The Chromebook and the platform it runs on Chrome OS has been around for just over ten years. We’ve seen a dramatic change in the offerings when it comes to hardware. You can still get your hands on some great budget Chromebooks, but there is plenty of medium-spec and high-spec devices that are extremely popular.
In the last year, we’ve seen gaming on the Chromebook become possible. This is thanks to Stadia and Nvidia GeForce Now. Stadia is a good choice if you want to play console-style games on your Chrome OS device. GeForce Now is a great choice for playing PC games on your Chromebook or Chromebox. These two streaming platforms have opened up a whole new world for gaming on your Chromebook.
Although this is great news for anyone who wants to play games on their Chrome OS computer. They are streaming services, which means you need to pay a subscription and the quality of gaming is impacted by how good your internet connection is. Streaming games is definitely the way forward, but playing games locally removes the issue around needing a super-fast internet connection.
Steam on your Chromebook
The good news is Steam and Google have been working closely to try and get a Linux App for Steam to work on Chrome OS. We heard about Steam and a Linux App for Chrome OS last year, and have not heard too much else since. However, there has been a lot of movement in how Google will allow Linux Apps in the future to take full advantage of your computer’s hardware.
At the moment playing Steam via Linux on your Chromebook isn’t a great experience. This is because Linux Apps are sandboxed for security purposes. Linux also runs in a virtual machine, which again helps with security. Virtual machines have been around for many years on all computer platforms. The biggest disadvantage of virtual machines is they don’t automatically get access to the full power of the hardware your computer comes with.
This means you can have a high performing Chromebook but Linux apps cannot take full advantage of this performance. This is why Steam games at the moment on Linux offer such a poor gaming experience. Once Google has worked out a way to allow Linux Apps to gain full access to your computer’s hardware without sacrificing security. Apps such as Steam for Linux will be able to use all of your computers processing power.
Higher Spec Chromebooks will be released
Once we’re at a stage where Steam can take full advantage of your Chrome OS computer hardware. We’ll no doubt see manufacturers releasing even more high-spec Chromebooks than what is already available. We may even see Chromebooks come with a dedicated graphics card, which is absolutely essential for games with advanced graphics.
We already see Chromebooks today with the latest Intel i5 or i7 processors, so these computers will already be in a good position for some PC games. Another thing you’ll need to consider is the RAM. When it comes to gaming locally the more RAM you have available the better.
You also need to consider storage. Storing games locally will take up a huge amount of storage space. This will most likely mean we’ll start seeing Chromebooks come with much higher storage options in the future.
Budget Chromebooks will still be needed
Not everyone buys a laptop to play games. There is still a huge number of people interested in buying a budget Chromebook to save money. These types of Chromebooks will still be available, so we’ll most likely see a new gaming range of Chrome OS Computers. They’ll be a lot more expensive than some of the Chromebooks currently available. However, they will also be best equipped for playing games locally.
This is all great news for Chrome OS. Once seen as a computer for just surfing the internet. Today you can do almost anything on a Chrome OS computer when comparing it to what you can do with MS Windows or MAC OS.
The future for Chrome OS is looking pretty bright at the moment. We’ve seen record sales of the Chromebook in the first two quarters of 2021. This trend will most likely continue into the future. The more Chrome OS can offer will help to see even more people make the switch to the Chromebook.