Google has announced that it will be expanding the capabilities of its Chromecast streaming stick, with future updates set to incorporate features that will make it a gaming device.
The new features will see people using their smartphone or tablet as a controller for games being streamed to a TV, as well as developers taking advantage of these possibilities.
"While Casting your Android screen is an existing option for users, the new Remote Display API allows mobile developers to build a tailored, integrated second screen experience, without requiring an identical mirroring of content between mobile devices and the Google Cast device," said the company in a statement. "Remote Display will be available both iOS and Android. Your app will contain the same Google Cast icon allowing users to select a device."
The announcement of these new features is Google's latest move to expand its services to other areas, including cars and the home. Living room entertainment is an area that has largely puzzled tech companies over the past few decades, with companies like Google and Apple only recently gaining traction in the area, following a number of failed products.
In fact, Google Chromecast was really the start of the company's success in the living room. It formally announced Android TV last year, with the Google Nexus Player expanding on Chromecast's ability to stream from a phone and allowing users to stream from services like Netflix. The Nexus Player also seems to be making a push into gaming, with Google selling a gaming controller as an option with the streaming device.
After much speculation, Google also announced how many Chromecast streaming sticks it sold — with the magic number coming out to a massive 17 million. This is not all too surprising, but it goes to show that Google's latest push into living room entertainment seems to be a success.
Google launched the Google Cast Game Manager in November, but the newly announced Game Manager APIs essentially enable developers to more easily create their own games and apps for Chromecast.
It's however unlikely that the move will appeal to more intense gamers. But for those who like to play addictive games on their phone every now and then, it might be a little more appealing. What's more, as technology advances and graphics on mobile games improve, it is highly likely that we will see more fully featured games available on the Google Play store for Google Chromemast.