WITH THE EUROPEAN LAUNCH of Chromecast just weeks away, the full capabilities of Google's $35 HDMI dongle are becoming apparent.
Since the belated release of a software development kit (SDK) and API, app developers are finding that the device isn't limited to streaming video and audio.
Italian developers Eli Sherer and Yaron Burger have become the first to release games for Chromecast with Gamingcast, an Android app that allows users to play classic games on the big screen.
For a $1.50 or about 85p, users can choose from four titles, with more said to follow - Snake, Pong, Xonix and Tetrominoes, all clones of classic games of yesteryear, controllable from a phone handset.
We cranked up the office Chromecast and were impressed at how smoothly Snake and Pong are rendered, however they seem reminiscent of simple games that used to be accessible from cable TV boxes in the 1990s.
For a device in its infancy, it's an interesting idea, and it could be the beginning of more sophisticated gaming. However, we can't imagine that Sony and Microsoft, or even Ouya have anything to worry about at this stage, as the app feels like more of a triumph for a proof of concept than a serious game playing alternative.
Chromecast has been a runaway success in the US, selling in the millions, but it has suffered from having only a limited number of compatible apps, a problem that should disappear quickly now that development is open to all. µ