Valve may not be planning to replenish stocks of its physical Steam Link device.
"The supply of physical Steam Link hardware devices is sold out in Europe and almost sold out in the US," Valve said by way of a statement (thanks, GameSpot). "Moving forward, Valve intends to continue supporting the existing Steam Link hardware as well as distribution of the software versions of Steam Link, available for many leading smart phones, tablets and televisions. Click here to find out more about the Steam Link App."
The Steam Link software is available free of charge, permitting players to stream Steam games to phones, tablets, and TV, and no download or service fees apply. GameSpot speculates that the statement could signal "a new version of the Steam Link hardware coming", especially as Valve has permitted the physical stocks to run low, but regardless of its upcoming plans, it would appear the publisher intends to support both existing and new systems for the foreseeable future.
Steam recently hit 90 million monthly active users, an increase of 23 million on the 67 million users Valve announced back in August 2017. The daily active user count has also increased, rising 42 per cent from 33 million to 47 million.
The boost is chiefly thought to have been driven by Steam’s expansion into China, where 30 million users have joined the digital platform since its launch earlier this year. Chinese indie devs have been able to generate sales they might not otherwise have managed to achieve, with localised games – some only available in Simplified Chinese – reaching hundreds of thousands of players. Up until that point, the majority of China’s Steam users had been accessing the US version of the software via PVNs.
The initial popularity spike for Steam was led by Dota 2‘s success, but this success has been maintained by ensuring that Steam in China is tailored specifically for Chinese players. Steam developed its localised version when the Tencent games platform – subsequently rebranded as WeGame – hit over 200 million users in China alone compared to Steam’s 125 million global user base. Interestingly, Steam’s peak concurrent user record – set when 18.5 million players jumped on chiefly for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds – remains unchanged.
At the halfway point through the year, Steam confirmed that its biggest sellers for the first six months of 2018 included Jurassic World Evolution and Warhammer: Vermintide 2, as well as Dota 2, Grand Theft Auto V, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Rocket League, Counter-Strike, Rainbow Six Siege, and Far Cry 5. Steam’s most played games, however, include Warframe, GTA V, Counter-Strike, PUBG, Dota 2, and Rainbow Six, with over 100,000 simultaneous players.