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Native Steam support in the works for Chrome OS

Google is already investing heavily in AAA gaming with its Stadia streaming platform. (Source: Google)
Google is already investing heavily in AAA gaming with its Stadia streaming platform. (Source: Google)
Google is working on bringing support for Steam to its Chrome OS, reports Android Police. The platform would run on inside Linux on Chrome, which is already backed into Google’s lightweight browser-based operating system.

Google has been working hard to make its lightweight Chrome OS more functional with every release. In recent times it has extended its support for Linux on Chrome OS along with adding native support for Android apps. In move that is sure to capture some interest, Google is said to be working on bringing native support for Valve’s Steam gaming platform to Chrome OS as well, a move that would open up the world of offline AAA gaming titles adding to its appeal.

However, as Android Police pointed out in its exclusive interview with Kan Liu, Director of Product Management for Chrome OS, Chromebooks typically don’t have very good GPUs. This, however, could change in the near future with AMD-based Chromebooks looming on the horizon which could see discrete GPUs being baked into the Chrome OS equation. Furthermore, there are rumors circulating that some high-end Chromebooks are expected this year with Thunderbolt 3/USB 4 support that opens up the door to adding an external GPU dock to support enhanced 3D gaming.

Although Liu wouldn’t confirm that it is working directly with Valve on the project, or even confirm a timeline for launch, Google has been showing considerable interest in tapping into the gaming market. Its Google Stadia streaming gaming platform is already supported on Chromebooks, but adding Steam support would add even more offline functionality to Chromebooks. Gamers are also an influential segment of the laptop market and any moves to tap into that space will only help Chrome OS gain increased adoption and momentum.

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Sanjiv Sathiah, 2020-01-19 (Update: 2020-01-19)