I think what is becoming increasingly clear to gamers and observers alike is that the Android operating system is beginning to move beyond the realm of smarphones and tablets and into the realm of becoming a viable way to play games. If you were to look at the Google Play market right now for games, you might not agree with Android being a gaming platform at all. Sure there are a lot of games available, but there is a lot of crap and stuff that is frankly not worth the download at all.
In fact, if you were to weigh Android up against it competition, it would easily come in second to Apple’s iOS, which has been the darling for developers for years. I know I’ve discussed this here before, but the whole idea of “fragmentation” has been the excuse for this for years, when the reality is becoming that there are still older Apple devices on the market that can’t play newer games, either. Stuff like RIM’s BlackBerry and Microsoft’s Windows Phone are doing their best to hold on for dear life, but are not anywhere near Apple or Google’s market penetration.
The choice, though, seems to be incredibly clear cut by developers and investors as to which operating system to use for the future, and that is Google’s Android. The reasoning is pretty simple, coming down to the fact that Android is based on a Linux kernal and that it is open and completely customizable. Anyone who has owned an Android phone before can probably speak to this, as most major phone manufacturers put their own coat of paint over whatever version of Android to make it their own. Developers like Boxer8 and Nvidia have selected Android for sheer ease-of-use. They didn’t have to develop their own operating system for their consoles, nor did they have to go as far as to license an expensive one. Instead, they used what is a very reliable OS and were able to easily customize it and make it their own.
There still might be an issue of the availability of games on Android and while we’ve seen someone like Sony introduce PlayStation Mobile and even release a smartphone that doubles as a gaming platform, there was never any support for it or a big push to get more games on Android. With the upcoming Ouya, GameStick and Project Shield and all of those developers working with game developers to ensure that there are titles available when they launch their consoles, the stars are starting to align for more quality games coming to Android in the coming months.
Don’t get me wrong, either, this is also a winning situation for game developers as well who are developing for Android. While their target might be for those new consoles listed above, they will also be able to sell said games on the Google Play store and reach an even broader audience of Android users worldwide. Not everyone can expect success like Rovio, but there have been a lot of mobile developers over the past few years who have seen success on mobile gaming.