After all, it could almost be time for Steam games on your Chromebook
Steam support for Chrome OS devices has been in development for a number of years. The system, code-named “Borealis”, is designed to provide Chromebooks with a fast, easy, and integrated gaming experience. We’ve already looked at work on activating the Vulkan graphics library in Crostini to unlock the game features that will work for Borealis. Now we have uncovered another important piece of the puzzle as the first system flags arrive for the Borealis beta.
Using these flags requires Chrome OS 98.0.4736.0, which should come out every day on Canary now – well behind previous plans to have a soft launch by Q2 or Q3. The source code commit revealing this information also shows that there will be both stable and beta channels for Borealis, separate from Chrome OS. Interested testers can opt for the beta to access more functions at the expense of stability.
We also see Chrome OS preparing a game compatibility reporting system with Proton. If you’re not familiar with Proton, it’s seemingly magical software from Valve that makes it possible to run Windows games on Linux (it’s based on Wine). As you can expect with such an ambitious project, there are many potential problems that need to be resolved. Hence, it is good to see that Google is planning to address these in advance. A report from Boiling steam tries to confirm that Google has its own quality assurance team dedicated to testing Borealis. When the product hits the market, it should be easy for users to provide direct feedback to Google and Valve in order to make Proton an even better overall experience.
We’re looking out for more changes to Borealis, so stay tuned for more information about Steam on Chromebooks in the coming weeks.
This article is sponsored by Fret Zealot
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