Smartphones have emerged as a major gaming platform in the last few years. However, trying out every new game is not easy as users have to go through the time-taking process of downloading and setting up the games first. Google is trying to address it with a new program called Play Instant which allows users to try out new games without having to download them. It is built on the same premise as the Instant Apps program for Android apps, which was released last year and is currently available to users in 40 countries including India.

Play Instant works by allowing users to run a small part of the game online via the Play Store even if the game is not installed on their smartphones. The gameplay will be limited to a few minutes only. However, in those few minutes users will get to play the real game and see if the controls, visuals, gameplay are worth downloading the original game. Game developers have been offering demos of console and PC games for years, providing users with limited access to certain elements only, but it was enough to help users make a decision. Instant Apps can be leveraged by developers to provide a similar experience to users on Android smartphone.

This can come in handy for premium games with a hefty price tag. The other advantage of Play Instant is that it doesn’t waste time on downloading the entire game or setting up the profile or avatar. Games with large file sizes can take a long time to download and if the phone is running low on memory, some other games or apps need to be removed to create adequate space.

Games which support Play Instant show a Try Now button right before the Install button.
Games which support Play Instant show a Try Now button right before the Install button.

Games which support Play Instant show a Try Now button right before the Install button. Tapping on it will load a part of the game online. This part will be stored on the Play Store. So if users open the same game for the second time they won’t have to wait for the Instant version to load again.

Play Instant is still a beta program and only eight games are available on it right now.

Hothead Games’s Mighty Battles, a strategy-based shooting game with a file size of 97MB; Supercell’s Clash Royale with a file size of 95MB and similar style of gameplay as Mighty Battles; and the mobile version of Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire with a file size of 55MB are some of the popular games which are already leveraging the new program. However, it will be more relevant only when big games with a file size of over 1GB or premium games are available on it.

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