Asynchronous multiplayer gaming is all the rage these days. Whether it’s taking on your pal’s ghost-car times in Forza, or the more-interesting “ambient” multiplayer of the Nintendo 3DS’s StreetPass system (letting you progress in games and trade items merely by being in proximity to someone who also has one of Nintendo’s handhelds), the idea that multiplayer gaming requires two people sitting on a sofa playing simultaneously is slowly being eroded.
It seems Google’s Android platform is the next to take a stab at asynchronous multiplayer, and it looks as though it will be using StreetPass as its model. A tweak to the Play Games backend will allow developers to switch on ambient play and matchmaking options, letting players invite nearby pals or strangers into co-op or competitive mobile gaming bouts, and even allowing for passive interactions. It’s a small update, but a significant one as Android console manufacturers continue not to give up hope on the prospect of Google’s platform becoming a fully-fledged gaming competitor. [Android Developers]