This may feel like déjà vu because Google itself mistakenly leaked this announcement a few days ago, but the company today officially announced the launch of Steam OS on Chrome OS.
Before you run off to install it, there are a few caveats: this is still an alpha release and only available on the more experimental and unstable Chrome OS Dev channel. The number of supported devices is also still limited since it’ll need at least 8GB of memory, an 11th-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processor and Intel Iris Xe Graphics. That’s a relatively high-end configuration for what are generally meant to be highly affordable devices and somewhat ironically means that you can now play games on Chrome OS devices that are mostly meant for business users.
The list of supported games is also still limited but includes the likes of Portal 2, Skyrim, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Half-Life 2, Stardew Valley, Factorio, Stellaris, Civilization V, Fallout 4, Dico Elysium and Untitled Goose Game. You can find a complete list here.
Sometimes you’ll have to set your graphics to medium or lower to make these games work, but I didn’t think we’d see the day when people were playing The Witcher on Chrome OS. But given that Steam has greatly improved Linux support in recent years and Chrome OS has landed on more powerful devices, it was probably only a matter of time anyway. I don’t think people will buy Chrome OS devices just to game — and the list of supported games is too small for that — but it’s nice to know you will soon be able to kick back with an hour (or ten) of Factorio after work on a business trip or during a boring class.