The classic Final Fantasy RPG you've been waiting for is finally available on Android! No, not that one. Or that one, or that one either - it's number nine. This morning Square Enix published Final Fantasy IX, which was first released for the PlayStation way back in 2000, on the Play Store. If you have $16.99 to spare (and 4GB of free space on an Android 4.1+ phone or tablet), it can be yours. That's a 20% discount until February 21st, according to the app description.
PlayStation gamers have access to a complementary Android app that allows them to send new game downloads to their console remotely, use as a second-screen on some titles, and get social with other PlayStation members. The latter feature has now been cut from the main app and is getting released as a standalone PlayStation Messages client.
Messages is actually better designed than the full app, with a clean Material layout to view your current and favorite chats, check your friends list, see what they're playing, and interact with everyone. You can send texts and voice messages, attach photos and themed stickers, brag about your progress and scores, and more.
If you don't know what PlayStation Vue is, don't worry, you're not alone. It's not a gaming service of any kind, it's an IPTV subscription that delivers select shows and networks to the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. It's a sort of hardware-exclusive take on SlingTV. Or at least it was, until Sony announced that the service was expanding to other streaming devices. Amazon's Fire TV and Fire TV Stick will be the first non-Sony hardware compatible with PlayStation Vue, not counting iPhone and iPad.
Apparently there are still no plans for core Android app, but the service will expand to the Chromecast (and presumably Android TV by way of its built-in Cast support) at some point in the future.
Before we start, let's get one thing out of the way: there's no practical application for the apps demonstrated below, at least not in the way they're being used. You can't seriously play a game meant for a 20-button controller on a screen smaller than two inches across, even if your fingers are tiny enough to hit the virtual buttons. This is the work of an enthusiast gamer and Android fan. It doesn't have to make sense.
Alright, now that that's out of the way: YouTube user Hacking Jules would like you to see his collection of game emulators running on Android Wear.
Today's Android devices are powerful enough to run circles around most game consoles of yesteryear, but that doesn't mean emulating old hardware is easy. 2D games, sure, walk in the park—but replicating the original PlayStation is a different thing entirely. Nevertheless, that hasn't stopped an Android developer from trying to tackle the even more powerful PlayStation 2.
Play!, as the emulator is called, also supports Windows, Mac OS X, and iOS. Here's a video of an Android tablet running Final Fantasy X. Though they aren't demonstrated, we can see that the tester also has Capcom Vs SNK 2, Dragon Quest VIII, Dynasty Warriors 2, Gradius V, Kingdom Hearts, and Space Harrier saved to the device.
There's a huge emulator community on Android, helped in no small part by the fact that modern smartphones can handle older game console software without breaking a sweat. But 3D consoles and newer portable machines are harder to emulate - they require more power and more complex software to get bigger, more demanding games to run well. The PPSSPP emulator (for PlayStation Portable games) has been in development for a variety of platforms for several years, but now the 1.0 release is available for Android via an easy Play Store download.
PPSSPP has just about all of the standard emulator bases covered.
Dedicated PlayStation 4 gamers have had Sony's official Android app to play around with for a while now, but apparently it hasn't been optimized for use on tablets before today. You might think that's strange, seeing as Sony, well, makes tablets, but the various hardware, software, and digital content arms of Sony are somewhat disjointed. That tends to happen in gigantic international corporations. In any case, the 2.0 update to Sony's PlayStation is now available in the Play Store.
In addition to formal support for tablets, the homescreen has been redesigned, though you might have to look twice to notice.
You'll have to excuse me, I'm a little out of it. After a few short sessions with Entwined Challenge, going back to a boring writing window is kind of like dunking your head in ice water. This abstract casual game comes from developer Pixelopus, the maker of the full Entwined game on the PS4, PS3, and PS Vita. Now you can get a bite-sized version of the experience on your Android device, Sony or not, in the Play Store. Entwined Challenge is $1 with no in-app purchases.
In Entwined, you control one character with either thumb: an orange fish on the left and a blue bird on the right.
When Sony announced that the PlayStation 4's Remote Play feature would be available to Android phones and tablets in November, gamers got excited... right up to the point where they found out that the feature would be exclusive to the new Xperia Z3 line. While the Z3, Z3 Compact, and Z3 Tablet Compact look like fine machines, that isn't much consolation if you can't afford them or can't even find them in your country.
XDA-Developers poster XperiaPlaystation has made a work-around for this, at least allegedly. The developer's new port of the PlayStation app should work on any Android 4.0 or higher device with access to a custom recovery.
Tucked into the flurry of news around Sony's trio of new Xperia Z3 devices was the fact that they'll be the first non-gaming gadgets to use the company's proprietary PlayStation 4 Remote Play system. The flagship Xperia Z3, high-powered "mini" Xperia Z3 Compact, and the 8-inch Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact will be able to stream PS4 games and play them across a home Wi-Fi network later this year. The PS4 can already stream gameplay to the PlayStation Vita.
Gamers will need a standard Dual Shock 4 controller to make the best of it, but Sony will sell a little attachment device that lets you clip your phone onto the controller, sort of like the various MOGA controllers.