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(Pocket-lint) - There is little doubt that Chromebooks are gaining in popularity and better rivalling Windows PC laptops as time goes on. But they still fall short in one particular area: gaming.

Chrome OS just isn't that well supported when it comes to games. And Android titles, while plentiful, are hardly the same as the best Windows has to offer.

However, that could soon change. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that Google is planning for Steam support within Chrome OS and with it a much wider range of games.

Steam support for Chrome OS devices has seemingly been in development for quite some time. 9to5Google reported back in 2020 that there was a project within the Chromium open-source code-named "Borealis", that is a full Linux distribution that just so happens to contain a preinstalled version of Steam.

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That system is intended to bring a fast and easy gaming experience to Chromebooks. More recent reports suggest that this project may be getting closer to a proper release.

Android Police has uncovered that there may now be both a stable and beta channel for Borealis in the very near future. And that the release could be separate from Chrome OS. 

People willing to try it out can therefore access the beta to give it a go via Chrome OS 98.0.4736.0 and Canary.

Google hasn't been shy in confirming that it is looking into Steam compatibility, but this latest discovery hints that it could now be available publicly sooner rather than later. Boiling Steam also has said previously that Google has been recruiting quality assurance testers to make sure it runs well too. 

Of course, there are hardware limitations to consider. Many Chromebooks aren't powerful enough to run fancy modern titles, but there are some high spec Chromebooks that are and that can easily rival traditional laptops. 

Writing by Rik Henderson. Editing by Adrian Willings.