Google launches Android Games for Windows PCs in limited beta
Shortly after Microsoft announced that Windows 11 will run Android apps natively, Google revealed its own plans to bring Google Play Games for Windows. The platform has now been soft-launched in 3 Countries as a limited beta test.
Users who live in Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan can opt in to the waitlist at the official page for Google Play Games for Windows. If you're from another Country, you can still choose to be notified when the service is available in your region. Once you join the waitlist, you will get an email with instructions to check if your PC can run the games.
Google Play Games for Windows - Minimum System Requirements
- Windows 10 (v2004)
- Solid state drive (SSD)
- 20 GB of available storage space
- Gaming-class GPU
- 8 logical CPU cores
- 8 GB of RAM
- Windows admin account
- Hardware virtualization must be turned on
- Compatible PC device and configuration
Those are some pretty high requirements to run mobile games on a computer. The 8-core CPU requirement is especially surprising. That said, this is a beta test after all, so maybe things will change as the company optimizes the experience based on feedback from users.
How these games will run on a Windows computer still remains a mystery. I can only assume from those system requirements, specifically the virtualization part, that the app is essentially an emulator that runs on Android OS. I mean, the service does target Windows 10 users, and since it doesn't support Android apps natively, the upcoming service has to be an emulated experience, not a web-based platform like Stadia. The video below shows games being downloaded in the app.
Here's the video teaser for Google Play Games on PCs. Based on the information given on the page and seen in the video, Google Play Games for Windows will support for keyboard and mouse controls, obviously that is a must-have for any desktop program. The service will provide seamless cross-platform sync. So, you will be able to play the same games on your phone and PC, and switch between the two to pick up where you left off.
The service will offer Google Play Points for purchases made by users, that they can redeem for rewards. The sign-up page indicates that the Google Play Games moniker will refer to the PC experience, and that the mobile app is changing in the near future.
XDA and Ars Techinca report that the following games will be available at launch: Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Summoners War, State of Survival: The Joker Collaboration, and Three Kingdoms Tactics. The waitlist page lists more games including Asphalt 9: Legends, Township, Dragon Mania Legends, Gardenscapes, War Planet Online: MMO Game, Cash Frenzy - Casino Slots, Cookie Run: Ovenbreak, Top War: Battle Game, Idle Heroes, Last Shelter: Survival, Rise of Empires: Ice and Fire, Magic Rush: Heroes, State of Survival: The Joker Collaboration, etc.
Those aren't exactly awe-inspiring titles, but I realize I'm not part of the service's target audience. The Mountain View company has not revealed a launch date for its Windows gaming platform, it only says that the beta program will expand to other regions in 2022 and beyond. Windows 11 supports the Amazon App Store, and you can side-load apps from third-party sources already. It is unclear whether Google will allow users to install Android apps from the Play Store.Advertisement