Google Is Planning to Bring Steam To...Chromebooks

Ruben Fields
January 18, 2020

If Steam does arrive on Chromebooks, it will make Valve the first major game storefront on a platform that has been walled off from PC and console releases.

According to a report from the Android Police website, Kan Liu, director of product management for Google's Chrome OS, revealed the fact that Steam support could be enabled on Chrome OS in the near future by taking advantage of the implementation of support for Linux apps that landed in Chrome OS a year ago. This of course would give the millions of Chromebooks access to another popular library of games, as well as possibly game-streaming.

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Since Google's Chrome OS is basically a Linux-based operating system, the Steam client would probably run on top of the available Linux implementation, which is now used to allow Chromebook users to install and run Linux apps. It doesn't really work all that well through Crostini, though, but it appears that Google is working on getting Steam supported on Chrome OS. It is not clear if any of these devices will be powered by discrete Radeon graphics from AMD, however, and Liu wouldn't say if we could expect Nvidia or Qualcomm GPUs on Chromebooks anytime soon. Add to that the fact that there aren't exactly an overwhelming number of games available on Steam with Linux compatibility. Though Google's own Stadia effort makes gaming more accessible to more hardware, it hasn't been universally popular-or almost as refined as Steam.

As we're seeing with new Chromebooks like the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook, which was recently revealed at CES 2020, there will be a new generation of Chromebooks with more powerful specs that could potentially run more demanding games. Chrome OS is definitely much more robust than the super-lightweight operating system it once was, but it's clearly still not done expanding.

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