Google just announced some Android TV changes that'll make playing games even more fun.

When it comes to playing Android TV games, you can use Google's traditional controller, and soon, your own Android mobile device. Google has given developers a set of new tools that includes the ability to turn nearby smartphones or tablets into game controllers. Developers will even be able to adjust what displays on your device's screen.

During a video demonstration, Google showed how gamers playing Beach Buggy Racing had access to more controls than what a traditional controller could provide (i.e., just a joystick and physical buttons). The game, for instance, included a nitrous booster icon to the controller's screen, as well as special powers, and more.

That means your phone doesn't just double as a run-of-the-mill controller, it becomes a controller that enhances your gaming experience: "With this new protocol, games can seamlessly connect smartphones and tablets as second-screen controls to the game running on your TV," explained Google via the Android developers blog.

Android TV is a smart TV platform developed by Google. It was announced last June as a successor to Google TV. Beach Buggy Racing plans to officially take advantage of Android TV's new controller capabilities by this summer, and Google said it is hoping to have more multiplayer games on board by then too.

The upcoming update to Google Play Services, which will let you use your Android device as a controller, should therefore also arrive by summertime, allowing you to simply pull your phone out of your pocket to start enjoying a supercharged-gaming experience straightaway.

Sections Google Games