Update: After a bit of confusion, Google’s Chromebook Community manager Alisha has dropped an announcement in the Chromebook Forum. Here’s what we have thus far:
As you may have already heard, our team is working with Valve to bring Steam to Chrome OS. We are very excited to share that we’ll be landing an early, alpha-quality version of Steam on Chrome OS in the Dev channel for a small set of Chromebooks coming soon. Please come back to the forum for more information!Alisha on behalf of Chrome OS
The 2022 Google for Games Developer conference is officially underway and the big highlight thus far is Google’s commitment to bring Android gaming to PCs. More on that here. More subtle but way more exciting, in my opinion, was the brief mention of Steam Gaming on Chrome OS. Moreover, the aptly named Steam Alpha that we’ve come to know as Project Borealis.
The “announcement” arrived smack dab in the middle of the opening keynote in which Product Director Greg Hartell was chatting about the growth of gaming on Chrome OS. This was thanks to the adoption of Android gaming apps on larger screens and the increasing availability of streaming game services like GeForce Now and Google’s own Stadia. However, right there on the slide sat the icon for Steam Alpha. It was nestled between cloud gaming and Gaming Overlay Beta. (More on that feature at another time.)
Little else was said about Steam Alpha other than it would be available for “select” Chromebooks. We know from 9to5Google’s discovery that this should initially include 11th Gen Intel Core i3 and Core i5 devices with a minimum of 7GB of RAM. Mr. Hartell did mention that Steam Alpha was now available today and that a post would be available on the Chromebook Community Forum but as other outlets have mentioned, there seems to be no official announcement or Steam Alpha app in sight. You can watch the very subtle announcement in the keynote video below.
We’ve reached out to Google for something a bit more official as it pertains to Steam Alpha on Chrome OS. Hopefully, we’ll see the much-anticipated gaming option available in the very near future. Initially, the supported device list is going to be very lean but we are extremely excited to finally see Project Borealis in the flesh. I, for one, am shocked that Google didn’t make a bigger deal about this announcement. Either way, it could be big news for Chrome OS, Valve, and countless gamers around the world. Stay tuned for updates as they arrive.