In Keynote Address at Google’s Annual Game Developers Summit Google said his Google Play Service Games for PC, which brings Android games to Windows users, will enter the markets of Japan and other European countries and will receive new names and tools for game developers. It should be noted that over the next few months, the service will add several popular games, including Garena Free Fire, Ludo King (a popular board game in India) and MapleStory M. In the meantime, Google Play is introducing early access to machine translation in the Play Console, which will allow game developers to translate their game into more than eight languages for free within minutes, the company said.
Launched in beta testing in January 2022Google Play Games is designed to expand the reach of Android gaming by allowing consumers to play mobile games on their Windows PCs, in addition to supported platforms such as Android and ChromeOS mobile devices and tablets. With this service, gamers can pick up where they left off on one device when switching to another—something many Apple-focused games already offer, such as when users switch between iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices.
Initially available in overseas markets such as Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan, the service expanded into the US and other countries in November and currently operates in 13 markets including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Now Google says the service will roll out to Japan and several European countries within the next couple of months.
It also introduces a range of features aimed at game developers, including an emulator that offers a developer-focused build
Google Play games designed for debug and build process. This tool allows developers to deploy games directly, including by uploading APK files using the ADB command, and allows them to use Android Studio to tweak graphics and hardware settings to test different player configurations. (Developers will have to register here, the first to show interest in the service.)
As Google explains, the partnership with Intel allows developers to streamline the process of joining Google Play Games on PC with their existing mobile builds. If the mobile game is already working well on desktop, they can now apply to join the service.
The company also publishes new release checklist to help game developers make sure they have completed all the required steps
before submitting a build for approval, and added more metrics for games in Android Vitals. The latter includes newly launched frame rate metrics in the Play Console or through the Developer Reports API, which allow developers to check if their games offer at least 30fps, the technical quality required for the Google Play Games service for PC. Other technical updates have also been implemented to improve performance and user engagement, in addition to a new machine translation feature that will use Google Translate and Transformer-based language models to translate games into more than eight languages, including Simplified Chinese and Japanese.
Google has also teased the upcoming release of Next Generation Player IDs, which will keep a user’s Player ID the same across platforms for any games, while still allowing them to be unique across games. This Play Games Services-based feature will arrive later this year.
Still considered beta, Google Play Games for PC requires users to run Windows 10 on a PC with 10 GB of available solid-state drive (SSD) storage, an Intel UHD Graphics 630 or equivalent, 4 physical CPU cores, and 8 GB of RAM. The company has yet to share an official public launch date.