Google said it is building a Windows-native app that will let users run Android games from the Play store.
Windows users will soon be able to play Android games on laptops, tablets and PCs after Google announced it is launching a new Play Games app next year.
The move has been long anticipated and was revealed in an announcement by Google at The Game Awards held in the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles yesterday (9 December).
Android games are already available to play on Google’s Chrome OS that comes with its Chromebook line of devices. Google says 2.5bn monthly active users are gaming with Android apps across phones, tablets and Chrome OS, and bringing this capability to Windows will likely add a substantial number of new players.
“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 favourite Android games even more,” Greg Hartrell, product director for games on Android and Google Play, told The Verge.
The Windows-native app has been built independently by Google without partnering with Microsoft, according to The Verge. Players will be able to run games on the device rather than streaming from the cloud, and they will also be able to resume games on the PC after playing on other devices.
However, PC gamers will have to run Windows 10 or above, which includes Microsoft’s latest Windows 11 released earlier this year.
Microsoft has been allowing Windows 11 testers to try out Android apps since October. Microsoft also already has a partnership with Amazon that lets Windows users install and run apps from the Amazon Appstore natively on PCs.
BlueStacks, a San Francisco-based cloud software company, already offers services such as BlueStacks X that allow Windows users to play Android games through web browsers for free. BlueStacks X succeeded its popular Android emulator and was launched in September.
Microsoft has been expanding its own video game offering in recent months. It brought cloud gaming to its Xbox consoles in August, allowing users to stream games before downloading them. Last month, Microsoft teamed up with Japanese game maker Sega to develop new titles using its Azure platform.
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