Game players who want to stream games from their Steam libraries to other devices now have a new option: the Raspberry Pi. Valve has announced through an official posting in its forums that the Steam Link service is in beta for streaming using the inexpensive and popular Raspberry Pi 3 and 3B+ computers that are running Raspbian Stretch, the official Raspberry Pi operating system.
In November, Valve ceased production of its proprietary hardware for Steam Link, massively slashing the price to $2.50 from its original price tag of $49.99. As expected with that deep discount, the remaining units sold out quickly. That made an app for Android devices the only other way Steam Link users could use the streaming service.
Adding Raspberry Pi support is likely to be welcomed as the Android app has received a lukewarm reception, mostly due to the fact that the computer housing the Steam library has to have a high-bandwidth WiFi connection to the network or have a wired connection via Ethernet.
Response to the Raspberry Pi announcement has been favorable, both from users on the Steam forums and bloggers who have been waiting for the device to be added to the service.
Steam Link works by pairing a game controller to a device running the app (phone, tablet or smart TV) and then connecting that device via WiFi to the computer where the Steam library is located. Instructions on how to set up the service on the Raspberry Pi appear on the official forum posting.
Though originally developed for educational purposes, the credit-card sized Raspberry Pi computer has been rapidly increasing in popularity for all types of uses to the point where Amazon offered two Raspberry Pi kits (including a case, cables, and other accessories) as one of its holiday “Deals of the Day” on Wednesday with price tags under $65. Devices without the kits can be found for about $30 at various online outlets.