How Google Drive and the cloud can help Android games

by Kristen Nicole

Google Drive launched yesterday complete with an accompanying Android app, bringing another consumer cloud service to a crowded and competitive space. What sets Google Drive apart, however, is its inclusion in the broader Google family. That means a certain level of integration with other Google products. When it comes to mobile gaming in particular, Google Drive holds promise here as well.

Along with the service and Android app, Google Drive also revealed the SDK for developers, which is already tied to Google Chrome application integration. Should Google extend this support to mobile apps, Andrew Huff at Droidgamers writes, Google Drive could benefit the mobile gaming industry. It could mean more storage space for game data, loading it up at the start of the game. That would mean more space on your Android device, which already takes on the burden of game data such as graphics. Huff admits graphics storage on Google Drive might be a far stretch, but the hope for native integration around Google Drive is certainly something of interest to all Android developers.

Tying mobile games to cloud storage isn’t an entirely new concept, as a few platforms are pushing the benefits of cross-device support with on-demand gaming. Ubisoft is the latest to work on cloud storage for games, enabling you to start a game on one device and pick it up where you left off on another. The video game software developer hopes to revolutionize mobile gaming with its new technology, noting cloud storage-based gaming as a huge issue. The gamer’s data is typically kept as a smaller file saved on individual devices, but if that data is made available online, a game “profile” essentially follows the user across smartphones and tablets, as well as PCs.

Sony is also working on improved cross-device support through its PlayStation Suite, which has a cloud component all its own. Sony recently opened its PlayStation Suite SDK as an open beta, giving developers an opportunity to create games for PlayStation-certified devices. This is primarily focused on Sony devices, including the Tablet S, Xperia line and PS Vita.