Google is working for Chrome OS users (the operating system for Chromebooks) to install “Steam” on their computers without any problems. This is, at least, the ‘information bomb’ that David Ruddock, editor of the Android Police, received directly from Kan Liu, who is responsible for the development of all products for Chrome OS.
Liu did not propose specific dates for users to enjoy the results of this initiative, although he did suggest the involvement of Valve (the famous company that owns the video game platform), which would result in an exponential increase in the amount of software available for the Chrome OS ecosystem.
Everyone would win: Valve, Google… and the users
It would also be an interesting move for Valve, as its competition is growing on Windows systems (Epic has been one of the last rivals to launch its own platform), but not so much outside them: Steam, for example, has hardly any rivals on Mac or Linux. In fact, the latter could be the key factor that allows it to be ported to Chrome OS.
Technically, this operating system is a Linux distribution, although so altered that it does not allow you to run programs for other versions of Linux other than through a compatibility tool called Crostini that virtualizes a standard Linux environment.
The problem is that previous attempts to use Crostini to run Steam failed due to the deplorable performance shown and the lack of official support. And it is here, in the improvement of this ‘subsystem’ of Chrome OS where, predictably, Google’s efforts are concentrated for now.
However, there is still one more limitation: the discrete capacity of most of these computers (except, perhaps, the very recent Samsung Chromebook) in terms of 3D acceleration. This would still make many of the most popular Steam titles unplayable even if all the software level compatibility issues were fixed.
Asked by Ruddock if we’ll see any new Chromebooks with more graphics power soon, Liu said the release of AMD’s Chromebooks that are more powerful than the current ones is very close, although he didn’t say if we’d see Nvidia or Qualcomm GPUs running their games on Chome OS.
If this is confirmed, Chromebooks may not be an object of desire for most gamers, but many casual gamers may see the official support for Steam as removing a major obstacle when considering purchasing this class of equipment.