You don’t need a console, microconsole, or even a cord to play games on your television. You’ll only need a Chromecast.
During its Nexus event today, Google revealed that it is working with developers to stream games from your smartphone to your TV-connected Chromecast (Google also announced the Chromecast 2 and Chromecast audio today). This feature enables gamers to control apps like Angry Birds Go, a kart-racing game, with their phones while the visuals display on your television.
This is something we’ve seen before with Apple’s Airplay to Apple TV, but a Chromecast is only $35 — and Google revealed it has sold 20 million Chromecasts worldwide. Of course, mobile gaming on a television has had many incarnations so far and none have really caught on. We’ve seen plenty of companies attempt to put Android hardware microconsoles, and that led to the disastrous Ouya and a number of other entries that almost no one remembers. But gaming on smartphones and tablets is worth $30 billion worldwide, and Google, Apple, and the rest likely see a potential to grow that market by moving on to televisions. So expect everyone to keep trying.
With this Chromecast solution, Google isn’t just mirroring the phone display to the TV. Chromecast’s gaming capabilities enable it to smartly understand what it is the player is doing. For example, if two people want to both play multiplayer Angry Birds Go on the TV (even if one has an iPhone), the Chromecast will put up a splitscreen display. The gamers can use their phones either as a motion or touchscreen controller.
Google showed another example with the WGT Golf game. This app had the visuals of the course and golfer up on the TV and a ball-whacking control interface on the phone or tablet. This maximizes the screen real estate on both devices to give players the most control and the best view on their powerful smartphone graphics.
This feature is coming to Chromecast in several games over the next few months.