Thanks to the prevalence of all sorts of gaming today, the stereotype of gamers being anti-social loners is fading away. Gaming, especially thanks to the Internet, is now being seen as a social activity that connects people from diverse walks of life all around the world. Even mobile games, those ones you play glued to your screen, are social as well, or at least highly competitive. It seems that Google is finally taking note and will add some social features to its Android gaming platform, including a rather odd one.
Yes, Google actually has an Android gaming “platform”, for lack of a better way to call it. Many Android gamers, however, will probably only remember Google Play Games as that obscure app they need to install just for sign-in and cloud data save purposes. According to XDA, however, Google is about to spice that app up with social features that might even let you play with friends.
At the very foundation of these new features is a Friends List that will be added to the Google Play Games app. Based on code text, it’s pretty much what you expect from any gaming platform with friending functionality. You can add and manage friends, invite friends, even those without Google Play Games installed.
That Friends List is critical in a new “Play Together” feature that will supposedly let you see what your friends are playing and, if possible, play together with them. This is something that platforms like Xbox and PlayStation already have but it might be alien to Android gamers except on a per-game level.
The technical details of these new social features are still uncertain, much less when Google Plans on rolling it out to the Android faithful. It is curious that Google is suddenly making such a push when the company seems to be more focused on its own Stadia game streaming platform.