Google will today begin rolling out a limited beta test of their recently announced Google Play Games for PC product in three overseas markets: Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan. The Google Play Games PC application, which was announced last month during The Game Awards event, allows people to play Google Play games on Windows PCs, in addition to currently supported platforms like mobile, tablet and ChromeOS. The new PC support will include both laptops and desktops, Google said, and gamers will be able to continue where they left off when switching from another device, like their Android phone, to their computer.
The company had previously announced the first markets to access the PC app, which was expected to arrive in early 2022. An exact date, however, had not yet been given.
After gaining access to the beta, testers will be able to try popular mobile games like "Mobile Legends: Bang Bang", "Summoners War", "State of Survival: The Joker Collaboration" and "Three Kingdoms Tactic", which already reach hundreds of millions of players worldwide every month. In total, beta testers will have access to more than 25 games, Google says.
The new PC app allows users to browse the catalog and then download and play games on a larger screen, while also taking advantage of their mouse and keyboard input. Users' progress in gameplay will meanwhile be synced between devices, and they will continue with early Play Points when playing on the PC, Google noted today.
The launch of the PC app follows a recent move by Microsoft to bring Android apps to Windows 11, which included a partnership with Amazon and its own Amazon Appstore as the demand for cross-platform gaming has increased. But the Google Play Games for PC app is not being built in collaboration with Microsoft - it's Google's own app, which it built internally and distributes. It is also not a game streaming service. Players will download the games to their computer to play.
As the beta release launches, Google says it will release more details for Android developers that will help them optimize their existing games to be compatible with Windows PCs so they will be able to draw benefit from the extended access that the PC app will provide. 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.
Timely in parallel with this news at. 16.00 PT today, Google will launch a developer site for those interested in joining the beta, where they can express interest and sign up to receive updates while the beta continues.