Google's Android gaming service for PC has now entered its beta testing phase, which means the full release might be just around the corner.
Google is gearing up to launch its Android gaming platform on PC, with the service's beta testing phase already well underway in select territories. The service - Google Play Games - is effectively a port of Google's dedicated gaming client on Android, with it getting expanded to support a full game translation layer for Windows.
The limited beta of Google Play Games for PC is being tested exclusively in Asian territories. Specifically, users from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea can apply for access, though it is currently unknown whether Google has an unlimited number of users in mind or if the company is curating how many people can try the beta version of the Android PC gaming client.
Google Play Games for PC is supposed to allow Windows PC users to seamlessly play native Android and Chrome OS games on Microsoft's Windows 10 and Windows 11 operating systems. In theory, this should ensure that users can switch between their Android and PC devices on the fly when it comes to gaming, with progression and purchases being unified between all platforms.
At this time, anyone can "express interest" in the application's beta, but it's unclear if and when Google plans to expand the beta testing phase to additional countries. There's very little formal information from Google on how the service will work in practice. However, now that some people have had a chance to try it out, early impressions should start flowing in.
It's worth noting that the Google Play Games PC edition will not be a streaming app. Instead, this will be a native translation layer enabling Android games to run on Windows PCs, and it's thought to be Google's answer to Microsoft's launch of its own native Android app store for Windows 11. In the absence of both
On paper, the promise of Android games on PC sounds fantastic, but there's no way of knowing how native Android games will do against full-fledged desktop gaming experiences. At the very least, the combination between the PC and Android ecosystems should be interesting in 2022. Google's Stadia gaming service is already handling AAA titles in some ways, and it could potentially combine with Play Games to offer a competitive gaming experience on both PC and Android.
Google Play Games for PC is currently under beta development, with a possible release date of 2022.