Google continues working to be able to execute Steam on Chrome OS, And it is that when we talk about PC games, Steam is the reference, and even users of equipment as limited a priori as Chromebooks have among their interests to take a game from time to time, as revealed at the beginning of the year Kan Liu, director of Product Management for Chrome OS.
If this was already known, what was intuited is how Google will offer Steam on Chrome OS: relying on the support provided by Linux, a platform for which the Valve store has been improving its support for years. However, they were expected to do so using Crostini, the compatibility layer for running Linux applications on Chrome OS, and it won’t be quite like that.
Steam on Chrome OS, with Ubuntu and Borealis
As they have discovered in 9to5Google after taking a look at the source code of the latest developing versions of Chromium OS, the support of Steam in Chrome OS will come via Borealis, a new project derived from Crostini that consists of the same, but with a different implementation . Quickly explained, Crostini is a complete Debian-based Linux distribution, which runs on a virtual machine.
Well, Borealis is exactly the same, with the difference that instead of Debian is based on Ubuntu and pre-installs Steam by default in Chrome OS. Why Ubuntu and not Debian? The truth is that even though Valve itself develops SteamOS (its Linux-based gaming system) on Debian, Ubuntu is still the most popular desktop Linux on the market, and one that all game developers focus on.
Thus, it is not surprising that Google has bet on insurance and uses Ubuntu to try to offer the best Steam support in Chrome OS, taking into account not only the thousands of native titles that exist and are coming out, but all those that arrive via Proton / Steam Play, Wine’s Valve compatibility layer for running Windows games on Linux.
Beyond guesswork, the revised code offers yet another clue as to which Chromebook might receive this new functionality first, and it won’t all be. Are those with 10th generation Intel processors those that seem to point to the support of Steam in Chrome OS, which also has its logic: Chromebooks do not stand out for their graphic power and better the more recent.
In short, Google advances in its attempt to provide its Chromebooks with all the characteristics of the taste of its users and there are a few in recent years: support for Android applications, Linux applications, Windows applications … All with their reasonable limitations, without haste but without pause. The goal of the Internet giant is clear.