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Google announces Steam's upcoming arrival on (some) Chromebooks
The arrival of Steam on Chromebook laptops is only a matter of time.
Last month, journalists from the 9to5Google website mentioned theupcoming arrival of Steam on the Chromebook platform designed by Google to offer minimalist laptops at low prices. The information wasn't exactly official yet, but 9to5Google was confident in the strength of its sources, which even allowed it to mention "limited compatibility": not all Chromebooks would be able to run Valve's application, the number one video game on PCs.
Yesterday, in its keynote at the Game Developers Conference 2022 in San Francisco, Google intervened - very briefly - to confirm this information. At the moment, however, there is no question of real widespread availability, Google said that an alpha test of Steam would be organized very soon, it will concern Chrome OS and will be available " for some Chromebooks ", but Google did not specify which ones. In fact, there were not many details, Google simply explained that it is " possible to verify this on the Chromebook community forum ", implying that more information will be given later.
In February, 9to5Google got wind of a list of Chromebooks affected by the arrival of Steam on Chrome OS. The list was not very impressive, since a total of only seven machines were mentioned: three models of Chromebooks from Acer (the 514, 515 and the Spin 713), two models from ASUS (the CX9 and Flip CX5), a product from HP (the Pro C640 G2) and a Lenovo Chromebook whose name was not specified at the time. In fact, some had drawn the conclusion that to enjoy Steam on Chrome OS, you would need a Chromebook with an 11th-generation Intel processor and at least 7GB of RAM.
We won't comment on this for the moment. The technical limitations of Chromebooks are obvious and it's not surprising to see Google restrict its alpha test in this way. We'll have to see to what extent these limitations are maintained in the beta tests and in the actual release. We'll also have to check which games will actually work and whether developers will need to adapt/optimize their titles for Chromebooks.