Don’t miss the big picture with Steam games on Chromebooks

I peeked the other day and my 7 year old was sitting there playing a silly game called Henry Stickman on one of my Windows 11 laptops. He was having fun and I clearly remember one time about a year and a half ago where he was begging me to get a Windows laptop just to play this game that he had watched other kids enjoy on YouTube. He was never available on any of the streaming services, so playing on his Chromebook was never an option. But the year-long obsession with building a golf simulator ended up bringing us an extra mid-range Windows PC in the house, and now he has a way to play that little game he’s been looking for for so long through Steam on Windows.

This game will be perfect on Chrome OS

What if he could just run that on a Chromebook? In fact, it will soon be able to do so thanks to Steam games on Chrome OS. games like Henry Stickman are exactly the types of titles that Steam on ChromeOS will excel at, although 3D adventure games and first-person shooters are also entirely doable. There will come a time when we will have Chromebooks with more powerful discrete graphics and integrated GPUs (hello, 12th Gen Intel Alder Lake), but all that power isn’t really needed for a lot of games in the vast Steam library. .

For now, Google is keeping Steam for 11th and 12th Gen Intel devices with the higher performance Iris Xe graphics, but hopefully it will open up over time. As long as a quick warning is given to less capable Chromebook users, they can run Steam on an affordable device and play many less demanding games on their Chromebook right away.

lose a generation

Many may wonder why Google is putting so much effort into different avenues for gaming on Chromebooks. After all, aren’t Chromebooks supposed to be simple, cloud-focused machines that can do the basics? Sure, but don’t overlook the importance of keeping the attention of the younger generation.

Chromebooks are everywhere in schools, which means tons of young students are already familiar with Chromebooks. But for children like my son, they also fully understand the inherent drawbacks of a simple, cloud-centric IT approach, even if they can’t verbalize it. And one of those downsides is Chromebooks’ inability to play the games those kids want to play. If the generation of potential Chromebook users in school right now grows up understanding that Chromebooks are too limited for everyday use, they’ll take that understanding into their adult lives and essentially walk out of ChromeOS when it’s released. ‘school.

Fortunately, Google is addressing missing pieces of the ChromeOS software ecosystem as we speak to actively avoid this outcome. As Android games continue to grow in their support for larger screens, game streaming continues to evolve and grow, and Steam games on ChromeOS mature, there will be a ton of options available for Chromebook users looking for games in the near future.

The same can be said for PWAs, creative apps for drawing, photo editing, and video creation. The operating system that was once “just a browser” will soon house so many ways to do so many things that it’s hard to fathom at this point. There’s still work to be done, but don’t miss the overview. Steam on ChromeOS (like all the other additions we already have or are in the works) is part of a larger plan to give current and future users the tools they need when they need them. The game is a big part of that, and I’m happy to see it shaping up the way it is.

About Jon Moses

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