Google Play Games is coming to Windows 10 and 11
Windows 11 can run Android apps and games, and we showed you how to install them by side-loading the WSA and APKs. But, as it turns out, Google has something different planned for PCs.
The search giant is bringing Google Play Games to Windows 10 and 11, in 2022. Google made the surprise announcement during The Game Awards 2021.
What is Google Play Games for Windows anyway?
You will be able to play Android games on Windows. Why, though? Why not? More options are always welcome. This isn't the first time the Mountain View company has dabbled in the video game market, I'm of course referring to Stadia, the game streaming platform.
Unfortunately, that is the extent of what we know about the new platform. Google did not share screenshots or videos about it.
Windows Central reports that Google's technology is standalone, unlike Microsoft's Android emulation that depends on the Amazon Appstore. The blog post refers to an application that has been designed based on feedback from Google's community and developers. It will allow gamers to access their content simultaneously across Android Phones and Tablets, Chromebooks, and of course, Windows computers.
From what I can understand, it's probably going to be a desktop client that allows you to browse the Google Play Store, to download and purchase the Android games. Since it will need to run the games, it is very likely going to include an Android emulator.
That is, unless Google decides to go the Stadia way for streaming the games. The wording in the report doesn't seem to suggest this, so my money is on a proper desktop tool. Why else would they specifically mention Windows 10 and 11 if it is a web-based solution?
The key difference between running Android apps on Windows 11, and Google Play Games' Windows 10/11 support, is that the latter seems to be exclusive to games. This is a bit odd, but perhaps Google didn't want to go all the way with Android app support like it does with Chromebooks. Surely that market has its own value, albeit to a niche audience, which in turn gives it and OEMs an opportunity to cash in.
It's nice to see that Windows 10 will be supported by Google Play Games. Hopefully, this will evolve into support for Android apps. As a PC/PS4 gamer, I care little about mobile games except for a few quality gems. I'm more interested to see whether it will allow users to sideload apps via APKs.
Google's target audience however will probably appreciate it more. Playing games with a mouse and keyboard should offer a significantly better experience for those who find gaming on touchscreen devices to be tedious. The other advantage would be buying games on a single platform, and getting to play them on a large screen, it is easier on the eyes, especially for text-heavy games.
As a former Lumia 640 user, the absence of official Google apps was very noticeable to me on Windows phone. Frankly, I'm surprised that Google has decided to support the Windows ecosystem. Then again, I think their hand was forced by Microsoft's partnership with Amazon. Maybe Google couldn't afford to lose out on a potentially lucrative system.
What do you think about Google Play Games for Windows?Advertisement