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Steam Link streaming is coming to TVs, no box needed

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Play your games without buying that tiny box

Steam Link

Steam Link, Valve’s adorable, $50 set-top box, is currently the easiest way to stream games from the platform straight to a TV. But during a Steam Dev Days presentation yesterday, the company announced it was doing streamers one better: by integrating the technology directly into new smart televisions.

Valve is partnering with Samsung to make Steam Link capabilities available straight from the manufacturer’s upcoming TVs, according to tweets from Sergey Galyonkin (a.k.a. SteamSpy) and developer Dave Oshry, who was in attendance at the developer-only event. There are few other details available beyond that, including when to expect these to go on sale, but it’s enough to give Steam-loving, potential new TV buyers a reason to hold off.

Anyone hoping to stream some Steam off their TV will still need to provide their own controller, for which they have a few options. There’s the official Steam Controller, but others work through USB; it’s unclear if that functionality will be included with the new smart TVs.

Although Steam Link is a cheap alternative to the Steam Machine, Valve’s bigger and pricier streaming apparatus, eliminating the need for the external box at all could prove appetizing to big PC gamers. The functionality also makes sense when you consider how common it is to find other streaming services embedded into new TVs, like Netflix and Hulu.

Valve dominates the digital marketplace on PCs, and a partnership with Samsung, the recently troubled but still dominant electronics maker, gives the company another leg up over any competition. But if a new TV isn’t quite within budget, the Steam Link remains a viable option, and we quite liked it when we checked it out upon its release last fall.