Google has updated its support page without too much publicity, expanding the Google Play Games service to the European market, Spain included, and with it the possibility of running Android platform games on a Windows personal computer.
Bringing Android games to personal computers is a work in progress across multiple vendors. One of them is the Windows Subsystem for Android, one of the great novelties announced for Windows 11. It did not arrive in time for the launch, but Microsoft has continued its preferential development for its “idyll” with Android, once adopted as if it were your own operating system. It was released to the general public last year and the latest version was updated to Android 13 with improvements and new features.
Once enabled, WSA allows you to install and run Android games and apps. as if they were native to Windows. App icons appear on the Start menu, taskbar, and other locations, and apps launch in windows that can be resized or moved. It supports personal computers with ARM and x64 hardware architectures with a minimum of 8 Gbytes of RAM.
Google is also at work and the Google Play Games that we will see today was announced within the framework of the The Game Awards of 2021. As far as we know, there is no collaboration between Google and Microsoft. The projects are independent and to begin with, Google’s works from Windows 10, something that is not officially possible (yes, unofficially through third-party tools) in Microsoft’s. In addition, Google’s has much greater potential than Microsoft’s (for now limited to the Amazon store) since it has the potential to play thousands of titles from the Play Store.
How to try Google Play Games
The service has just landed in Europe, although, like the one available in the United States, it still has the ‘beta’ label. The minimum hardware requirements They are accessible to any modern PC and are specified in:
- Windows 10 (since version 2004)
- SSD with 10 GB capacity
- 8GB of RAM
- CPU with four physical cores
- Intel UHD GPU 630 or higher
- Hardware virtualization enabled
- Windows administrator account
Logically, from there up and Google recommends a dedicated graphics card and a processor with 8 logical cores to improve performance.
Before installing the service, the previous section on virtualization must be taken into account, since the service works with this technology. Therefore, you have to make sure activate windows hypervisor platform before installation. If you have not done it, when trying to run Google Play Games you will have an error and a warning to go back.
As you will know from other virtualization tutorials that we have been offering you, Hyper-V is the native Windows hypervisor and although there are higher capacity alternatives (VirtualBox, VMware Workstation Player…) it stands out for its integration with the system, ease of use and for its ability to run directly on the host machine’s hardware without the need to install additional software.
Its activation is done from the Control Panel> Programs and features> Activate or deactivate Windows features. Scroll down the menu and enable Hyper-V before installing the Google app. (If you still have execution errors, you should also check that CPU virtualization is enabled in the BIOS/UEFI)
From there, installation is trivial. Google has published a user guide that makes the task easier and basically consists of:
- Download the “Install-GooglePlayGames-Beta.exe” application from the official page and install it as any executable.
- Sign in with your Google ID account. It has to be the same one you use on your mobile and on your PC.
- Accept the terms of service and follow the instructions to complete the installation.
Once installed the application works like any other program in Windows. Execute the shortcut created and you will enter an interface like the following:
It works like any digital game store. The titles that interest you must be downloaded to your personal computer. On Android they are tiny compared to those on PC so you won’t have a disk space problem. Once installed you will locate them in your library.
Google Play Games is in beta phase and there is still development to improve, in performance, driver support, customization and also in the number of compatible games that right now are minimal compared to the immensity of those available for Android.
But it’s all just beginning… Running games on the Android platform on a Windows personal computer is possible, officially from Google and now available in Europe, and also from Microsoft with its WSA on Windows 11.