Google Play Games debuts on the desktop in beta mode

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Starting today Google will begin rolling out a limited beta test of its newly announced Google Play Games for PC product in Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan. The Google Play Games PC application was announced last month during The Game Awards event. This allows people to play Google Play games on Windows PCs, in addition to currently supported platforms like smartphones, tablets, and ChromeOS. Google had said last month that, with the launch of a Windows app, Google Play games could reach a gaming ecosystem of 2.5 billion monthly active users, across platforms.

The PC app’s launch follows a recent move from Microsoft to bring Android apps to Windows 11, which included a partnership with Amazon and its own Amazon Appstore, as demand for cross-platform gameplay has heated up. Google Play Games for PC app is a native app developed by Google. Players will need to download the games to their computer in order to play.

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The new PC support will include both laptops and desktops, the Menlo Park, California company said. The company had previously announced the first markets to gain access to the PC app, which was expected to arrive in early 2022. “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 was quoted last month by The Verge.

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After gaining access to the beta, testers will be able to try out popular mobile games like “Mobile Legends: Bang Bang,” “Summoners War,” “State of Survival: The Joker Collaboration,” and “Three Kingdoms Tactic,” which already have hundreds of millions of downloads worldwide. Players will be able to pick up from where they left off when switching from another device, like their Android phone, over to their computer.

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The new PC app lets users browse through the catalog, then download and play games on a larger screen, while also taking advantage of their mouse and keyboard inputs. Users’ gameplay progress, meanwhile, will sync between devices, and users will continue to earn Play Points when gaming on the PC. In total, beta testers will have access to more than 25 games, Google said.

As the beta version goes to launch, Google will publish more details for Android developers to optimize their existing games to be compatible with Windows PCs, so they’ll be able to take advantage of the expanded reach the PC app will offer.