At Wednesday's Google I/O 2013 presentation, the VP of Product Management Android, Hugo Barra, unveiled Google Play game services.
The suite of services is heavily integrated with Google+ and supports most everything that Android gamers have been clamouring for.
Also, it's being rolled out to iOS as well.Game on
The core of Google Play game services centers around four main features.
Cloud Save supports cross-device play as it stores a player's game data in a cloud server, while Achievements and Leaderboards integrate a familiar way to measure your performance both in a game and in the game's community.
If you're tired of not seeing your scores crack the top twenty (or top twenty thousand) of the public leaderboards, game services allows you to switch to a more intimate leaderboard that's limited to your Google+ circles.
Finally, and most notably, Google Play game services also introduces real-time multiplayer support which will allow players to invite friends from their Google+ circles - all from within a game that supports the service.
Unfortunately, Google's unveiling of the multiplayer didn't quite go as planed as the three-player event on stage for the recently revealed Riptide 2 never actually worked - but hey, the loading screens looked pretty polished!
Next stop, iOS
After Barra announced that Google Play game services would be available in an update being rolled out to most all Android devices running Froyo and up, he then announced that it would make its way to iOS as well.
This is interesting and welcome news, since Google Play game services is integrated directly into games through the backend and isn't a standalone app like Game Center is.
As such, it's likely to see a fair bit of use from both Android and iOS gamers - assuming, of course, that it works better than it did in the on-stage demo.