Google says it will bring Android games to Windows in 2022
Playing Android games on Windows has been possible for about as long as Android has existed, thanks to projects like Android x86 and Bluestacks. More recently, Microsoft has been building an Android app layer directly into Windows, with software downloadable from the Amazon Appstore (or you can sideload apps and games). Now it seems Google is finally ready to create its own mechanism for playing Android games on PCs.
Thursday night was The Game Awards, which normally doesn’t have much in the way of Android news, but Google made a surprise announcement. The company revealed it will bring a Google Play Games app to Windows PCs sometime in 2022. 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 isn’t saying much right now about how it works, or which games will be available. The company did confirm that Google has built the app on its own, without the use of existing technology from Microsoft, Bluestacks, or others. Games will run locally on your PC, not streamed from a cloud server, and it will be compatible with Windows 10 and newer. Microsoft’s virtualization layer for Android apps is only supported on Windows 11.
Chromebooks already run Android games and apps, so moving them to another desktop platform isn’t too much of a stretch (besides the technical challenges). Google creating its own software with (presumably) full Play Services support could potentially sway fewer game developers against supporting an Amazon Appstore version, which would be required for Microsoft’s Android compatibility layer without forcing people to sideload applications. However, Google doesn’t seem interested in running standard Android apps on Windows, while Microsoft’s implementation supports both apps and games.