Chromebooks may be typically thought of as machines for web browsing and schoolwork, but soon they may also gain real gaming support.
Google is currently working on bringing support for Steam to Chrome OS. Speaking to Android Police, Kan Liu, Google’s Director of Product Management for Chrome OS, confirmed that the work is happening and that it’d be enabled by the Linux compatibility inside the OS.
Much of the rest of the project is still up in the air. Liu apparently implied that Google is working with Valve on the effort, but didn’t outright confirm it. The exec also teased that more powerful Chromebooks in the future, including some with AMD processors, but wouldn’t go so far as to confirm that models with discrete Radeon or Nvidia GPUs are in the pipeline.
You might not think of Chromebooks as being machines that people play a lot of games on, but Liu says that gaming is the most popular category of downloads when it comes to Play Store content on Chromebooks. While most of those games probably aren’t super hardcore, graphically intensive titles, that’s the style of game that would probably work best on a Chromebook. Even if more powerful Chromebooks are on the way, they likely won’t offer the same level of performance as a gaming laptop.
There are plenty of games out there that are less graphically demanding, and because Steam been around so long, there are a number of older games on the service as well. That may not be enticing to some gamers, but having access to at least a portion of Steam’s catalog could make a Chromebook more appealing to a lot of people.