Android games move beyond smartphones at CES

by Kristen Nicole

Android gamers can delight in CES this year, as many manufacturers and developers set out to deliver Android games to as many devices as possible. It’s already turning out to be the year of connected device, and it’s becoming a two-way street for game apps and services. From game-ready gadgets to new portals, you’ll soon be hard pressed to find a device that’s not capable of providing your regular game fix.

TVs and game controllers

For starters, ustwo is looking to Google TV for distribution of multiplayer games. The UK developer, known for its popular Dot game series, has teamed with Sony to become the first developer to offer multiplayer gaming on the Google TV platform. Those with a Sony-branded Google TV can download Dot TV, a refreshed version of their initial Android game, now with multiplayer support.

Gametel also revealed a Bluetooth controller, so you can enjoy the physical game controls you find on consoles and the Sony Xperia PLAY. Gametel’s new gadget works with almost any Android phone, and attaches with a gripper to offer a very useful extension to your device. Setting things up for actual gameplay may require a bit of work, but Gametel reports that more than 200 titles already work with the device. As Slashgear points out, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich phones have better support for Gametel’s new controler, thanks to some of its built-in APIs.

Microsoft’s two-way street

And while Microsoft is pondering an Android portal for Xbox LIVE, BlueStacks has its own plans to bring Android games to Windows 8. The company already offers a program that makes thousands of Android apps accessible on Windows-based PCs, and they’re now optimizing for the mobile interface. With Microsoft’s intentions for Windows 8 on mobile devices, the new “Metro” interface is a gateway for BlueStacks to integrate Android apps seamlessly into Windows 8. It should give Microsoft a boost in terms of app availability, seeing as Android has thousands more apps than Windows Phone, and it also broadens the devices for which Android content can be accessed, making for a true cross-platform experience.

Other upcoming gadgets that could be promising for Android gamers include the revamped Asus Transformer Prime with improved resolution, a Tegra 3 quad-core smartphone from Fujitsu, FAVI Entertainment’s projector smartphone, and the Motorola Droid 4 dual-core line.