Chrome OS isn't "just a web browser" anymore, as so many of its critics alleged in the platform's early days. It's come a long way, adding dedicated apps through the Play Store while working to improve productivity. Google is also working to bring Steam to Chrome OS with Borealis, but that on its own just isn't enough. Vulkan and its low-level API support are needed to provide a big boost of performance power for gaming, and it's getting closer than ever to reality.
Linux for Chromebooks has come a long way since Google introduced it in Chrome OS 69 a couple of years ago. On supported devices, it opened the door to an extensive library of desktop apps for users, like video editing tools and IDEs. GPU acceleration was an important milestone that made graphic intensive Linux app usable on Chrome OS. This is thanks to Virgil 3D, a component that allows the Linux container to tap into the hardware's GPU. In exciting news shared by Luke Short from VMware, Google is working on adding Vulkan passthrough into Virgil to improve app performance.
We exclusively reported that Google is working on bringing official Steam support to Chromebooks back in 2020. Parallel to developing a new Linux container better suited for games, the company is now additionally experimenting with a new "Game Mode" that could bring some further performance to the upcoming Linux container.