To all you Chromebook users out there, there’s hope yet for gaming without having to use a streaming service. Turns out Google might be planning to release some gaming-focused Chromebooks — a first since the Chromebook’s initial release back in 2011.
First spotted by 9to5Google, Google has made some changes to its Chrome OS code in the last few weeks to enable RGB keyboard support on some devices. While not a smoking gun per se, it’s not a stretch to take that as a sign they’re interested in catering to a gaming demographic.
In general, most Chromebooks really can’t match these new high-end gaming laptops we’re seeing more and more of, but they have been getting more popular, with some offering decent specs, like the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2.
Chromebook codenames — More specifically, the Chrome OS updates for RGB compatibility allows for individual key customization with color and intensity as well as adjusting the keyboard’s overall backlight brightness.
9to5Google says that these changes could just be to support existing USB or Bluetooth keyboards that have RGB lighting, but they found out that the RGB support is being prepared for a few unreleased devices with the codenames Vell, Taniks, and Ripple, as well. 9to5Google speculated that the Vell codename could potentially refer to a Chromebook under HP’s Omen lineup, while the Taniks could be under the Lenovo Legion gaming series. It also looks like Ripple could be a detachable keyboard, according to the 9to5Google report.
Steam support when? — These are far from guarantees, but the updates and codenames clearly suggest that Google would embrace gaming on its Chromebooks, and if that’s true, it could mean more momentum for Steam support or other gaming competitors. For the record, Steam support isn’t totally unheard of, as the Chrome team did previously say it was working on bringing the service to Chromebooks, albeit with no specific timeline in mind.
Chromebooks are increasingly more capable, and theoretically, a gaming-ready device could appeal to a specific type of gamer who isn’t looking for that high-end setup to run graphically-demanding AAA titles, but might be more interested in vibing with a mellow low-key indie game.