Google have announced that they’re bringing Android games to PC next year, allowing folks to play the games they’ve bought via the Google Play Store directly on Chromebooks and Windows PCs. This is great news.
“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,” said Google’s product director of games on Android and Google Play, Greg Hartrell, in a statement to The Verge. The app that will run the games has been built by Google themselves, and you’ll be able to resume games on desktop after playing them on a phone or elsewhere.
Android apps have been playable on Windows in several ways in the past. Microsoft themselves have partnered with Amazon to allow games and apps from the (Android-powered) Amazon Appstore to run within Windows 11. There are also tools like BlueStacks that offer a framework for running Android games. Google doing it means there will be slicker integration across platforms, including presumably synced up leaderboards and the like.
That said, it’s worth remembering that a lot of Android games are, obviously, designed to be played on a touchscreen, or make use of features not present on desktop PCs. Pokémon Go isn’t going to work without GPS tracking, for example. More generally, just because a game can be launched in Windows doesn’t mean it’s going to automatically play nice or feel nice with a mouse and keyboard.
Yet this is still another example of the PC becoming the ultimate destination for basically every game. This being an official Google product increases the chances of games offering official support, and it feels like a more official arrival on PC for several huge hits, such as Pokémon Unite and Mystic Messenger.