Google Play apps are coming to PC this year through a standalone Windows app, Google Play Games. The company recently released the beta in Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan, and plans to follow soon by expanding access to other countries.
Previously, the only ways to run an Android app or game on your PC were through Microsoft’s Your Phone app, an emulator like BlueStacks, or by using the Windows Subsystem for Android through the Amazon Appstore.
As for the last option, Microsoft is a little vague as to why the company chose to go with Amazon, rather than working directly with Google. According to Android Authority, sources said the move was “an incredible benefit” to customers, and that diversifying to Amazon was all in the name of “choice and fairness.”
We have a feeling it has something to do with the bitter, sometimes savage rivalry Microsoft has had with Google over the years. But you never know.
However, as Computerbase points out, the beta version of Google’s own Windows app has been released for its initial phase of public testing. I may have tried to bypass the regional block by using a VPN connected to Hong Kong, but since it’s a Google app, they unfortunately know where I live.
Once you gain access, however, you’ll be able to play and sync your Android games to the cloud, and can pick up where you left off on any compatible device.
Speaking of compatibility, where the Windows Subsystem for Android was only available on Windows 11 machines, Google Play Games will work for anyone on Windows 10 v2004 or higher, which is great for those who have followed our advice and waited to install the latest operating system.
However, there are some limitations for the application: AMD systems with less than 1 GB of VRAM are not supported, as well as “all Lenovo ThinkPads”, and there are other slight system requirements:
- Windows 10 (v2004)
- Solid State Drive (SSD)
- 20 GB of available storage space
- Gaming-grade GPU
- 8 logical processor cores
- 8 GB RAM
- Windows administrator account
- Hardware virtualization must be enabled
- Compatible PC Device and Setup
Of course, any developer looking to bring their games to PC will need to port them efficiently and get the controls right. Otherwise, people will search their screens wondering why the game is not working properly. Fortunately, Google has some advice on this.
The whole getaway seems well thought out, and we can’t wait to not have to connect to Amazon just to play Google games, or download an emulator. Let’s go, Google!