Yesterday, I spent some time hashing out why I feel that Google will bring Steam to Chrome OS in the very near future. While there’s still some work to be done, it now appears that Google is going all-in on the project and this may be a bigger addition to Chrome OS than we ever imagined. This morning, I uncovered a new commit that gives leads me to believe that Google has very big plans for Steam on Chromebooks. When the project finally comes to fruition, ‘Borealis’ and Steam will find a permanent home in the settings menu of Chrome OS alongside Play Store and Web apps.
This change adds borealis as well as steam and all installed games to settings under Apps. This also adds a mic toggle to the borealis settings.Chromium Gerrit
It isn’t completely clear what the flow will be when a user first installs Steam on their Chromebook but this gives me the impression that, like Stadia, the Borealis app will come pre-installed on any compatible Chrome OS device. This is just a presumption but I’d wager that the setup process will take users through the Steam login process at which point their game library will then populate in the Apps section of the settings menu. Additionally, like Crostini, Borealis will have its own dedicated mic toggle under the Steam settings. This will create a seamless experience for users wanting to access their Steam library on Chrome OS.
Once Google works out the fine-tuning for Vulkan which will allow Steam’s Proton compatibility tool to run Windows-based Steam games in the Borealis container, Chrome OS will quickly become one of the most accessible gaming platforms in the world. That’s a huge deal for users as well as Google and Valve. The fact that Google would go to these lengths and are willing to integrate Steam into the system menu tells me that this project has greater potential than we first imagined. I can’t wait to see Steam running natively on my Chromebook and I’m sure that there are many that feel the same way. Hopefully, that will happen by the end of summer because the anticipation is killing me. Stay tuned for more on Steam for Chrome OS.