A leaked Google Play Services update apparently confirms a new product that Google is said to unveil at Google I/O 2013, Google Play Games.
Android Police has gotten a hold of Google Play Services v3.1.36 “which is very slowly rolling out to devices right now” and which is “a massive update” compared to the 3.0.27 version that you may have on your device right now.
In it, the publication discovered references for Google Play Games features. A few weeks ago, the same site found hints in the MyGlass Google Glass companion app that Google was working on its own social gaming product – similar to Game Center in iOS.
Now, v3.1.36 of Google Play Services offers clearer details about some of the features that will be available from Google Play Games.
Play Games will apparently let users sync saved games and compete against friends for achievements and best scores. Players will be able to invite friends to play certain games and respond to similar invitations from others. There’s also a match-making feature that would let Play Games automatically pick players for certain games.
Unsurprisingly, the social element of such an app is provided by Google+ integration. That’s how you’ll compete with friends in various games, with Google+ handling identification, and the notifications side. Obviously, since we’re talking about Google+, you’ll have to know that Play Games users will be able to share details about their gaming performance or keep them private. Leaderboards will show scores by time – today, week and all time – and can be private or public.
Developers will probably be able to include Play Games support in their games, as suggested by the presence of icon badges that would “indicate a game is Google-powered.”
We’ll certainly find out more details about Google Play Games next week, when we’ll be live from Google I/O 2013.