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Google Cancels Plans for Gaming Chromebooks with Nvidia Graphics Cards

Earlier this year, it was reported that Google was working on gaming Chromebooks supported by Nvidia graphics cards. However, it appears that these planned devices have now been canceled.

The popularity of the Steam Deck has led to a boom in Linux gaming, which has inadvertently benefited ChromeOS's recently launched support for Steam gaming. In light of this, Google's efforts to develop Chromebooks that combined 13th-generation Intel processors with Nvidia's RTX 4050 graphics card, along with other unique features, came as no surprise.

Unfortunately, a code change reveals that Google considers these gaming Chromebooks to be “dead” and “cancelled.” The code for the “Hades” board, on which the RTX 4050 Chromebooks were based, has been completely removed. Additionally, an earlier board called “Agah,” which featured RTX 3050 graphics for development testing purposes, has also been eliminated.

Nevertheless, it is possible that Google still has plans for future Chromebooks with dedicated GPUs. A newer code change includes a board called “Aurora,” believed to be for internal Steam testing, which is marked as having an RTX 3050. Work is still ongoing to make Steam on ChromeOS compatible with dedicated GPUs.

Although the cancellation of the gaming Chromebooks is disappointing, it is worth noting that the Hades board was the first ChromeOS hardware to support the USB-C “Extended Power Range” standard. This standard allows for power as high as 240 watts and the ability to bypass the battery, reducing heat and wasted energy. It remains uncertain whether Google intends to fully support these capabilities going forward.

In the meantime, it is unlikely that gaming-ready Chromebooks will be available anytime soon. ChromeOS device makers are likely to focus their efforts on models optimized for cloud gaming and other avenues such as Google's recently unveiled “Chromebook X” standard.