Official support for Steam could be coming to Chromebooks in the future

Samsung Chromebook
Samsung Chromebook (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Valve and Google may be working together to bring the Steam store to Chromebooks.
  • The news was revealed when Android Police recently spoke with Kan Liu, the Director of Product Management for Chrome OS at CES 2020.
  • Liu was light on the details but believes the project is possible by running Steam through Linux on Chrome OS.

If you love your Chromebook but also like to game, there could be some good news coming for you in the future. Apparently, the Chrome team is working to bring Steam to Chromebooks.

The news comes after Android Police's David Ruddock recently spoke with Kan Liu, the Director of Product Management for Chrome OS, at CES 2020 last week. During the discussion, Liu revealed that the Chrome team is working on bringing Steam to Chromebooks by using Linux. It may even be working directly with Valve to accomplish this.

That would make sense, because it would benefit Valve to open up its gaming storefront to more users, especially when it is facing stiff competition on the PC from others like Epic and Microsoft. If Valve is able to get Steam running on Chromebooks, it would also be a huge win for Google by tackling one of Chrome OS's biggest weaknesses, gaming.

ASUS Chromebook Flip C434

Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

So far, Chromebook users have had to live with games from the Play Store or Stadia, but Steam would open up a whole new world of gaming opportunities. It is currently possible to get Steam running using Linux on Chromebooks already, but performance is less than ideal. Hopefully, with the two companies working together, they can smooth out the performance issues.

Getting Steam running is only half of the equation, though. Next, you have to figure out how to get games running on hardware that was not built with gaming in mind. Even with several Chromebooks these days running very capable processors, the GPUs are often quite weak in comparison — not to mention they also come with a very limited amount of storage. All of this could mean that Chromebooks will be limited to slower or older games sold through Steam.

Regardless, Liu believes the project is possible and says more powerful Chromebooks are also in the works running AMD hardware. He would not confirm if those machines would be using discrete Radeon graphics.

Whether or not we ever see the Steam store officially launch on Chromebooks is still up in the air. Liu wouldn't confirm a timeline or any other details surrounding the project, and it could end before it ever really begins. However, it's entirely possible we could see it come to fruition, we'll just have to wait and see.

Jason England