Here at PC Gamer we tend to like playing games on PC. Many of us are open enough to find fun in other places, like consoles and the like, but we still like our computers. We like our computers so much that we get excited when we can play non-PC games on them. Every time Sony decides to release something like God of War (opens in a new tab)or Spider-Man (opens in a new tab) on our beloved platform we go crazy with festive mods (opens in a new tab).
These huge ultra impressive games (opens in a new tab) finally coming to PC is always a cause for excitement, but what about maybe hundreds of little ones? As of today, Google has officially launched its Google Play Games for PC beta across Australia, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. This means that users with Google Play accounts from those regions will be able to control some Android game titles on their PC.
The application can be downloaded directly from the Google website, (opens in a new tab) and there may even be a prompt for it at the bottom of your welcome screen when loading your browser. Installing the app allows you to browse, download and play the mobile games offered. Right now Google boasts over 40 games available on the platform, which is a fair start for a beta offering.
Looking through the games, there isn’t much that piques my interest as someone who isn’t really into mobile gaming. Maybe more intense games like Genshin Impact with its huge character list (opens in a new tab) are still nowhere to be seen, but given Android doesn’t yet have rules support, that’s not too surprising. Instead, the catalog contains mostly established mobile titles like Idle Heroes, Cookie Run, and those damn looking Garden and Homescapes games.
It’s hard to say whether such games will really benefit from a PC interface, as they are all very mobile-optimized. However, a mouse and keyboard can often lead to a distinct advantage, especially as more games come out. Regardless, it’s nice to have the option to play these games on a big screen, and not drain your phone battery unnecessarily.
To run the Google Play Games beta for PC, you may also need to take a quick trip to your bios and enable hardware virtualization. Sometimes this is called other things, like SVM or Secure Virtual Machine on AMD units. This will allow your PC to run Google’s game emulations, though it makes us wonder what other Android uses this could possibly have.
After that, everything is quite easy especially since Google has reduced the minimum requirements to run this new application. It only requires Windows 10 rather than 11 and it’s pretty lenient on the hardware side too. 8 GB of RAM combined with an Intel UHD Graphics 630 GPU equivalent and a 4-core CPU. The only slightly demanding is an SSD with 10GB of free space, we have some suggestions if you are out. (opens in a new tab). Most computers you have lying around could pretty easily become a Google Play Machine with these light requirements.