank2k2

It's a shame my laptop's power now puts my old gaming rig to shame, I've been waiting for this technology to "happen" for years... non-the-less, I'll revive the old rig and test it out soon enough just to see how the latency is on my network, if they can reduce the latency to a seamless standard and at a respectable resolution, then in the near future I'll think about building a new rig.

so_hai
so_hai

Windows can do this already, can't it?

WolfgarTheQuiet
WolfgarTheQuiet

So instead of having one PC running you have to just so you could play in the other part of the house on your laptop. Guess electricity must be getting affordable haha, can i come to that country lol.


Are you going to be playing on your PC, then if you have to take a s-h-i-t you take your laptop with you and continue game play. Thats funny

onixevil
onixevil

i want to play steam on vita.

onixevil
onixevil

That's better at least for kicking Nvidia Grid service aside

dkeeney4093
dkeeney4093

Just one simple question, why would one want to stream a video game?  I mean that just sounds horrible, just hearing the word stream you should expect choppy game play right?  Whats the point is all i am asking? Are the games free if you stream?

hesoyamdon
hesoyamdon

Sony has this feature on ps4 via ps vita, and it soon will come on to vita tv, technical it can work on ps3 too ( ps4 streaming via ps3), maybe with all sony device too, maybe this feature can be included with ps now service, so ya we might be paying for streaming our ps3 or ps4 game via any device !

Penguinlord1
Penguinlord1

Oh Father Gaben, the one true love of my life. Your like a nerdy-looking Santa Claus that works year-round, delivering new features, and Steam sales to us, your chosen disciples.

GunEye
GunEye

OK don't start bashing me, but I have just tried this at home - and this works very poorly:

So first, I have two PCs, both can run gaming well, only PC#1 is much more higher end than PC#2 (which still have a good GPU, CPU and stuff).

PC#1 runs on Win8.1, PC#2 on Win7. Both are cable-connected to the same network via router (network cards are 1Gb and internet speed is 100Mbs - does streaming works on internet speed or network speed?)


Ok so first - it seemed to work flawlessly - I saw the STREAM button on PC#2 - and launched DmC Devil May Cry - on my 2nd rig.

I watched as both pcs run DMC - and seem to mirror exactly the same game. I was also able to control the game using gamepad, keys and mouse - on both systems - so basically I can use the mouse of PC#1 and then go and use the keyboard of PC#2 at the same time.


Now the issues started: I immediately felt how PC#2 is responding slowly with great lag: I pressed the arrow keys up and down and there was a split second delay before it read my keystrokes.

I started TRAINING mode - which is fairly undemanding mode: and saw how my game runs terrible jumpy, slow, with choppiness and lag, and even some millisecond screen flicking (rare).

The FPS was reported on PC#2 as 30-40 - when on PC#1 (higher end) it was running on solid 60fps. It should have been much higher than 30-40 probably, because my 2nd PC can handle it better.

Still it didn't even felt like 30-40: it was much much worse... worse than Blighttown in DarkSouls 1 on consoles..


Finally - after quitting the game - I saw a message on PC#1: "disconnected from in-home streaming PC NAME". I went to my 2nd pc and saw that it CRASHED - black screen of death.


So not only streaming is choppy as hell, it is also buggy, laggy, and causing crashes.

Anyone else experiencing this? the choppiness? extensive lag? or crashes?

mfer2114
mfer2114

@Kingjahobe Your streaming games you already own within your own home, thats not what playstation now is

Plasros
Plasros

@skayj2 Why would I give in to gaming on an all round inferior platform which a company in question decides to control at all cost, PC is where flexibility and customisation is. I don't want to be treated like an imbecile by a company, I'm not happy with inferior experiences. Just look at the upcoming games for the so called "next gen" platforms - not even capable of doing 1080p 60 fps  - which has been standard on PC for quite a while now. Having standards is an all round good thing for consumers and developers alike because we can get much more out of our hobby. Graphics are a huge part of owning a PC, but there are other countless pros to owning a PC which far out do owning a closed system such as a console.

Goddammitj
Goddammitj

@skayj2  I just read about 50 comments and not one was as you described.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@skayj2 "Just because you own a rig doesn't mean you're better than people who don't own one."

Why?

zakaweb
zakaweb

@gtg246x I figured the resolution thing out to and was very pleased.  Playing on my tablet which has a 1280x800 had no lag at all and the games I tried were maxed out. This really is an awesome feature.

