As always, we've been busy combing through all the Play Store's latest entries during the past month. Besides publishing our larger, semi-weekly roundups, we try to separate out the very best. In the interest of saving readers time and – more importantly – money in trying out all the games we discuss each month, we assemble a shortlist of the games you can't miss. If you're looking to spice up your games library, any of these picks would be a great choice.
It's been a long road for the Wikipad, but in one short week, the odd little device will finally be available for purchase. After more than 18 months of development a complete redesign, the Wikipad will be launched next Tuesday, June 11th, at the reasonable price of $249 (including the unique controller add-on sleeve). The initial product push will be on Wal-mart.com, BestBuy.com, and TigerDirect.com, with more online and retail partners set to be announced after the E3 gaming show in July.
NVIDIA SHIELD, the company's first in-house built device, is officially available for pre-order for $350. And no sooner than the announcement was made, the "this is too expensive!" comments started showing up. I want to explain why I think that line of thinking is not only unfair, but also illogical.
The issue with SHIELD, in my opinion, isn't actually with SHIELD itself but rather the way people are perceiving it.
Those of you who like your games served fresh while you peruse the day's social updates might want to sit down. Google+ Games will shut down on June 30, taking users' game data with it. But social gamers aren't aren't entirely without hope. Some developers will designate new destination sites for their games, and a few games already have alternative links set up.
In-game payments inside any of the games that are set to disappear will have to be used up before June 30 arrives.
For years, Rovio lived on Angry Birds and nothing else. Then it tried to get you to love Alex. Then it gave the piggies a shot. Finally, Rovio went back to doing what it does best: throwing birds and cashing out. The demand for new games hasn't stopped, though. So what's a mega-giant corporation that's stuck in a creative rut to do? Crowd source, of course. Introducing Rovio Stars.
Guys, stop talking about the Ouya for a second. Bluestacks has a different console it would like you to pay attention to: GamePop. The company that has previously worked on interoperability between Android software and other platforms, is now launching a console of its own. The hardware—including a console and physical controller—will be entirely free for people who pre-order. The catch? You have to pay for a subscription to play games.
We are gearing up for I/O here at AP, and with the release of the I/O Sessions schedule, we've got an even clearer idea of what Google has in store for us.
Google I/O is a traditionally developer-oriented conference, but it's also always been a huge source of news about upcoming products. I/O is the one time of year when Googlers are allowed to show off their projects, so there's lots of news out there; you've just got to pay attention.
A few months ago, Microsoft announced the SmartGlass app for Xbox, a companion application that allows you to navigate and control your console from your phone or, up until recently, 7" tablets. Now, version 1.5 has rolled out that adds support for larger slates. Including 10" devices like the Nexus 10, which is kind of great.
On a larger tablet, the UI actually doesn't look much different from the interface on the TV itself, so it's extremely intuitive.
We've watched this project grow from a once-unfunded Kickstarter campaign to a highly-anticipated beast of a gaming console. If you've been kicking yourself over the last several months for not getting behind the Kickstarter campaign and are counting the days until you can grab this Android-powered box-o-fun from a retail shop, the day is drawing near. According to tonight's announcement from GDC, the device will hit shelves in virtual and physical stores across the country on June 4th.
We don't get to talk much about 3D printing here at Android Police because it's not a technology that's terribly mobile-focused (nor is it even that commonplace yet), but suffice to say, it's amazing. While this may not be about making prosthetic body parts, vehicles, or bikinis, MakerBot and OUYA are partnering to allow users to print their own enclosures for the hackable console. This may be the coolest way to customize a game system yet.