At Game Developers Conference 2015 today, Google announced Nearby Connections, a new API that will allow developers on the Google Play platform to incorporate multiple smartphones and tablets as second-screen game controllers on Android TV. Previously, Android TVs only supported second-screen controllers for solo play.
To enable connection on this protocol, gamers can sync their mobile devices with an Android TV from the same Wi-Fi network and use their phones or tablets as controllers for multi-player games.
Greg Hartrell, Senior Product Manager of Google Play Games, tells us that Nearby Connections is intended to promote multi-player gaming without the hassle of requiring single-purpose game controllers. By taking advantage of devices in everyone’s pockets, the team hopes this will enable developers to get creative with games on the Play Store and optimize them for social playing experiences in the same living room.
The Nearby Connections API is expected to roll out over the next few weeks, with a consumer launch over this summer. For more info, check out the demo video below for multi-player gaming on Beach Buggy Racing.