[U] Google Play Games for PC appears at the 2021 Game Awards Show, new shortcut on Chrome OS

Update: Google has confirmed to Android Police directly the following. This keeps getting more exciting for cross-platform play!

We’ll have more to share on the service and product next year. But what I can say is this is a new experience that will enable players to download and play their favorite Google Play Games on their desktop. Google will distribute the application and games themselves. We’re excited to help everyone who uses Google Play to continue their gameplay across Android enabled phones, tablets, Chromebooks and Windows.

Greg Hartrell, Product Director, Games on Android and Google Play 

After inadvertently tipping its hand on its plans to bring Android gaming to Windows PCs via a full-fledged desktop Google Play Games application back in August, we just haven’t heard anything more regarding it up until today. There were a few screenshots, of course, but nothing official, and little to go on otherwise.

However, last night, Geoff Keighley hosted The 2021 Game Awards Show, and as I was watching, I began to notice a load of Play Games advertisements in between the official announcements. Spotlights for Rocket League Side Swipe, Raid Shadow Legends, Lineage 2M, and many other titles that are popular on mobile continued to get air time with a massive audience. Now I don’t know about you, but that just didn’t seem normal to me.

Later in the show, an official Google Play Games for PC announcement was made, and while it’s only 15 seconds long, it’s exciting, nonetheless to see Google putting so much weight and effort into expanding the millions of games that already exist for Android phones, tablets, and Chrome OS devices into new hands. I captured some screenshots, but luckily, Kyle Bradshaw of 9to5Google was able to capture the video clip, so credit goes to him for what’s below!

It’s a simple, but clean promo video that’s straight to the point, but it was a nice surprise for my late-night binge of the nearly 4-hour award show that has everyone pretty upset at its cookie-cutter ad-spot-driven event from “The Dorito King” himself. I love Geoff, don’t get me wrong, but I do agree that the show itself is quickly losing the plot and becoming like E3 – less focused on games and developers, and more focused on pandering to advertisers.

In this one instance, it worked out pretty well for us though, didn’t it? I guess I can’t complain too much then. That brings me to the last thing – last night on my Samsung Galaxy Chromebook running Chrome OS Canary, I discovered a new Play Games application icon in my launcher, and upon clicking it, I was presented with a shortcuts folder to recently played games.

The shortcut in my launcher. Strange!

The icon looks different than normal and quickly disappeared forever shortly afterward, but all of these factors culminated into a realization that something was brewing with Play Games! Take a look to see what I ran into. The same exact shortcuts folder was previously teased for Android, but I don’t recall ever seeing it come to fruition. Either way you slice it, Play Games is getting a brand spanking new logo, as evidenced in the reveal trailer video, and the new Windows launcher will appear sometime in 2022.

Anyway, there’s clearly more to this than what meets the eye, and I wonder how much of the Play Games for Windows client will integrate into Chrome OS or how the Android app on Chromebooks will change over time to accommodate gamepads, mice, keyboards, and other peripherals.

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