The mobile gaming industry is big and projected to generate about $90 billion by 2021. With 2.4 billion people expected to play mobile games in 2019 alone, many companies have been releasing devices branded as "gaming" phones, such as Asus, Razer, Xiaomi, and more. Going along with this rising trend, Google has started a new program called Gaming Device Certification that will ensure future gaming phones perform smoothly, predictably, and support the latest gaming APIs.
New details about Google's Gaming Device Certification arrives via a leaked copy of version 7.0 of Google's Google Mobile Services (GMS) document courtesy of XDA. The GMS document basically lays out the technical requirements that companies must follow if they want to obtain approval to preload Google's suite of apps and services, such as the Google Play Store and Google Play Service.
In regards to gaming device certification, section 13.14 of the GMS document states that devices must make use of all CPU cores, eschew unexpected throttling to avoid odd behaviors, provide modern and up-to-date GPU and display APIs, and allocate reasonable amounts of memory to games so their processes aren't killed unexpectedly.
As noted by XDA, with no older versions of the GMS document to make a comparison to, we don't know how new this Gaming Device Certification is. But considering there was a job application posted on LinkedIn that called for a Developer Relation Program Manager for "Android Game Device Certification" around June this year, it seems to be a relatively new requirement that's been added to the GMS.
To our knowledge, no phones on the market to date have received this Gaming Device Certification, but we'll let you know if that changes.