BlueStacks X, A New Way to Play Android Games Through the Browser

BlueStacks X, A New Way to Play Android Games Through the Browser
Geekers -  BlueStacks started its journey as an Android emulator for Windows over 10 years ago, enabling anyone to run native Arm or x86-based Android apps on Windows PCs and tablets. Now BlueStacks is transitioning to the cloud, bringing Android games to the browser and across iOS, Windows, macOS, Android, and Linux devices, and even within Discord.

BlueStacks X launched on September 30, 2021 yesterday as the only cloud gaming service that offers free mobile game streaming across multiple platforms and devices. BlueStacks has built its hybrid cloud technology under the brand to make this possible, combined with Amazon's AWS Graviton servers. BlueStacks X also brings down the computing burden and graphics rendering to local devices thanks to advances in modern web browsers.

The result is the ability to play various Android game apps within the browser without the need for downloads. BlueStacks X launched in beta, with around 14 games available for streaming and more titles are promised every week. Games like Raid: Shadow Legends, Disney Sorcerer's Arena, and Lords Mobile: Kingdom Wars are available. You can also add plain native apps to play over 200 games that are not yet available in the cloud.

BlueStacks has also created its own Discord bot, Cloudy, which will be integrated into the Discord server and allow users to launch cloud-based Android games and share their gaming sessions with others.

“We will also allow users to customize what games they want on the server, and if you play those games together, you automatically connect to the Discord voice channel so everyone can click and play cloud games,� explains BlueStacks CEO Rosen Sharma.

There will also be a social feed integrated into Discord, so if your friend buys an in-game weapon, it may show up in the Discord feed much like how PlayStation and Xbox display achievements in their social feeds.

“This is what Venmo did to PayPal. PayPal just sent money and Venmo made it into a social feed,� he added.

BlueStacks offers all of this for free, supported by advertising. Sharma said that the ad would only appear before the game started, and not the kind that would interrupt gameplay. In the future there may be subscription offers for cloud-based services as well.

BlueStacks has focused on mobile gaming since 2016, after it became clear that its user base was using the app more often to access games.

“When we started, people were like ‘who is going to want to use this?. And in 2016 everything was about games, and games were the dominant use case,� Sharma explained.

The cloud infrastructure for Arm based mobile gaming didn't exist 10 years ago, and suitably Arm based servers only started rolling out in 2018 to make BlueStacks X a reality. BlueStacks has grown in popularity in recent years, and Sharma explains that the emulator gets between 250,000 and 300,000 downloads a day. There are even 20,000 enterprise customers who use BlueStacks to access Android mobile apps.

The launch and popularity of BlueStack cloud comes just as Microsoft is gearing up to bring Android apps to Windows 11. Microsoft won't be shipping Windows 11 with its Android app integration, despite promising it as a major new feature.

Sharma seems unsure about Microsoft's Android integration on Windows. About how this support will work, considering the user needs for Android applications on PC devices are mostly for playing games

BlueStacks has worked with Microsoft for two years to help companies optimize Hyper-V for Android

“Microsoft has always had app issues, and in the past they paid people like top developers to bring their apps, but it just didn't really work on mobile because there were too many apps,� Sharma explained.

While BlueStacks is compatible with Google Play Store apps, Microsoft is partnered with Amazon, meaning developers will need to tweak their apps and games to remove major integrations with Google Play Services.

“I think that any game that requires the developer to do little or a lot of work is a slow and protracted process. And mostly deadlocked,� Sharma said.

Microsoft is working hard to bring Android app support to Windows 11 soon, and it's likely that initial preview versions will start appearing in the coming weeks.


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