Valve has made a version of the popular arcade game emulator MAME available through the Steam Link software development kit. This allows users to play thousands of classic games on the device, which is actually intended for streaming games to a TV.
According to Valve developer Sam Lantinga, the version for the Steam Link is based on the mame4all version for the Raspberry Pi, which in turn comes from version 0.37b of the MAME emulator. The Valve variant is highly optimized for the Steam Link and is able to run games at full speed, without skipping frames. There should also be support for 2270 romsets, or games.
Valve made the SDK available for Steam Link on January 15, to give users the ability to build their own applications for the device. The hardware is roughly comparable to that of a Raspberry Pi, so demanding applications will not support it. But for emulating classic arcade games, this one seems extremely suitable. The actual application of the Steam Link is to stream games from a computer running Steam to a TV.
The MAME emulator makes it possible to play old games, which originally ran on other systems, on modern computer systems. Some games have been released by their creators and can be played without infringing any copyrights. However, this does not apply to all old games.