September 27, 2023


Unlimited Technology

Google Tips Steam Rollout for Select Chromebooks With Alpha Release

If you ever wanted to play your Steam game library on a Chromebook, there’s good news: Google is starting to bring Steam to Chrome OS.

The company casually dropped the announcement on Tuesday during the Google for Games Developer Summit. “The Steam alpha just launched, making this long-time PC game store available on select Chromebooks for users to try,” Greg Hartell, a Google product director for Android, said during the keynote. 

According to Hartell, interested users can go to the Chromebook community forum to learn more. However, it seems the company has yet to publish the post about the Steam alpha’s availability. We’ve reached out to Google for more information and will update the story if we hear back.  

The slide shown during the Google for Games Developer Summit.

The slide shown during the Google for Games Developer Summit.

The Steam availability could help Google address a notable shortcoming with Chrome OS. Currently, Chromebooks are best known as low-cost laptops, often sold to schools—not as gaming machines. That said, there are various ways you can play games on them. This can include installing the Linux-based version of Steam over the device through a Linux app, or running the Steam Link app to stream games from another machine.  

However, a native Steam app for Chrome OS could make the gaming even more convenient, allowing users to access their existing Steam game libraries on a Chromebook. But the big questions are which Steam games will be supported on Chrome OS and how well they run. 

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In the meantime, evidence has emerged that only high-end Chromebooks will be able to run the native Steam client for Chrome OS. 9to5Google noticed a recent code change that indicates only recent Chromebooks with an 11th Generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processor and a minimum of 7GB of RAM will be supported.

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