Android typically makes its bread and butter on phones, with a side order of tablets. Palm-sized media players aren't usually on the menu, save for Samsung's own offerings. Today, the company announced a refresh for its handheld phone-less device. The notPod may not be the most in-demand category of devices, but if Samsung's taught us anything this week, it's that the company isn't one to turn down a niche market.
To say that DLC is a growing problem would be an understatement. Of the last five games I've reviewed for this site, all of them have had some form of in-app purchases to expand the game or unlock content. Sometimes it's awful, sometimes it's not so bad, but all of them guarantee you only get most of a game. A new service called Pocket Change, however, wants to let game developers charge on a per-play basis.
We certainly aren't a console video gaming blog, but when reviews of the US version of Sony's PlayStation Vita started cropping up this morning, I couldn't help but take notice of the new mobile console system's software. Particularly, how... smartphoney it looks.
Everything in Sony's Vita OS has been appified - Google Maps is there, while Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and Skype apps are forthcoming. Sony has its own suite of apps as well, including a full-blown browser which, although it appears to be pretty terrible, is apparently the best on any mobile gaming device to date.
For those unwilling to sacrifice the latest hardware (and software) for the rather dated Sony Xperia Play's convenient physical game controls, Gametel has introduced a Bluetooth controller with a familiar button layout that will accommodate just about any Android-powered phone. Even better, the Bluetooth controller has its own battery, charged via micro USB.
Gametel says that the controller is already compatible with over 200 games, and phones powered by Ice Cream Sandwich can make effective use of built-in controller APIs.
Microsoft recently released Halo Waypoint to the Android Market, bringing an official multiplayer companion to the palm of your hand. The app has a surprising amount of awesome features, including live overhead views of multiplayer maps (with weapon, vehicle, and player locations), score information, and the ability to "stay in contact with your Halo friends on Xbox LIVE no matter where you are."
On top of all that, Halo Waypoint tracks your career and campaign progress and stats according to weapons and enemies, and enables users to invite friends to challenges from their mobile device.
Eliminating the need for huge downloads and long wait times, OnLive gives users access to high quality mobile games from just about anywhere they may find themselves, using either touch controls or an OnLive wireless controller (available here).
All you need is an Android 2.3+ device and an internet/data connection.
Some of my favorite mobile games for the mobile platform are of the puzzle genre, because it tends to lend itself well to the array of controls that are provided. A new THD game that just landed in the Market today, however, combines simple controls and some quirky physics to give you a unique puzzling experience.
In Sprinkle, you are put in charge of a small village's fire department, who are in turn in charge of extinguishing fires that are caused by falling meteorites.
I feel a little bit of an attachment to Apparatus - we were one of the first blogs to review the game, which was a nice discovery while browsing Reddit one day. I've seen the app grow and add a whole boatload of interesting features; it truly is one of the Android platform's best games.
So when we got word today that it was finally leaving beta and stepping into the world of "finished" products, I couldn't help but smile a little bit.