With an anticipated upgrade from Alpha testing to Beta, Google is moving forward with bringing Steam titles to ChromeOS and enabling more gamers to enjoy.
When Google and Valve originally made Steam available for Chromebooks, installing it was quite the ordeal. In short, you had to open a certain terminal, enable a Chrome flag, and input a challenging command with a passphrase. You must be using a suitable device even then!
Another important feature of Steam for Chromebooks is that it is presently only accessible on ChromeOS devices that have signed up for Dev or Canary updates. The benefit of using these update channels is that updates come out much more frequently—every week for Dev and virtually every day for Canary—but they aren’t nearly as stable and tested as a final ChromeOS version.
I can say with assurance that crashes and issues can happen, and occasionally they can even require you to powerwash your device to get it operating again. I use both Dev and Canary builds full time on my personal Chromebooks. Although it is presently necessary to use ChromeOS Dev or Canary in order to utilize Steam on your device, we do not advise anyone to do so.
According to a recently posted code change , that is now changing. The updated code, which eliminates ChromeOS Beta from the list of versions that are prohibited from installing Steam, is surprisingly simple (referred to in the code as borealis). Further explanation is provided by the developers, who state that when Steam for ChromeOS enters beta testing, Chromebooks running the beta update channel will be able to install Steam.
However, it appears that there is still more work to be done before Steam for ChromeOS enters beta testing. This update is being put on hold until the appropriate moment, which most likely refers to when the beta phase really starts, according to an second developer .
However, it’s evident that Google is putting everything in place for the potential expansion of Steam on ChromeOS in the coming days. The timing seems fitting given that the experience has been under Alpha testing for about six months.