Chromebooks and gaming weren’t two words you used to be able to put into a single sentence with a straight face. Apart from a few less-than-stellar web games, Chromebooks just didn’t have the ability to deliver any real sort of gaming experience until Android apps showed up. Even then, the majority of Android games were either not made for the big screen or didn’t properly leverage the input methods Chromebooks have at their disposal like the keyboard and mouse. Even with Linux apps on board these days, we’re still far from the gaming scenario most people are after from a laptop.
As both Stadia and GeForce NOW have entered the conversation, gaming has expanded exponentially on Chrome OS. Sure, you need a solid internet connection to take advantage of these gaming services, but when you do have it, the experience is quite usable and fun. As cloud gaming has gained more traction, it seems Google is keen to continue encouraging the forward movement of Android games on the platform as well. Today’s post over on The Keyword shows that they are very interested in what games are currently great on Chromebooks, but also in encouraging developers to take Chrome OS a bit more seriously.
Probably the most exciting fact shared in the post was the fact that stats show gaming on Chrome OS is up by 3X in the past few months. Sharing stats like this can help game developers begin to see significance in the Chromebook sector and, assuming they haven’t already, get them considering what it would look like to optimize their games for larger screens with keyboard, mouse and controller support.
Speaking of controller support for games, Google also used the post to unveil three controllers that are already labeled with the new ‘Works with Chromebook’ designation. Though still a fledgling effort, this new label will help more consumers buy accessories they can feel confident about working on their Chromebook. We’ve not seen a ton of these accessories just yet, but we now have 3 controllers (The Stadia controller, Logitech F310 and F710 controllers) that consumers can buy and know that they will officially work well with any Chromebook.
As we are still looking forward to the official arrival of Steam on Chrome OS, it is encouraging to see Google shining a spotlight on a growing portion of the Chromebook experience that, with enough love from developers, could become a big win for the platform. Not long from now, we’ll have Android games, web games, Stadia games, GeForce NOW games, and native Steam games to leverage on Chromebooks. That’s a far cry from machines that could only play Flash games a decade ago.