Android games are coming to PCs next year. Google has announced it will launch a Google Play Games app for Windows next year. The app will allow Google Play games to run on Windows desktops, laptops, and tablets. Google said it is developing the app on its own, which means it is not taking help from Microsoft or BlueStacks for emulation. The games will be available to download on Windows and they will support the resume facility.
“Starting in 2022, players will be able to experience their favorite Google Play games on more devices: seamlessly switching between a phone, tablet, Chromebook, and soon, Windows PCs,” Greg Hartrell, Google’s product director of games on Android and Google Play, told The Verge. “This Google built product brings the best of Google Play Games to more laptops and desktops, and we are thrilled to expand our platform for players to enjoy their favorite Android games even more.”
Google has not specified what technology it is using to bring Android games to Windows 10 and above, but it explained that the upcoming service will involve native Windows apps for users. There will be no streaming involved, as in the case of Google Stadia, which is available on Windows devices through browsers. And these native apps will not use Windows 11 integration of any kind, which means Google is going to be responsible for everything from developing games and libraries to maintaining their updates.
The announcement from Google comes months after Microsoft added support for Android apps to Windows with the latest Windows 11 version. Microsoft has partnered with Amazon to distribute native Android apps through the Amazon Appstore. But the company’s technology behind Windows’ ability to run Android apps – Windows Subsystem for Android – is available to anyone who wants to bring Android apps to the PC.
That gives Google and other companies an opportunity to enter the Windows ecosystem. The biggest lure here is the Google Play support that is not available for Amazon Appstore apps. And because Amazon’s app marketplace for Android apps is not very popular, it hosts fewer apps than Google Play Store, which is the biggest place to find an Android app. The Google Play Games support on Windows will mean access to the entire Play library, and Google is making sure all the apps that support Play Games run on PC without glitches.
And while Microsoft, Google, and Amazon are new to bringing Android apps to Windows, BlueStacks has been doing it for years. The emulators for Windows work fine except that they do not run natively. Native support utilises official software support, minimising any chances of crashes and runtime errors. BlueStacks has improved its services since then, but with increasing competition from the software makers, it has begun offering Android apps through web browsers with its new service called BlueStacks X. And it is free.