Just in time for the holidays, Google has launched an update to the Chromecast that introduces an assortment of multiplayer games and some new show channels. The new features position the Chromecast as a stronger console alternative. Though it seems to be easing its way in, it could be only be a matter of time before the Chromecast becomes a living room staple.
The update introduces family-friendly games such as Wheel of Fortune, Hasbro’s Monopoly Dash, Scrabble Blitz, Connect Four Quads, and Simon Swipe. For more active gaming, users can play Just Dance Now, which is a dancing game that uses the smartphone to track its user’s motion. The Chromecast now also has Big Web Quiz, which is a brain-teasing game that utilizes the Google Knowledge Graph to create its questions. Finally, users will be able to play Emoji Party, a charades-like game that asks users to guess movie titles based on the emoji being displayed on screen.
With the update comes a revamped navigation, which allows users to explore the available apps using clear categories such as through TV & Movies, Music & Audio, Games, Sports, Photos & Video and More. Anyone with a smartphone or tablet running iOS or Android can access these new apps – just grab them in the App Store or Play Store.
If you’re wondering why this sounds familiar, it’s because the Apple TV did something similar a short while ago, enabling users to play games via AirPlay Mirroring. The Apple TV features a wider assortment of games, some from independent developers, which allows users to play racing games, flight simulation games, and even Texas Hold’em on their TVs. The Chromecast’s library of games, in comparison, is limited to certain family-friendly games, and doesn’t seem like a particularly strong offering.
Even so, it’s clear that the Chromecast is planting the seeds to push into living room gaming, and it’s easy to envision it quickly ramping up to broaden the selection. If you’re an Apple TV user, would this new update be enough to pull you in to the Chromecast family?