Video look: Gaming on a Chromebook Pixel: Linux and Steam make it easy

I recently purchased a Chromebook Pixel with LTE,¬†but it hasn’t yet arrived. When it does, I plan to do some casual video gaming on the new hardware. No, I’m not talking about web apps; I mean native, third party video games. How’s that? I’ve shared part of the secret before: Simply run a script to install Linux so it runs side-by-side with Chrome OS. I can¬†instantly jump over to it as needed. The rest of the solution is Steam, the video game distribution service that now supports Linux.

So far, I’ve found two minor issues with this set up. One: I can’t yet get a game controller working with the Linux on the Pixel. Second, games running at full screen get a little choppy. I don’t think that’s completely related to the hardware; instead, I suspect that the video drivers being used aren’t optimized for the Pixel’s 2560 x 1700 display.

Other than that, the only limit is the number of Linux games you can find on Steam. There are certainly fewer for Linux than for the Windows or Mac platforms, but there are enough titles for occasional gaming on the Pixel. I’m not suggesting that the Pixel with Linux will provide a vast, rich gaming experience, of course. However, this does add a little more value to the $1,449 I spent on “just a browser.”


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