It’s no secret that we at Gurugamer love Android as a gaming platform. Yes, we do complain about it here and there, but ultimately, it has brought us so much good stuff – mobile ports of high-profile releases, cross-platform multiplayer games, classic titles revived and brought to the touchscreen, and more.
But, as with all things, there’s always room for improvement. So below is a list of the 5 things we hope to see on Android this year. Of course, we are not overly optimistic dreamers around here, so we will not be expecting things like hologram phones or anything of the sort. The list only includes ideas that we can realistically expect in the near future.
With all that out of the way, let’s begin:
5 things we hope the Android platform will get this year
Less autoplay and pay-to-win
We absolutely detest autoplay and pay-to-win, and surely we are not alone on this. Free-to-play models with ads are fine, but if you want to put in IAPs, at least limit it to optional cosmetics instead of turning it into a way for people to buy their way to victory. What’s the point of putting in a ton of money and then watch the game play itself? We want more genuine gameplay experiences, not competitions to see who has the bigger wallet.
Above all else, we’d love to see an MMORPG for mobile that delivers the same vibe as Old School RuneScape. It’s one of the (very few) titles in the genre that stays away from pay-to-win altogether and actually encourages you to put in efforts. We’d like to see something similar, but with more modern graphics and mechanics. Even if it’s a premium title, we’d gladly pay for such an experience.
The candidate that we have the highest hope for at the moment is Warhammer Odyssey, which is currently being developed by Celtic Heroes. It promises a World of Warcraft-like universe with no autoplay and minimal pay-to-win.
More console ports and simultaneous launches
Smartphones are incredibly powerful devices that are capable of so much more than what we are seeing right now. Today, there are phone models that contain hardware as strong as the original Nintendo Switch or the original Xbox One. Thus, we see no reason why there shouldn’t be more mobile ports.
It’s truly a shame that mobile is still seen by many as inferior to official consoles and not many developers want to get their games on the platform. We have no doubt that tons of console games would work like a charm on mobile, and we want to see that happen. Take Skyrim for example. It’s on practically everything else, so why not mobile as well?
Better yet, we would also love to get more simultaneous releases. Fortnite is a prime example that the same game can be played across PC, consoles, and mobile, and we hope developers will start seriously seeing it as a launch platform.
A streaming platform that actually works
2019 witnessed the launched of Google Stadia, which – despite all its promises – was a complete mess. The service was full of issues and questionable decision makings, such as a small library, requiring users to purchase games individually, and clunky performance that doesn’t live up to the touted 4K & 60 FPS.
Nobody denies the fact that Stadia does offer a console gaming experience without the user having to own the actual hardware, but everything around it is just… bad. We hope that Google will perfect the service, allowing users to access everything with just a single subscription, or that another tech giant will do so.
As it is, we are looking at Microsoft’s xCloud with anticipation. This upcoming model promises to feature the entire Game Pass library included with the subscription cost. If both Microsoft and Apple can deliver that (except that Apple Arcade doesn’t allow for game streaming – not yet anyway), then we see no reason why Google can’t.
A true Android equivalent of Apple Arcade
It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that Apple Arcade somewhat revolutionized iOS gaming this year. For a meager price of $5 (Rs 350) a month, you’ll gain access to more than a hundred quality games to play anywhere, anytime you want without any limits. Even better, all of these games include no IAPs or ads, are completely playable even without internet, and many come with controller supports as well.
Google did launch Google Play Pass in response, which emulates the experience by rolling a bunch of premium titles available on Android together into a bundle and offering them up for the same price of $5. The issue here is, there isn’t really anything new with this model and it surely cannot compete with the expansive library of exclusives we have on Apple Arcade.
Don’t get us wrong, the value for money that Google Play Pass brings is still cool, and it absolutely should stick around. However, we want to have something closer to Apple Arcade. It doesn’t have to be anything big at the beginning, just a curated platform with some quality exclusive titles that only Android users have access to would be a nice start.
A switch-like dock and TV interface
It’s pretty simple to emulate a Switch-like experience with an Android phone: You just have to plug it into a TV. Still, it’d be an awesome thing if there’s a device that will make the process even easier. We are thinking of a Switch-like dock that you put your phone into and then grab a controller to browse your collection of games – or maybe even open a TV series to watch.
As of right now, though, this process is not feasible as there is no true interface for TV, but then again, that can’t be too hard to develop. Make it happen, Google!