In announcing Steam support earlier this year, Google also said Chromebooks were getting a “game overlay” for Android titles to make them playable with keyboard and mouse. ChromeOS 105 introduces a first Alpha of these game controls.
ChromeOS game controls translate key presses into simulated touch events, such as touch actions and touch-drag.
End users will see on-screen buttons and virtual joysticks, as well as a rounded square button that has a controller icon on the right edge of the screen. Tapping opens the settings menu for “Game Controls” with an on/off switch and the ability to change key mappings, as well as disable this overlay.
Google is testing Alpha game controls with ChromeOS 105 for the following Android titles (in four interaction categories) from the Play Store:
To use it, your ChromeOS computer “must be connected to both a keyboard and a pointing input device (such as a mouse or trackpad).” At this time, the controls are for active gameplay only, and a mouse is required for menu navigation and in-game dialog. games in certain window sizes or when resizing”.
This is all aimed at making otherwise “touchscreen only” games playable on all devices. After all, “the majority of ChromeOS users interact with apps using a mouse and keyboard, but many Google Play apps are only designed with touch interactions in mind.” Ideally, Google wants all developers to implement keyboard support, but game controls offer a workaround.
In the future, Google plans to introduce:
- Editor to add game control support for all Google Play games running on your Chromebook
- Mouse and gamepad support
- More types of touch interactions
Learn more about Chrome OS:
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