Google is interested in bringing Valve's popular Steam game store to Chrome OS
Google is closely working with Valve, the world’s largest video game distribution platform, to bring popular PC games store Steam to Chromebooks. According to a report from Android Police, Kan Liu, Director of Product Management for Chrome OS, revealed that the Steam support could be enabled on Chrome OS.
Liu did not reveal when Google plans to release to bring Steam to Chrome OS, nor Valve has confirmed the news. However, it appears that Google is in advance talks with Valve to bring the Steam game store to Chrome OS. This is possible due to the fact that Chrome OS now supports Linux apps. Let’s not forget Steam has a Linux client and sells Linux games.
Chromebooks are seen as low-cost alternatives to Windows PCs. They are quite popular in the US, as many schools recommend Chromebooks over Windows laptops. But the fact remains that ChromeOS is a less superior operating system compared to Windows OS or macOS. The OS doesn’t have a killer feature or app that draws more consumers other than students towards Chromebooks.
However, Google now wants to change the fate of Chrome OS. Over the past few years, Google is making small yet incremental changes to make ChromeOS a viable alternative to Windows OS. For instance, it brought Android apps on Chrome OS. Every Chromebook now ships with Google Play Store, and last year, it added support for Linux apps on Chrome OS.
Steam is the world’s largest PC game store
Perhaps the biggest change has come in the form of improving the internals of newer Chromebooks. Google and its partners have launched a slew of premium Chromebooks in the last year or so. Last year, Google made the Pixelbook Go official, a high-end Chromebook housed in a magnesium shell and boasting a 12-hour battery life. The Pixelbook Go isn’t cheap, as it starts at $650 for the base variant. This year, at CES 2020, Samsung showed its Galaxy Chromebook which has beefier internals and costs $1000.
While the arrival of the Steam game store may sound enticing, the fact remains that there are a few Chromebooks capable of running high fidelity games. Liu is aware of the current situation and which is why he noted that future versions of Chromebooks will offer better specs.
Google is keen to bring the Steam support to Chrome OS also because gaming is the “single most popular category of downloads on the Play Store” for Chromebook customers. Google’s own Stadia video game streaming service already works on Chromebook.