Faster Internet and mobile data speeds are reducing wait times for game and entertainment downloads. Both art forms helped people overcome blockages, so it makes sense for tech and media companies to take advantage of these speeds to improve the offering to their customers.
Netflix has done just that, allowing its customers to start a movie or series like that when they start downloading the program, even before all the video is available on their device. Now Google is doing the same with smartphone games. The latest version of Android will allow you to start a game long before it completes the download, a new feature that may be available on Android 12.
According to Google, the idea is to start playing Play Store titles in just a few seconds after the download starts. More specifically, he says games will be ready to open at least twice as fast as before. An example shows a playable 127MB game with only 20% download. For now, developers can sign up for a beta version of this feature, but Google says it’s very likely that it will become the default Play Store gaming system.
The tech giant has tried to break down some of the barriers surrounding digital gaming in the past. In 2018 it launched Instant Games, which allows you to test the game before purchasing the game and complete the installation process. While its Apple Arcade rival, Play Pass, allows subscribers to try out a library of apps for a monthly fee. Then there’s Stadia, Google’s promising (but still far from ideal) cloud gaming service that does away with game downloads.
More broadly, the play-as-you-download feature comes at an opportune time and is “competing” with a functionality that is already present on consoles, which is important as smartphone games are starting to take on a huge size, like the Aspahlt 8 that needs 2-3GB or the GTA smartphone series that need 4-5GB of free space.
A study of Sensor Tower shows that the average file size of smartphone games has increased by 76% in the US in the last 5 years, so this opportunity for players to be able to start their game without having to wait several minutes for the download to complete is a great pleasure for all.