A few years ago if you asked me whether you could truly game on a Chromebook I would have said no. Of course, you could play Android games, but PC gaming was simply not possible. This changed a couple of years ago thanks to game streaming services such as Stadia and Nvidia GeForce Now.
I’ve used Nvidia GeForce Now to play my favourite PC games and it works really well. I was a little unsure at first whether I’d get a decent gaming experience, and was surprised that it worked better than my Microsoft Windows gaming PC.
Therefore, you can now play PC games on your Chromebook using Nvidia GeForce Now. The best thing is you don’t need a super-powerful Chromebook to play games because all the processing is done in the cloud. The one thing you do need for the game to work seamlessly is a strong internet connection.
Chromebooks for cloud gaming
Manufacturers are currently releasing new gaming Chromebooks that will specifically focus on Stadia and GeForce Now. According to 9 to 5 Google, these Chromebooks will work just like any other Chrome OS device with some additional extras.
They will be specifically branded as ‘Cloud gaming devices’. When it comes to physical appearance they’ll most likely include highlighted keys that are used during gaming. Something you see a lot on gaming laptops.
They will also include some preinstalled apps that you would not find on a typical Chromebook. These include a Cloud Gaming Partner Platform. This app will give you a direct link to Nvidia GeForce Now, and it will be instantly noticeable because it will be pinned to the Chrome OS desktop shelf.
Nvidia GeForce Now to get prime positioning
Considering Stadia is a game streaming service provided by Google. You would have thought they would have promoted their own service more than Nvidia GeForce Now. Instead, GeForce Now and Stadia will be positioned as two services you have available for streaming games. It doesn’t appear one will get preferential treatment over the other.
This is a smart move by Google because not everyone will want to use Stadia. When I think about Stadia I instantly think about more console-style games, which aren’t for everyone. Nvidia GeForce Now is more focused on PC-style games, so it’s great to see Google has recognised the different types of gamers out there.
Steam Linux Alpha
Streaming games on Chrome OS works really well and it will be interesting to see what happens with local gaming. The current project by the Valve corporation to bring gaming to your Chromebook locally is currently a work in progress.
You can install Steam on your Chromebook by installing Linux, but it doesn’t work too well for many advanced games. This is mainly because Chromebooks are not powerful enough and certain hardware features have been disabled for security purposes.
To get around this Valve has been working on a Steam Linux App. You can already use this if you own a Chromebook that is powerful enough. This app will get around the issues of the software having full access to your computer’s processing power. There is a long way to go before this is seen as a viable gaming option. However, if you’re interested check out how to install Steam Linux Alpha on Chrome OS.