Just a few days ago, a Steam Partner site update went out with references to something called ‘Steam Cloud Gaming'. This initially sparked rumours of Valve creating its own streaming alternative to the likes of Google Stadia, although recent updates indicate that third-parties will be able to offer their own services through Steam too, with Nvidia's GeForce Now appearing to be a notable first candidate.
Currently, Valve is working on a partnership with EA that integrates Origin's services with Steam, including the Origin Access subscription. With cloud gaming set to become a big part of the gaming world over the next decade, Valve appears to be putting together a foundation to not only offer its own service, but to integrate and support partner services. too.
Update: Last Steam client beta update added more references to Cloud Gaming, and the updates point towards support of multiple cloud providers, in addition to Valve's own.
— Steam Database (@SteamDB) November 8, 2019
Earlier this week, SteamDB updated its Steam Tracking branch with uncovered references to a new Steam Cloud Gaming addendum, which partners would need to sign in order to participate in Steam's upcoming cloud features. Now, more details have been discovered as part of the latest Steam Client beta, with new references pointing towards support for third-party cloud providers in addition to Valve's own.
The idea seems to be similar to what Ubisoft is planning with uPlay+ and Google Stadia. In the future, uPlay+ subscribers will be able to access their library of games via Stadia's own subscription. On Steam, Valve appears to be preparing to give third-parties the tools to offer their streaming services through Steam, while potentially syncing up user-owned games to avoid the need for repeat purchases.
There is the possibility that Valve won't offer its own cloud gaming service and will instead open the door for the likes of GeForce Now and others to run through Steam.
KitGuru Says: These are still early days but it looks like Valve is at least putting in the groundwork to support cloud game streaming via Steam. What do you all think of this? While game streaming does seem unappealing to most PC gamers right now, it does make a lot of sense as a convenience feature. Having access to your Steam library for a quick game while on the move without relying on your own hardware to power it all could be useful, while still leaving the option to jump back into traditional, local play when you return to your desk.