Google Play, named after the "play" button on your media player, is Google's answer to iTunes and the App Store. And while the promo banners aren't up on its web page as of the time of this writing, you can click through directly to its "Happy Birthday" sale, which commemorates the store's one-year anniversary.
Hasn't it been around longer than that?
Yes, in its various incarnations including the Android Market and Google Books. Before Google Play, these were all individual storefronts, selling things like apps (on the Android Market) and ebooks.
Google Play is Google's attempt at becoming a big, unified, digital content store, sort of like Apple and Amazon have. Besides games, apps, and ebooks, it also has music, movies, magazines, and TV shows. The anniversary sale features a handful of all of these, and will have "even more special deals" over the coming week.
Who can use these sale items?
Pretty much anyone, although for the games and apps you'll need an Android device with the Google Play store -- the Amazon Kindle won't cut it. If you have such an Android gadget, especially a Nexus one sold in the Google Play store, you're good to go for pretty much anything there.
If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can still read books from Google Play Books by downloading the app from the App Store. Movie and TV show purchases can be watched on YouTube, while Google Play Music has its own apps and web apps for different devices.
What sale items are there?
This sale is unlike some of Google Play's previous sales in honor of millions of app downloads. A lot of what it has are things like promotional offers in games and apps. A free app called Gyft, for instance, is giving away "$20 in FREE [gift] cards" for signing in, although they may not be to your liking; one male customer reported that the app tied into his Facebook and Google accounts, and then gave him cards for women's boutiques. Another in the same situation said that "I can't even gift them to my female friends."
There are a lot of free TV show episodes, although they don't seem to be listed in any particular order. There's also a free novel, and $0.99 rentals of a handful of films.
Are there any actual games or apps on sale?
Not really, at the moment. Pretty much everything on Google's "Gaming Gifts" page are things like special events and free items for Farmville-style social games, and there aren't any featured apps that weren't already free to begin with -- they just all have promos like Gyft's.
The page will be updated in the coming week, though, so keep an eye out if you're interested.
Jared Spurbeck is an open-source software enthusiast, who uses an Android phone and an Ubuntu laptop PC. He has been writing about technology and electronics since 2008.