Google I/O 2014: Google's games, micro-consoles and tech

More than 1 million people from around the world gathered on their Internets this week to watch Google's annual developer-focused conference in San Francisco. Google I/O is two days of in-depth talks about the web and mobile applications. More importantly for us, it's about Android devices and the games that can be played on them. Check out our full coverage from the event right here. For more in-depth coverage about the conference, make sure you check out The Verge's comprehensive coverage.

Watch Unreal Engine 4 running on the next version of Android

Yesterday at Google's I/O developer conference, the company announced a suite of GPU-focused technologies designed to bring better graphics to Android devices. Press play above to see the video Google showed on stage to demonstrate the power of the Android Extension Pack tech using Epic Games' Unreal Engine 4.

You can learn about Google's other announcements — including games, watches and television peripherals — in Polygon's Google I/O 2014 StoryStream.

How to make a VR headset with a pizza box, smartphone and $21 worth of tech

The Cardboard project is Google's attempt to bring inexpensive VR to its operating system using items you can find around home or buy at a hardware store or order online. Those include actual pieces of cardboard (an extra large pizza box will do), lenses, magnets, velcro, a rubber band and, if you like, an near-field communications (NFC) tag, which will launch Cardboard automatically. Combine those ingredients with a ruler, glue, scissors and an X-acto knife, and you've got yourself a makeshift virtual reality headset. Detailed instructions are available on the Cardboard corner of Google's...

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What is Project Tango?

In development at Google's Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group in collaboration with academic institutions like The George Washington University, research labs and companies like Nvidia, the technology takes millions of measurements per second to create a 3D picture of the world around Android devices.

Developer Limbic Software's Zombie Gunship Reality is the first game designed to take advantage of Project Tango. The game takes Limbic's first-person shooter Zombie Gunship and, adding a Project Tango device's familiarity with the environment surrounding it, turns the device...

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Razer micro-console will deliver movies, music, games to your TV with Android TV

The Razer micro-console, which hasn't been officially named yet, will be powered by Android TV and stream movies, music and other apps for large-screen entertainment with an "emphasis on gaming," according to Razer.

Razer, which sprung to life as a gaming peripheral creator but continues to experiment with devices that blend gaming and technology, plans to release their micro-console this fall. No price has yet been set.

The device will be controlled by a mobile application which works on any Android tablet or smartphone. Google's Android TV software also supports voice control.

"This is...

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Google Play Games update brings quests, game saves and game profiles

Google Play Games is getting a slew of new features today that will help game developers increase player engagement, the company announced at its annual developers conference, Google I/O.

One of the key features being introduced is Game Profiles. Similar to the Apple's Game Center, the feature is a cross between Game Center itself, Xbox Live Achievements and PlayStation Trophies. The feature allows players to earn points and titles and to compare levels and accomplishments with friends. A Google representative told Polygon that Game Profiles will automatically represent a player's...

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Google's Android TV platform brings mobile games to the living room

Android TV, a platform designed to make it easier for people to find entertainment content on televisions, is Google's latest attempt to enter the living room, and games are an important focus for it, the company announced today during Google I/O 2014.

Devices running Android TV require input devices with a minimum of a D-pad and a microphone, since voice navigation is built into the interface. You can use a virtual controls on a smartphone or tablet, a typical remote control or a game controller.

Dave Burke, director of engineering for Android, showed off a multiplayer demo of EA Sports'...

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Android Wear watches are available to pre-order today (update)

Smartwatches running the Android Wear software are now available to pre-order, Google announced today during the Gogle I/O conference.

Android Wear is a scaled-down version of the Android mobile operating system. This version is designed for smaller, namely wearable, devices such as smartwatches. Google revealed its Android Wear software back in March, along with smartwatches running the software made by telecommunication electronics companies Motorola and LG.

David Singleton, director of engineering for Android, announced that watches with Android Wear available to order today include...

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Android's next release will include GPU-focused tech for PC quality graphics

Android's next release will include the graphics-focused technologies designed to boost mobile GPU performance and bring PC-like gaming capabilities to mobile phones and tablets.

The Android Extension Pack technology supports tessellation, geometry shaders, texture compression and more. Google is working with hardware manufacturers like ARM, Imagination Technologies, Nvidia and Qualcomm on the technology. It will be available to consumers this fall with Android's L release. Developers will have access to the technology soon.

At its I/O developer conference where it debuted the...

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Zombie Gunship Reality lets you become an AC-130 with Google's new 3D tech

Zombie Gunship Reality, an upcoming game from developer Limbic Software, will turn Android devices into gunships with the help of Google's new Project Tango hardware.

As you can see in the trailers above and below, players will twist, turn, push and pull their phones and tablets to control Zombie Gunship Reality. Using the 3D positioning technology in Project Tango hardware, which allows devices to calculate precise positions, players serve as an AC-130 gunship, taking out zombies and protecting survivors from the air.

"We believe this technology draws players into the world of our...

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