Last year, all signs indicated that 2023 would be an exciting year for ChromeOS gaming. Early on, 9to5Google reported that Chromebooks supporting Nvidia GPUs were in the works. In October, several OEMs announced gaming-focused models (with integrated graphics) in a snazzy joint announcement. It seemed like there was a lot on the horizon for the Chromebook gaming enthusiast.
Those hopes, however, appear to have been dashed. The eagle-eyed folks over at About Chromebooks have spotted language in Google’s code indicating that multiple Nvidia Chromebook projects (including the specific models that were rumored last year) have been canceled. Google has not yet responded to a request for comment on this language.
This will likely be a disappointment to ChromeOS fans who were holding out for superpowered gaming products. Even with the death of Google Stadia (rest in peace), there was some enthusiasm among the community for platforms like Steam and Nvidia’s GeForce Now, which came preinstalled on the gaming models announced in October.
But integrated graphics can only get you so far. They’ll deliver a solid experience on many games, but if you want to max out your settings and resolution, running heavy AAA titles locally is often out of the question.
If you have been hoping to dive into ChromeOS gaming, you can find products that offer many of the same benefits we’d expect from a gaming rig (apart from the discrete GPU). The Chromebook 516 GE has a QHD, 120Hz screen with a very tactile keyboard, and it delivers a solid cloud gaming experience (though you can expect it to use a heck of a lot of data).