In recent years, we have seen a rise in the popularity of gaming on mobile devices. To keep up with the trend, smartphones accoutered with multiple gigabytes of RAM and high-refresh-rate screens have entered the smartphone realm. Similarly, AAA game publishers and popular games like Fortnite and, most recently, Call of Duty have made their way to mobile devices.
Now, according to sources at xda-developers, to keep up to speed with the development of the mobile gaming industry and to simultaneously ensure that the phones are powerful enough to meet the demanding requirements set by today's titles, Google is seemingly working on a Gaming Device Certification program.
The information comes from a trusted source at XDA and a private document—Google’s GMS Requirements for OEMs/ODM, which is an agreement between the device designers, manufacturers, and Google, enlisting technical requirements that the smartphone must meet to ship with Google Mobile Services (GMS) on them. As per Version 7.0 of the document, dated September 3, which is the same day Android 10 was launched on Pixel devices, Section 13.14 "Gaming Device Certification" enumerates a list of requirements that the devices seeking the certification must fulfill.
In the document, these requirements are outlined "so game developers don’t face unexpected throttling, lost CPU cores, or other odd system behaviors." Unsurprisingly, the devices need to "provide a modern, up-to-date high-performance GPU and display APIs, and enable reasonable frame introspection” and also provide robust RAM management so games are able to "allocate reasonable amounts of memory and should not have their processes killed unexpectedly."
While Google has not publicly announced this certification program, the folks at XDA are reasonably certain that the Gaming Device Certification program is in the pipeline. It will be interesting to see when the program is officially announced and which devices make the cut. As always, we will be on the lookout.