The long-awaited availability of Steam on Chromebooks was just more or less announced (in alpha) at the 2022 Google for Games Developer Summit. That said, Google is light on availability details for the moment.
Google specifically said that the “Steam Alpha just launched, making this longtime PC game store available on select Chromebooks for users to try.” That said, no other details appear to be live this morning, but we did reveal the device list last month.
I’m sure many Chromebooks are more than powerful enough to play a meaningful number of games.
Not to mention it makes streaming games from one’s gaming PC to their Chromebook an officially supported option now. Steam streaming isn’t perfect but it’s fine for a lot of games, if your WiFi setup is robust.
This answers the question:
Why have an expensive i7 Chromebook with 16GB of RAM?
To be honest, I did not expect to have two major entries of Linux desktop on gaming this year (other being Steam Deck).
However these are still using iGPU’s, instead of separate discrete ones. And Chrome OS, still does not support Thunderbolt (had to get a hybrid USB/TB dock for this reason). So, there is still more to be done.
Pretty sure it’s not about if Chromebooks are “powerful enough” for games, but rather if they came with a large enough SSD. That’s in addition to the fact some $500-600 machine with an MX350 could still run circles around a $1000 Chromebook in gaming performance.
ChromeOS: The thin-client OS, browser-based OS that runs Steam and Steam games locally.
Aka how to ship a fork of the Desktop Linux stack without calling it a fork of the Desktop Linux stack.
But since it ships on supported hardware and has a real app store (two app stores actually: Google’s own and Steam) where people can actually buy proprietary software and games, it might actually gain some traction in the market.