It has been made to beg, but Google has finally made a move, formally announcing the next arrival of Steam for Chrome OSthe operating system that governs Chromebooks and, in the near future, any other compatible equipment, as long as the user decides to install it on their own.
With regard to the information that concerns us, the road has not been short: more than two years ago Google began to explore the possibility of promoting a Steam for Chrome OS, given the importance of games on any modern platform and understanding Steam as the de facto standard when it comes to the distribution of PC games.
Since then the steps have been rather timid, although at first everything was ventured as if it were just around the corner. The reality, however, has made things slower and, in fact, what is now being announced is the next release of Steam for Chrome OS in alpha version and only for certain Chromebook models.
The announcement has been made within the framework of the Google for Games Developer Summit 2022, a conference in which the Internet giant has taken the opportunity to break down what already exists, but also what is expected to be in the medium term, always speaking of Steam for Chrome OS, as the plans around gaming in Google’s ecosystems go far beyond Steam for Chrome OS.
Thus, Steam for Chrome OS opens in the early development phase, with all that this entails, while doing so with exclusive availability for latest generation Chromebook models and with minimum specifications for the invention to make sense. It’s worth remembering that until Chrome OS Flex rolls out, Chromebooks are the only devices running Chromebooks, and they’re typically low-end to mid-range.
As they advanced in 9to5Google a few weeks ago regarding the specifications: “At a minimum, your Chromebook must have a processor Intel Core i5 or i7 (11th generation) and a minimum of 7 GB of RAM. This eliminates almost all Chromebooks except for the mid-to-high-end and high-end ones.” And they don’t seem to be wrong. Of course, these are output specifications. They are likely to relax as development continues.
After all, Steam for Chrome OS should not differ much from Steam for Linux, which has been around for years and there are many games in the catalog available to the most humble configurations compatible with the requirements of Chrome OS. Likewise, we must not forget Stadia, the platform for streaming of Google games that in Chromebooks has had a privileged place, due to the very nature of it.
And while we’re at it, we shouldn’t forget other movements, not around Steam for Chrome OS, which is undoubtedly a considerable leap, but games on Chrome OS, first with Game Mode-type advances and, more recently, with the prior to the arrival of keyboards gaming for Chromebook, which are also indicative of the situation.