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Steam enters beta on Chromebooks, tripling number of supported devices

After a long incubation period, Valve’s Steam gaming platform is now available on the beta channel of version 108 of ChromeOS, bringing along improved user experience, broader availability, and greater compatibility with popular gaming titles.

Gaming publisher Valve had, at the beginning of this year, been collaborating with the ChromeOS gaming team in releasing Steam in the alpha channel of ChromeOS. Graduating to the more stable and reliable beta channel means more users can try Steam out for themselves.

Valve Steam on ChromeOS 108 screenshot.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

With this release (ChromeOS beta 108.0.5359.24 or greater), Google is tripling the number of supported devices — this time adding support for devices with AMD Ryzen 5000 C-Series and Intel 12th Gen Core CPUs, while lowering the minimum CPU requirement for i3 and Ryzen 3. It’s also good to see that the new cloud gaming Acer, Asus, and Lenovo Chromebooks are included in that list.

Storage in the Steam environment has also been reworked by way of sparse disk and ballooning. This should prevent a preexisting issue that prevented games from accessing storage when trying to download content outside of Steam. The ChromeOS team also says that this change should improve file access performance for Proton games.

Steam beta also beings a couple of improvements in power management. There are power notifications (when games are running in full screen) to ensure that the gamer doesn’t inadvertently run out of juice in the middle of a game. The team reportedly was also able to extend battery life by reducing CPU overhead in DirectX and Vulcan titles.

Scaling of low-resolution games on high-resolution screens is also new to this release, which potentially means better compatibility and overall experience when gaming on QHD or UHD displays.

Ultimately, these Steam improvements can be enjoyed in 50 new titles on top of the current recommended list. Follow these instructions to set up Steam in beta.

Aaron Leong
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Aaron enjoys all manner of tech - from mobile (phones/smartwear), audio (headphones/earbuds), computing (gaming/Chromebooks)…
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