COM­BIN­ING THE BEST OF DESK­TOP AND SMART­PHONE GAM­ING

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Not con­tent on dom­i­nat­ing PC gam­ing, Steam now wants to head into the lu­cra­tive smart­phone mar­ket with a brand new Link app. The idea be­hind the new app is sim­ple - to al­low gamers to stream con­tent from their Mac or PC over a wired Eth­er­net or 5GHz wire­less net­work to their iOS or tvOS de­vices. In short, the app would al­low tra­di­tional PC gamers to play their fa­vorite ti­tles us­ing their smart­phones; so long as they have WiFi and leave their PC or Mac de­vice on­line with the Steam in­ter­face open.

If the app was ap­proved and added to the App Store, it would mean that pow­er­ful games that re­quire an ex­pen­sive pro­ces­sor, a suped-up graph­ics card and sig­nif­i­cant RAM and mem­ory can be played in the palm of your hands - of­fer­ing PC-like gam­ing per­for­mance wher­ever you are in the world.

While Steam’s new smart­phone app was re­jected from the App Store ini­tially, many pre­dict that the com­pa­nies will soon come to some agree­ment and have a mod­i­fied ver­sion avail­able in the com­ing months. After all, Ap­ple and Valve have worked to­gether in the past, with the com­pa­nies part­ner­ing to bring SteamVR - new vir­tual re­al­ity tech­nol­ogy that of­fers 90 FPS - to macOS.

And al­though Ap­ple usu­ally stays silent on App Store dis­putes, mar­ket­ing chief Phil Schiller has spo­ken pub­licly about the new app be­ing re­jected from the App Store and of­fered some in­sight into the next steps for Valve and the Link app. Schiller also con­firmed that “Ap­ple is work­ing with the Valve team to rec­tify

the is­sue” and bring the app to the App Store soon.

Speak­ing in an email to con­cerned cus­tomers and Red­dit users, who reached out to Ap­ple after the app was re­jected, Schiller said that Ap­ple cares “deeply about bring­ing great games to all of our users on the App Store,” but that his “re­view team found that Valve’s Steam iOS app vi­o­lates a num­ber of guide­lines around user-gen­er­ated con­tent, in-app pur­chases, con­tent codes, etc.”

The sus­pected rea­son be­hind the re­jec­tion of the app is Ap­ple’s lack of con­trol over the Steam mar­ket­place. “I could see a very real sit­u­a­tion where many peo­ple just straight up stop buy­ing things from the App Store and ex­clu­sively pur­chase Steam games through Valve in­stead,” Eli Ho­dapp, of TouchAr­cade, said.

Valve is yet to com­ment on the pro­posed changes, and it’s not cur­rently clear when a tweaked ver­sion of the Steam Link app will be avail­able for pur­chase, but all signs lead to a pos­i­tive out­come and a prod­uct that makes PC gam­ing even more ac­ces­si­ble on the go. Un­til then, we’ll have to stick to games like Pocket Build and Heads Up!, in hopes that the next wave of PC gam­ing is just around the cor­ner.

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