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Play games in your BATH – Steam Link UK pre-order info

Steam Link Advert

Pre-order your Steam Link and Steam Controller now from GAME and get playing around your home

Valve is attempting to make playing PC games on your living room TV easier with a new low-cost streaming box called the Steam Link. The Steam Link is Valve’s latest attempt to encourage gamers to stream games around their home network. Last year Valve introduced streaming into the Steam PC client, so that you could stream games running on the powerful desktop in a back bedroom to a tablet or lightweight PC connected to the living room television, for example. 

Now it’s helping out those who don’t have a secondary PC to hand with the low-cost Steam Link, a small device capable of streaming games from Windows or Linux PCs, Macs, or even the forthcoming Steam Machines – dedicated gaming hardware running on Valve’s Steam OS. The Steam Link can support 1080p streams at 60Hz with “low latency”, and is also available with an optional Steam Controller that costs the same amount as the Steam Link itself.

UK pricing and pre-orders

GAME is the only official UK retailer for the Steam Link and Steam Controller and you can now pre-order both in a variety of bundles from its site. It’s worth noting that you can’t simply buy one item or the other on their own, but instead they are only being sold as part of bundles at present, usually with a Steam voucher for £20 thrown in.

If you want to simply buy the hardware standalone you’ll have to purchase it from Valve itself via Steam. However you then have to pay some pretty hefty shipping charges to get it sent over from the states. So which deal is best?

The Steam Link costs £40, as does the Steam Controller. Buy both from Steam and you’ll also pay almost £15 in shipping and handling, for a grand total of £95. Buy the same hardware from GAME and you can pay £70 for it when you buy a £100 Steam voucher with it (£170 total), £75 for it when you buy a £50 Steam voucher with it (£125 total), £80 for it when you buy a £20 Steam voucher with it (£100 total).

So the hardware gets cheaper when you buy a bigger voucher (which will be fine for serious Steam users), but even the cheapest bundle only costs you £5 more for that £20 voucher, so importing from Steam isn’t good value unless you never use the service or simply want one device and not the other.

For those who already have a PC in their living room and just want the new controller then GAME have a similar range of controller-only plus voucher bundles, with the controller costing £40, £35 or £30 as you buy bigger vouchers with it.

If you just want the Steam Link, and not the controller, then you’re out of luck, as that’s not currently an option at GAME. Instead you’ll have to head online to Steam and buy it, which will cost you £48 including shipping. See below for using Steam Link without a Steam Controller.

Steam Controller final design

Steam Link controller support

Steam may be keen to push its own controller (though we have our doubts about it, see below) but the Steam Link is actually compatible with a load of other kit you probably already have.

The official specification lists support for wired Xbox One (using a simple micro USB cable) or wired Xbox 360 controllers, along with support for the Logitech Wireless Gamepad F710 or keyboard or mouse. Valve has also stated there’s support for the Xbox 360 wireless adaptor for PC (allowing the use of standard Xbox 360 pads) and the upcoming Xbox One wireless adaptor for PC too. Based on all this we reckon that most PC controllers that are capable of mimicking the Xbox controllers should also work. There’s also reports online that PS4 controllers work as well thanks to Bluetooth support,  but we’ve yet to check out button assignment and vibration support for ourselves.

We’ve tried various iterations of the Steam Controller and we’re not yet convinced by it. The idea of bringing mouse-like control to the living room is a great one, but we found it hard to control precisely and far prefer an analogue stick with a healthy smidge of auto aim of course. Valve has now added such a stick to the controller of course, but its placement on the left may still irk some players – which brings us right back to traditional two-stick designs. We’ll bring you a full review when Steam Controller’s start shipping in the UK shortly.

Video trailer

Still not convinced that Steam Link is for you, then maybe this cool advert will help. Well it probably won’t but it’s worth watching all the same, as Steam Link gets the Team Fortress treatment – inevitable Steam Link-shaped hats all round (if that’s not already a thing).





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