Have you ever wanted to play your latest console video games on your phone? Well now with Valve’s Steam Link for your iOS device you… can’t. In May, Apple rejected Steam Link after previously approving it for launch. While it may have no problem coming to Android devices, Apple seems to sing a different tune. But fear not, as all hope is not lost.
What Is Steam Link?
Steam Link allows the user to connect to a computer via Steam’s streaming service and play their favorite games on basically any device they wish. Sounds pretty cool… unless you’re a fan of Apple. An official reason as to why Apple rejected the Steam Link’s approval has yet to be given. The consensus seems found in the system’s store like interface. As long as the app mirrors what is happening on a local computer on the same network, Apple should have no qualms.
According to an article on CNET, the answer remains more complicated with a hiccup or two. Apple’s rules, “initially pointed out by Reuters” includes the following restraints:
“The UI appearing on the client does not resemble an iOS or App Store view, does not provide a store-like interface, or include the ability to browse, select, or purchase software not already owned or licensed by the user. For the sake of clarity, transactions taking place within mirrored software do not need to use in-app purchase, provided the transactions are processed on the host”
Watered Down: Not So Bad?
This insinuates that if Apple ever does approve Steam Link, it will stay in a watered-down format. This format can only have your library of games that you downloaded from Steam elsewhere. The storefront format may clash with Apple’s terms of service. At this point, one must ask if owning the Valve device in such a format would even hold any worth. But some may think that having to buy the games on another device might not be so bad. It might not be so bad if it means players can play on an iOS device afterward.
It seems that, even given the potential downgrade, Valve remains fully on board. The question remains what Apple may ask of Valve. Hopefully iOS owners shall know soon.
For now, this leaves the Android market at a clear advantage in regards to Steam Link. If a Steam user owns an Android device, they can play games from anywhere. They could even play it on the small screen of their phone.
To Buy Or Not To Buy…
No matter what device one uses with Steam Link, it does not speak to the quality of Steam Link itself. Given that the Steam Link just mirrors what another computer is doing, this still ties gamers to their gaming PC. If you were hoping to ditch your PC that barely chugs along trying to play Hollow Knight, you’re still out of luck.
It seems also worth mentioning that the link to PCs may involve lag. The beta testing of Steam Link also involved disconnections that hopefully have been dealt with. While the disconnections happen only occasionally, they do not seem game breaking. At a cheap price of fifty dollars, it still seems like a good deal.
Whether players ultimately purchase the Steam Link remains up to them. And whether it comes to iOS devices remains up to Apple. For now, the future is a mystery.
Do you think the Steam Link will ever come out on iOS? Should it? Let us know in the comments below!
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