Madgnad
Madgnad

@jb34304 It has been stated by Valve that they wanted to do a 3 tier system for the Steam Boxes. Good, better, Best. 


If people could get a good $99 box that is meant for streaming but it can also run light weight games on the device itself, that may be a viable product. Remember not everyone has the same needs, some people might find this to be a good investment.

Caldrin
Caldrin

@so_hai out of the box no.. i am sure there is software out there that could do it..

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@dkeeney4093 Streaming over the internet is slow.  Streaming across your local router which gets >50MB/s speeds is not slow.

purplestone6988
purplestone6988

@dkeeney4093  the games arent free, you can only stream the games you already own from one computer to another one thats in your home.

WolfgarTheQuiet
WolfgarTheQuiet

@dkeeney4093  So instead of having one PC running you have two just so you could play in the other part of the house on your laptop plus using you bandwith.

WolfgarTheQuiet
WolfgarTheQuiet

@ParanoidPaal  Cant you just play on your main PC. Never saw the point in this game streaming. Reminds me of when i was a kid, my cousin reads a comic, then instead of leaving it he takes it to the shithouse with him lol, in this case would be taking laptop to the shithouse and continuing haha

GunEye
GunEye

@Penguinlord1 Man I think of Gabe Newell, this badass superhero nerd, confronting with the juggernauts of the gaming industry: EA, Sony, Microsoft and more.. and freaking winning time and again. With his simply innovative software, and fantastic platform for games and online store. I mean I have nothing against the other companies, but this guy Gabe must be slapping himself in the face every morning say: "Who's the man?!" - Seriously - must feel awesome to be kicking the gaming industry butts!


I wonder what his fortune stands on? ... might also be a good time to invest in Steam stocks no?

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@GunEye Have a friend in the beta who says he's been running it flawlessly for weeks.

steaminpotatoes
steaminpotatoes

Had a few crashes, guess they still need to iron out a few bugs, releasing it to the public will help with getting it working better.

However there some options you can tweak in the steam settings , I lowered it to balanced and was much better + ticked network traffic priory, seemed to help.

Guess it helps to have decent WiFi both router and device , otherwise drops can happen at medium and high streaming settings.

skayj2
skayj2

@Plasros @skayj2 Sure graphics are a plus.


But that's all elitists brag about. The fact that their rig can outperform 2010 hardware. Big whoop.


It's the other pros like superior gameplay for certain genres like RPGs, RTS and FPS as well as dirt cheap games and steam that make PC better. Not the fact that it can run 1080p/60fps.


And while i don't think there's a reason to own a next-fen console yet (as there are no games worth having on them) I don't see why you shouldn't own a ps3/360, tonnes of great games.


And don't even get me started on Nintendo consoles lol, sure PC games are among the best, but nothing beats Nintendo exclusives IMHO.


Basically what I'm trying to say, is that you should look past graphics. Let your PC be your bastion for awesome graphics if you want, but don't let that restrict you from playing great games available on consoles. Which don't even have that bad graphics, besides I have a very hard time differentiating between 30fps gameplay and 60fps gameplay so that's not an issue... For me at least.

dkeeney4093
dkeeney4093

@GunEye  yea he is a badass, lets hope he never becomes a SELLOUT,WE NEED MORE LIKE HIM

spikepigeo
spikepigeo

@GunEye  I would say, yes, if Valve was a publicly traded company. They are not. Valve has refused to go public because they "couldn't handle the interference of shareholders"(I love you Gabe)


Other sellout companies are playing the apology game with the PC crowd right now for ignoring them for the last decade, because they all realize this next decade is going to be absolutely dominated by PC gaming, given the underperforming consoles.


Whereas these other big companies have been ignoring PC gaming, Valve has been the stalwart champion of it and are way ahead. So if they had stocks for you to buy, I would. But alas, they do not. And that is actually a good thing.

GunEye
GunEye

@steaminpotatoes wait a sec, does streaming (with steam) work on network adapter speeds (1Gbs)- or on Internet speeds?

(seems to me like it works on the Internet speed - although my speed is a solid 100Mbs - still very laggy).

blackothh
blackothh

@dkeeney4093 @GunEyei remember him saying a few years ago, that he would rather tank the whole company then get bought out by EA

steaminpotatoes
steaminpotatoes

Adaptor speeds, but quality may vary on brand and provider, sky broadband routers are awful, also my laptop doesn't have the strongest WiFi adaptor so I don't get the full bandwidth all the time, hence some dropping at higher quality settings, something you might want to look into, this is defiantly gonna need some experimentation.