Carriers often want to provide unique device software as a lure for their services -- like it or not -- and gaming is undeniably one of the more attractive hooks. It makes sense, then, that Verizon now says it will use PlayPhone's SDK as the framework for a new hub, Games Portal, on its Android devices. The effort will give any optimized titles direct carrier billing and a social component, as well as theoretically better exposure than what they'd get on a very crowded Google Play. Verizon will preload the portal on new devices from this spring onwards, in addition to updating some existing hardware. The code should be comparatively simple to implement, but we'd add that there's no guarantee of success: Verizon's last experiment with reviving the carrier-controlled app gateway didn't quite pan out.
*Verizon is currently in the process of acquiring AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.