Japan is full of vending machines selling everything you can think of, from soft drinks, booze, and magazines to batteries, rice, and even fruit and veg. Now it seems Google Japan wants to join the fray, with the company this week unveiling its Android game vending machines in the Japanese market. It was first Spotted by engadget.
The company has announced three dedicated Google Play machines in front of the Parco department store in Shibuya, Tokyo that will each sell 18 different gaming titles, which are a mix of free-to-play and paid-for titles. The machines will be there for a limited ten-day run.
Android smartphone owners in Japan would be able to load games on to their devices through these vending machine by simply inserting coins. However, To grab a game, you need an NFC-enabled smartphone running Android 4.0 or higher.
The machine features a tray just below the screen where user can simply place their device and pair via NFC. The touchscreen allows users to navigate through categories and titles and see screenshots, ratings and reviews. The machine even rewards users with goodies for trying out other apps.
Google is also demoing the capability to users who don’t have an Android phone. Users have to simply select a Nexus 4 on the display and the device will drop into the delivery tray at the bottom. Although you do have to give it back, to one of the nearby Google employees.
While physical distribution of apps and content makes sense in emerging markets where a large number of people don’t have credit cards or good Internet connectivity. Google’s machines are merely a marketing gimmick to score its Android platform a little more publicity in a connected markets like Japan.
Considering Japan’s love of vending machines, a modified version placed around Tokyo’s entertainment districts with a few apps could possibly turn into a nice little earner for the Web giant.