Google plans to bring Steam to Chrome OS

Google plans to bring Steam to Chrome OS
As Chrome OS and Chromebooks continue to expand in function, higher-end Chromebooks like Asus’s Flip C436 are making more frequent appearances. Despite that, the spectrum of software available on Chromebooks still lags behind competitors, especially with specific interests like gaming. However, Google seems to be on the move to change this, with one important gaming software finally starting to make its way to Chrome OS.

The software in question is none other than Steam, the world’s most popular game distribution client. Though Steam was technically installable on many Chromebooks through the Crostini platform for Linux containers, the software was buggy, unsupported, and just not good enough to make games playable.

But, as Android Police found out in an interview with a Google representative, the company is currently working to bring official support for Steam to Chrome OS. Gaming has always been a major hole in the Chromebook suite, so this project could bring a lot more value to Chrome OS—to gamers, at least. Though Google's own Stadia effort makes gaming more accessible to more hardware, it hasn't been universally popular—or nearly as refined as Steam.  

The whens and hows of this announcement are all unconfirmed for now, but the new generation of increasingly powerful Chromebooks makes the concept more than viable. In fact, higher-end Chromebooks have had CPUs good enough for gaming since 2017 at least.

The bigger problem, assuming the software comes along, would be in graphics processing, something most Chromebooks lack in. Only the most recent devices have had GPUs powerful enough to run the graphics needed for many games, but the possibility of better hardware in the near future is very real.

Chrome OS is definitely much more robust than the super-lightweight operating system it once was, but it’s clearly still not done expanding. For now, this new development represents a big step forward for Google-inclined gamers.

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3 Comments

4. Scott93274

Posts: 6044; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

I wouldn't mind playing non-resource intense gaming, old sidescrolling Sonic games, and Super Meat Boy.

1. Sparkxster

Posts: 1275; Member since: Mar 31, 2017

Nice! Hope GoG, Epic Games Store and Humble follow. Guess we'll be seeing gaming Chromebooks soon.

3. foreverNOOB

Posts: 188; Member since: Jul 07, 2017

Even if Google can bring Steam support to Chrome Os doesn't mean that game will magically supported it. That'll all depends on game developers. As for gaming Chromebook, currently there is basically no demand for it, and it won't be commercially viable for like...next 2 years at least depends on how fast Google can convince Steam and especially, many major game developers to jump into their ship.

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