Google has reportedly taken note at how gaming has made the iPhone so popular, and plans to provide a similar Game Center hub for Android in the near future.
Apple's version made its debut in September 2010, a unified online multiplayer social gaming network that offers matchmaking, leaderboards, and achievement tracking. Players can connect with friends, meet new friends in online games, send friend requests, and organize online multiplayer games.
Currently Android doesn't feature a native gaming hub, but instead relies on third-party solutions provided by Gameloft and OpenFeint. But like Game Center, the native Android version is expected to track achievements and provide leaderboards. What's unknown at this point is if the friend-finding aspect will rely on Google+, but there's a definite possibility.
The native client -- Google Play Arcade? -- could be integrated into other Google services like Gmail, Google Chat and Google Maps. In the form of a browser-based service, users could stay in touch with friends and gaming stats without having to access their Android device. Ultimately Google's version could go way beyond what Apple currently provides for iOS devices.
"They are starting to really understand all of the needs and wants to make a game really successful," an industry source close to developers told Business Insider. "As recently as even a year ago, that really wasn't part of their institutional DNA, But I think they're getting there."
The source also said that Google is currently working on a fix for its payments system for Google Play. The company wants the process of purchasing Android games and other apps and media to be just as smooth as Apple's process on iTunes. This is supposedly why Android developers make less money than those who build apps for Apple's iOS devices -- because iTunes provides a better payment experience. And here we thought all this time that developers preferred iOS due to Android's fragmentation!
Naturally Google declined to comment about a gaming hub. Still, Google Play Arcade sounds like a likely name, doesn't it?