Steam – and by that extension, Valve – is no stranger to game streaming, but the options offered by Steam are limited by hardware requirement, which means you need dedicated gear to stream your games. Enter cloud-based game streaming, which essentially removes the hardware requirement from the equation and allows users to enjoy a game just the way they stream Netflix videos. While Google Stadia and Microsoft’s Project xCloud are the big names in the field, Valve might be working on its own cloud-based game streaming service for Steam that will go by the name ‘Steam Cloud Gaming’.
Steam Database, which tracks changes on Steam and Valve’s gaming IPs, spotted the mention of ‘Steam Cloud Gaming’ in the code of Steam Games partner portal page. The function “Sign Latest Cloud Gaming Addendum” has a “Return URL” condition attached with it, which means Valve’s developer and publishing partners need to agree to the condition – wherever applicable – and once they proceed with it, the code submits their acceptance to the Steam API.
The name – Steam Cloud Gaming – in itself is a clear indication that some form of cloud gaming service is in development for Steam at Valve. While this cannot be taken as a certainty that Valve’s cloud-based game streaming service will make its way to the market, but if it does, it might already have a big advantage over current leaders, Google Stadia and Microsoft Project xCloud. And that advantage comes in the form of Steam’s vast game library, which means Valve won’t have to court developers and publishers to bring their titles to Steam’s cloud game streaming service the way Google is struggling.
Valve is yet to officially outline its plans regarding a cloud-based game streaming service for Steam, so take this discovery with a pinch of salt. If you are into PC gaming, you must already be aware of the existing streaming options from Valve – Steam Remote Play, Steam Link, and Steam Link Anywhere. But since they all require players to already have PC gaming rig at home or some form of gaming hardware and a reasonably fast internet connection, a true cloud-based game streaming service is something that will complete Steam’s portfolio.