Of course, all that has to do with mobile iOS gaming, where Apple has had considerable success. But when it comes to desktop-based gaming, things haven't as gone well, where the Windows PC is the standard. And Apple doesn't have a console to compete against Microsoft's Xbox, either.
Google's entertainment ecosystem boasts what's arguably the most diverse hardware selection of any single platform. The reason: Android is an open-source platform and that means -- for better and sometimes for worse -- that manufacturers can use the software in any device imaginable and modify it in any way they wish.
While Google itself doesn't have a presence in console gaming, a number of manufacturers offer Android-based devices made explicitly for the purposes of entertainment. Sony's Xperia Play phone, for instance, combines a traditional Android smartphone with a console-like game controller for on-the-go play. Nvidia, meanwhile, is currently working on a portable Android gaming device known as Project Shield -- essentially an Xbox-like controller with a high-definition display. It'll be able to play console-quality games from Google Play as well as PC games from a shared Wi-Fi connection.
The common thread linking these devices and the more traditional Android smartphones and tablets is their access to the Google Play Store, which -- as part of its app collection -- offers a large collection of downloadable games for users. Titles range from puzzle and casino games to sports, arcade, and action experiences. Top-selling titles include games like Minecraft, Need for Speed, Plants vs. Zombies, Fruit Ninja and Sonic the Hedgehog.
In May, Google launched a centralized gaming framework called Google Play Game Services. It allows developers to tap into a universal network in order to provide users with the ability to save their games cross-device and cross-platform, as well take advantage of a multiplayer communication system complete with game play invitations, achievement tracking and leaderboards. The platform had 32 games on board at the time of its launch; Google expects more developers to integrate the framework into their titles.
Microsoft's gaming ecosystem is by far the richest and most comprehensive of its competitors, anchored by the best-selling Xbox 360 game console. The Xbox 360 has been the best-selling gaming console for more than two years, according to research firm NPD, which said that in January 2013, the Xbox had 44 percent of all console sales.
Every single one of the top 10 selling games for that month was available on the Xbox, and one of them, Halo 4 (published by Microsoft Studios), was available only for the Xbox. The Xbox Live service lets you play games online against others, and also lets you watch TV and movies.