Android TV, which is the platform at the heart of the new Nexus Player announced just the other day, is set to be a really challenge to the current TV based gaming sector, says Chris McKillop, Googles Android TV engineering manager, in an interview with Fortune.
Android TV is a PlayerThe article sheds some light on the gaming future that Google sees for the Android TV OS, which will feature in a range of hardware from different manufacturers. It might be that you have a Nexus Player in mind for easy streaming of content and images but Google are planning to shake up the gaming world in a big way.
With increasingly sophisticated graphic capabilities in current devices it’s clear that the gaming industry is going to be the next industry disrupted by Android. McKillop says “The latest generation of GPUs in Mobile SoCs are now at or exceeding those of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. When the PS3 originally launched, Android was still nearly two years away from a 1.0. It’s not going to take long for the mobile chipsets to catch up with the current fourth-generation systems (PlayStation 4 and Xbox One)
A question of control
With PS3 graphics now in your hands the problem becomes one of interaction; no one really likes playing classic console style games on a touch screen device. Some games pull it off well, but none really excel at converting our console experiences to touch screen device. One of the traditional issues faced by Android developers is the lack of a standard for interface devices. This meant that if you develop a game and want to support a controller, you need to focus on one brand of gamepad, or even perhaps one specific model of gamepad. Most don’t bother.
Android Lollipop provides a standard for gamepad developers to work with which means games can be designed for gamepad support and gamers, and developers, won’t need to worry about whether their new games will support any gamepad they buy. This, and the level of graphics available in devices right now, means we are going to see an explosion in the Android TV platform. On that McKillop comments that “Android TV will give developers a reason to get controllers working, and this will translate directly to controller gaming on phones and tablets. That’s the power of a single platform across all form factors.”
Certainly Sony and Microsoft must be looking at these developments very carefully. Whilst it’s unlikely that any Android game is going to challenge the likes of “Last of Us” on PS4 any time soon, the rapid turn around of the Google Play store and the cheap, high quality, plethora of games available on Android is really going to attract instant gamers.
It’s clear that Android TV is going to be a game industry disruptor without doubt. The full article can be found here