Steam, Valve’s digital distribution service, has gone mobile. The app, recently out of beta, is available for both iOS and Android.In what was perhaps the shortest beta ever, as well as a surprising and unprecedented example of Valve releasing something early, the Steam mobile app has officially launched.
Steam, for those who are unfamiliar, is Valve’s digital distribution service – a program through which players can purchase games and then install and play them on any other computer. First available only for the PC, Steam later extended its availability to Mac users, and most recently, to mobile devices.
Steam Mobile allows for a small portion of the functionality that the full client offers – sadly, the ability to play Call of Duty on an iPhone is not yet implemented. In particular, the app allows users to chat with Steam friends, purchase games, browse groups and user profiles, and read a selection of the gaming news that Steam normally posts on the full client.
The beta version of the Steam Mobile app went live on January 26th, and according to Joystiq, the full version of the app was released just five days later.
Gabe Newell, Valve’s co-founder and president, says that Steam Mobile has been long requested by Steam’s community of users. The app is “part of [Valve’s] commitment to meet customer demands and expand the service functionality of Steam to make it richer and more accessible for everyone.”
The app is available for free for both iOS and Android devices. As of now, Valve has no set plans to use the service to sell games for mobile devices, though fans have speculated that this is where Steam Mobile could ultimately be leading. However, since Apple has already mostly cornered the market on mobile game sales, mobile Steam games could be a long way off for iPhone and iPad users.