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Steam reportedly coming to Chrome OS - Linux gaming across even more devices

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Android Police have an article up mentioning that Google is reportedly working on getting Steam working officially and supported on Chrome OS. While the details of this are a little sketchy, since neither Valve or Google have announced this, Android Police claim they spoke directly to Kan Liu at CES, the Director of Product Management for Google's Chrome OS who told them of their plans to make it happen.

Note: You can get Steam working on it in some form with some manual effort now, although it's not great. This seems to be about making it all official. Having it properly integrated, enabling ease of use would be good, part of what Chrome OS is supposed to be about—being simple and easy.

Weird though, typical Google perhaps with plans that don't quite fit into what they're doing elsewhere. Since Google are pushing their own gaming service with Stadia, you wouldn't expect them to do this. Gaming is a massive and powerful market though, giving a big boost to Chrome OS and Chromebooks with advertising that it works with Steam could definitely make some waves.

Chromebooks have historically been quite low-powered devices, for the most part anyway. However, that has been changing and they're continuing to get beefier devices with more storage (which would be important for this) out across different manufacturers. With more powerful AMD-based Chromebooks apparently planned, it might actually make a little sense given they would actually be able to run some of the games on Steam for Linux.

Another reason why developers may want to ensure their games work on Linux to then gain Chrome OS compatibility too? Sure, sounds good. Let's not get ahead of ourselves though, this type of project could be a long time away if it ever happens. Who knows, could be one of the reasons or just a possible use case for Valve's Gamescope.

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42 comments
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MayeulC 17 January 2020 at 10:35 pm UTC
I suppose this is compatible with the recent gamescope developments, as as far as I know, chrome os can run Linux apps and uses a Wayland compositor.
Whitewolfe80 17 January 2020 at 10:36 pm UTC
My mum had one for a month before she realized she couldnt get ms office to work on it ( well by just clicking an exe anyway she is 60) so that was sold she bought because it was "neat" not sure thats a great endorsement
g000h 18 January 2020 at 12:34 am UTC
My take on it is that Google want ChromeOS to become the dominant home computer platform. They can only do this if ChromeOS can do everything that Windows or Mac does (i.e. Gaming, ideally AAA gaming.)

Back when Android entered the smartphone market, they were the small guys, and Apple iOS, Windows Phone, Blackberry, and Symbian were leading. Nowadays Android has taken approx 90% of the mobile market, and Apple scrapes most of the remaining 10% (and those other platforms are miniscule now).

I guess it *could* be beneficial to Linux native gaming if a game released for ChromeOS is practically identical to a Linux release, and Google's clout encourages developers to release for ChromeOS (and so might release for Linux too).

But, I'm not especially keen on a company like Google devouring the home computer market, spying on, profiling, and pushing out adverts to all their customers (who have nowhere else to go). "What mobile do *you* use?" -> Android, being the answer in 90% of cases.
sarmad 18 January 2020 at 1:28 am UTC
LinasIn Denmark I see people using Linux on their laptops from time to time. MacBooks are very popular. But I don't think I have ever seen a Chromebook, either in use, or in a shop. Not anywhere in Northern or Eastern Europe for that matter.

Statcounter seems to disagree:
https://gs.statcounter.com/os-market-share/desktop/denmark
Hori 18 January 2020 at 2:51 am UTC
Does that mean Steam is gonna come to ARM-based devices? Because that would be awesome
TheRiddick 18 January 2020 at 3:01 am UTC
More reasons for developers to support Linux is always good.

It still stings a little bit that CDPR didn't give Linux support for Witcher3 or CP2077
flesk 18 January 2020 at 5:34 am UTC
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HoriDoes that mean Steam is gonna come to ARM-based devices? Because that would be awesome

No, probably only the x64 Chromebooks, since none (or at least very few) of the games on Steam have an ARM version anyway.
Linas 18 January 2020 at 9:44 am UTC
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sarmad
LinasIn Denmark I see people using Linux on their laptops from time to time. MacBooks are very popular. But I don't think I have ever seen a Chromebook, either in use, or in a shop. Not anywhere in Northern or Eastern Europe for that matter.
Statcounter seems to disagree:
https://gs.statcounter.com/os-market-share/desktop/denmark
I said that I have never seen one, and that is still true.
tuubi 18 January 2020 at 11:01 am UTC
Linas
sarmad
LinasIn Denmark I see people using Linux on their laptops from time to time. MacBooks are very popular. But I don't think I have ever seen a Chromebook, either in use, or in a shop. Not anywhere in Northern or Eastern Europe for that matter.
Statcounter seems to disagree:
https://gs.statcounter.com/os-market-share/desktop/denmark
I said that I have never seen one, and that is still true.
True for me as well. But maybe they're being used in schools. That seems to be Google's strategy. You know, the one they copied from Apple. (EDIT: Of course it's a big part of the MS monopoly too.) Personally I don't really care which of these corporations nets all that cash, but I wish it was none of them.

In Finland Statcounter actually puts Linux at close to 3% of the market, which is nice. Denmark seems to be the least Linux-friendly Nordic country. Well, except for Iceland, but I don't know if that data is trustworthy. They seem to have gone from 4% Linux to less than one percent in four months.


Last edited by tuubi on 18 January 2020 at 1:33 pm UTC
Eike 18 January 2020 at 1:20 pm UTC
Linas
sarmad
LinasIn Denmark I see people using Linux on their laptops from time to time. MacBooks are very popular. But I don't think I have ever seen a Chromebook, either in use, or in a shop. Not anywhere in Northern or Eastern Europe for that matter.
Statcounter seems to disagree:
https://gs.statcounter.com/os-market-share/desktop/denmark
I said that I have never seen one, and that is still true.

0.09% for Germany , Linux 3.57.


Last edited by Eike on 18 January 2020 at 1:20 pm UTC
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