Gaming has undergone a significant change in recent years, with the PC platform migrating into the living room and next gen consoles evolving to offer a more rounded entertainment experience. However, the biggest shake up in the world of gaming is the sheer dominance that mobile now holds over the market.
The rise in smartphones, tablets and, more recently, wearable tech has seen Google move to the forefront of gaming. With combined game revenue from Google Play and the iOS App Store clocking in at three times higher than gaming optimised handhelds in Q2 of 2013, according to App Annie, Google’s most recent projects are poised to innovate player experience for the rapidly growing mobile audience.
One of the most anticipated releases is the consumer launch of Google Glass. After being kept in development for so long, eager media and customers are likely to finally receive some concrete information on the device at Google’s I/O conference in San Francisco at the end of June.
The head-mounted display already has a number of games available, and more could be announced at I/O. The mini games that are currently on Glass all follow a simplistic structure, such as Tennis, Balance, Clay Shooter, Matcher and Shape Splitter. Despite their basic formats, the immersive elements of Google Glass are set to give users a taster of its true potential and encourage developers to contribute their own titles.
Additionally, online games could adapt for Glass users if it’s widely adopted, meaning WoW could morph into the world around us or players could step into a European poker room or Australian casino from the comfort of their own home. While this may seem like wishful thinking, considering the popularity of virtual reality headsets and wearable tech, a physically interactive online gaming world is not a million miles away.
It’s not just Glass that Google have up their sleeves either. A new version of Android is rumoured to make its debut at the upcoming conference, although little detail on the features are actually known. Some sources have reported that Android 4.5 will officially launch in July to coincide with a tablet release.
This tablet could very well be the 8-inch Nexus 8 that many have been discussing recently. A larger screen means better resolution and display quality on game titles, so the rumours should come as good news to fans of the device. An updated Nexus 10 is also a possibility, with Google revamping the model to compete with premium releases like the iPad Air.
It seems that Google has a lot on its cards for this year. While OS updates and new devices, like the modular Project Ara smartphone, could improve the way we play on the go, the eagerly awaited Google Glass has the potential to completely alter mobile gaming experiences altogether. Until I/O on 25th-26th June, we’ll just have to wait and see what this tech giant has in store.