updated 03:03 pm EDT, Wed July 24, 2013
Google responds to Game Center
Google has released a new Android app, Google Play Games, that serves as a central portal for social gaming features and content discovery. Originally announced at the company's I/O conference, the hub shows a list of installed games alongside earned achievements, multiplayer engagements, frequent opponents and public leaderboards.
The app essentially serves the same purpose as Apple's Game Center, which arrived in 2010 for iOS before expanding to OS X last year. Game Center is connected to a user's Apple ID and associated nickname, while Play Games relies on connections through Google+.
Android developers were previously forced to implement their own multiplayer and social services, however Play Games aims to serve as a universal platform based on Google's own APIs. The search giant suggests hundreds of games already include Play Games services, reaching millions of users.
Play Games is now available as a free download from the Play Store.