Chrome OS has an exciting new addition coming for console gamers
It’s no secret that Chrome OS has gotten much better over the years, maturing far beyond just a browser platform. It shows that Google is determined to make Chromebooks an attractive choice for everyone, with support for Android apps and even powerful Linux tools to sweeten the platform’s appeal. With official Steam support around the corner, Chrome OS is even closer to becoming a viable choice for hardcore gamers – and an upcoming addition improves the gaming experience even further.
We’ve been following a few commits in the Chromium repository that aim to improve your Chromebook’s ability to detect wireless devices using Bluetooth Low Energy. Among these improvements are several new code handles that will add compatibility to Microsoft’s Xbox Series X controller via Bluetooth. Intrepid users living dangerously on Chrome OS 93 should be able to enjoy its wireless benefits today, as long as they have that specific gamepad lying around.
A submitted commit shows wireless support for the Xbox Series X controller coming to Chrome OS.
With this improvement, the input will accurately reflect the assigned buttons on the Xbox controller when connecting via Bluetooth, as shown in the gamepad_standard_mappings_linux.cc drop off.
Unlike before, you won’t need to be signed in to your device when gaming on your Chromebook. While the above commit is specific to Chrome OS and Linux, the change is part of an ongoing effort to support the controller on all platforms with access to the Chrome browser. Google plans to make it even easier to connect the Xbox controller to your Chromebook. We believe its upcoming Bluetooth ad monitoring will help.
The addition of Xbox Series X controller wireless support is a welcome change for those who fancy playing games on their Chromebook from the comfort of their couch. The improved compatibility comes just before Google’s official release of Borealis (aka official Steam for Chromebook) to the public. I can definitely see console gamers using their Xbox controllers on Chromebooks, even though I don’t have one. Coupled with the massive increase in gaming performance to come, Chrome OS is evolving into a platform beyond its initial vision.