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Steam Mobile Announced For iOS And Android, Currently In Closed Beta

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Mobile gaming is going through a bit of a renaissance as of late. Gone are the days of cheap, primitive tie-in mobile games you’d buy for your crappy Nokia cellphone from some weird website. Now we have fancy app stores, high-tech smart phones, open-source, self-publishing, and all that cool stuff.

But Valve has never seemed to be too interested in the mobile space, or the portable space as a whole for that matter. Numerous homebrew ports of Valve games and plenty of Steam apps have popped up for all sorts of mobile/portable platforms. But never has Valve released anything official, anything substantial, to appease their fanbase, which is starting to realize gaming isn’t all about your home PC or your home console. But, no longer!

Steam Mobile Announced For iOS And Android, Currently In Closed Beta

Yesterday, Valve revealed Steam for Mobile Devices, for Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platforms. Steam Mobile, for short, allows you to connect to the Steam Community, and keep up with what’s going on with your Steam buddies, while on the go. Read the news, view and comment on screenshots (my favorite activity by far), chat with your Steam bros, engage in awkward Skyrim-related discussions, all of that is now a reality. You can even browse the Steam Store, view all the latest sales… and possibly buy things, though I can’t imagine if you’ll actually be able to play anything from your… Phone… or Pad… or Droid, or whatever it is you’re using. I could see Valve making a couple of mobile titles to get people interested, perhaps ports of existing Valve titles, but anything more than that? That might be out of Valve’s hands, and it sounds like it’d be unbelievably complicated. For the time being, it seems like this is meant to be more of a social experience, rather than a gaming platform.

Steam Mobile for iOS is compatible with… “iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad” (although upcoming versions will bring support for the iPhone 3G, and the iPod touch 2nd generation), and it requires iOS 4.0 or later. Steam Mobile for Android is compatible with all Android devices running Android 2.1 and up. No word on whether support for Windows Phone 7 is planned, but I’d say it’s a possibility. The app is, of course, completely free. Steam Mobile is currently in closed beta. To sign up for beta access, all you need to do is download the app, start it up and sign in with your account. If you’re lucky, you might get chosen to participate in the beta. We’ve contacted Valve and we might be getting a couple of keys ourselves, so we’ll have more in-depth coverage on the beta very soon.

Here’s what Gabe said about Steam Mobile:

“The Steam app comes from many direct requests from our customers,” said Gabe Newell, co-founder and president of Valve. “Seeing which of your friends are online and playing a game, sending quick messages, looking at screenshots for an upcoming game, or catching a sale – these are all features customers have requested. Mobile is changing way people interact, play games and consume media, and the Steam app is part of our commitment to meet customer demands and expand the service functionality of Steam to make it richer and more accessible for everyone.”

Words of wisdom. Thank you Gabe, and thank you Valve. Now all we need is Steam on the PlayStation Vita, and we are all set. Boosh!

15 Comments

  1. They need to add multi-user chats D:

  2. So there’s now a steam client for platforms already with their own comprehensive games library, meaning it’s basically yet another closed chat client… but no steam for linux? On which Android is based. What is this.

  3. ah … sometimes someone just needs a bit luck
    first : i got a new mobile a few hours ago
    then : i looked in the andriod-market … and saw STEAM ..
    now : i am in the BETA *about 5 min after loading app* and i am telling you : its so freakin awesome …

    you can be online on mobile and pc/mac same time … and your chat is shared between both clients SAME TIME
    if you write some on pc/mac it will be displayed on your mobile and vice-versa …

    IF SOMEONE INTERESTED : i’ve got a GIFT to give ONE beta-access to a friend … if anyone wants to join .. pls tell me over group-chat

    btw : i got 3x 50% and 1x 33% valve cupons … also tell me if you want

  4. I don’t know how many times I’ve checked for a decent Steam app on Android Market. But now it seems as if I can stop looking.

    And yes, app is good!

  5. If I know my luck, I will not be chosen to participate… *sigh*

  6. Me want in beta!

    It was a sad day for my app Gears though..

  7. I only wish they could have come up with a catchy name for it, like Steam Cloud was catchy and cool.

  8. I got into the closed beta and I gotta tell you it’s awesome. It works like it’s supposed to and even dual login is possible (PC & Phone). Screenshots are not working proper yet, but that’ll get fixed soon hopefully.

  9. nah …
    VALVe should work on some like “File-Transfer through Steam-Friends” … and even for multi-user / group chats *like multi-user voice-chat currently available* … and not on such “we want to take the mobile market” …

    i mean : since VALVe allows other publishers to sell thier products via steam-service the quality gone straight up … only on PC … and steam belongs to the “Sector PC” *in terms of H-L* …

    probably a port to consoles like PS3 or XBOX would be better …
    or finaly including Wii-plattform …

    nah … what ever … as long as steam stay active and Half-Life and its mods keep playable over the world … everthing will be fine …

    • Steam already is on the PS3. And Half-Life doesn’t really belong to any particular platform – it’s been on the consoles for a long while.

  10. It’s awesome.

  11. http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showpost.php?p=28791688&postcount=6

    • The iTunes page says support for the 3GS is already included, but I didn’t know about the 3G and the 2nd generation iTouch. Added to the article; thanks!

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