Back in January, word got out that Google and Valve were collaborating to bring some form of native Steam client to Chrome OS. Director of Product Management Kan Liu told Android Police that the project would leverage Crostini, aka Linux on Chrome OS. Because I spend a good portion of my days tinkering with Linux on my Chromebook, I hastily presumed that Steam would be delivered in some sort of Chrome OS-optimized Linux package. While that could still be a possibility, it appears that Valve may look to the Clouds in Steam’s next evolution.
As Gaming Unboxed reports, the Steam developer’s website Steamworks recently added a section labeled “Steam Cloud Play (Beta).” As the name implies, the Beta service will allow developers the ability to make their games accessible via a cloud service where uses can then play said games. However, the Cloud gaming service won’t begin its life on a Valve-built application. Instead, Steam Cloud Play will be available on Nvidia’s GeForce NOW platform.
These cloud services enable Steam users to play their Steam library in the cloud, one game at a time, like they can on their local PC. Developers must manually opt-in the games they wish to make available on GeForce NOW.Steamworks
We’ve tested GeForce NOW on Chrome OS a number of times. For ARM-based devices, it works well enough but the experience has yet to be optimized for Chromebooks. Intel devices, which make of the vast majority of Chromebooks, can’t even install the streaming game service. This leads me to wonder, what exactly was Kan Liu referring to when he dropped this morsel? GeForce NOW will likely never be a viable option for Chromebook users. Is Valve working on a Linux client for Steam Cloud Play? That would make the most sense based on Mr. Liu’s statement. Still, there’s another option that would make a lot more sense if you think about it.
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Stadia. Yes, Google’s massive yet underutilized streaming game service. Google is working hard to bring new and diverse titles to the service and with any luck, Stadia will find success and favor among gamers before it’s too late. Here’s the thing though. Steam already has a massive user base. I can imagine that many, like myself, would love to be able to access their Steam libraries from any Chrome OS device at any time. According to Steamworks, Valve is “building features and server capacity for players.” Google has more servers for Stadia than you can shake a stick at. In my opinion, this would be a match made in heaven. Stadia needs a wider adoption by players if it is to succeed and Valve could stand to benefit from Google’s experience in delivering data on a global scale. At this point, it doesn’t look like Steam Cloud Play is on the Stadia road map but according to Steamworks, it’s not out of the question.
We may add additional Steam Cloud Gaming services in the future. At that time we would reach out to you to opt your games into the new service.Steamworks
This doesn’t give me a lot of hope that Steam and Stadia will hook up but man, it would be so awesome. I guess, for now, we’ll just have to hope that Valve really is working on a Linux package that will deliver Steam Cloud Play. I have Totally Accurate Battlegrounds just chillin’ in my Steam library and I sure would like to play it on my Pixelbook Go. Just sayin’.
Source: Gaming Unboxed