Steam could be coming to Google Chromebook laptops

The barriers to high-end gaming experiences are lowering all of the time, thanks to the power of the cloud. Top titles are becoming available on any connected display in the home, thanks to tech like Google Stadia and Microsoft’s forthcoming xCloud platform.

However, the Valve owned gaming platform Steam, which focuses on locally played PC games, could also be ready to expand its reach, according to a new report. Google is planning to bring the service to the Chrome OS, which powers the Chromebook range of notebooks and tablets.

AndroidPolice spoke with the director of product management for Chrome OS during the CES tech show in Las Vegas earlier this month, who revealed Google is working on the possibility, perhaps in collaboration with Valve.

Kan Lui did not offer a specific timeline for launch but said the compatibility with Linux would enable the platform to run on the Chrome OS.

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Of course, it’s worth considering a large proportion of Chromebooks aren’t exactly the powerhouses required to play high-end games locally, without assistance from the cloud. As the report point out, most have limited 3D acceleration and not much in the way of internal storage to house games.

That suggests we might be looking at some of the more casual titles on the Steam store may be more suited to Chromebooks, in the same way Play Store games for Android can be played via Chrome OS.

The report says:

Valve’s motive here is largely in being the first major gaming storefront on a platform that, to date, has had no compatibility with mainstream PC or console releases. Valve also seems like a good fit, as the company has no particular loyalty to any one platform, and is increasingly facing competition from players like Epic and Microsoft on its most popular OS, Windows.

Earlier this week it was reported Microsoft’s next-gen Xbox Series X could support also support Steam, thanks to a rumoured feature that will enable gamers to enter ‘Windows Mode’ and run PC software.

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