Imagine, if you will, that you've just checked in to a hotel in Tokyo for an extended vacation. Weary from the long train and cab rides from the airport, you make use of the bathroom, noting the famously futuristic facilities adorning the electronic toilet. As you take care of business, you hear a laughing, sniggering sound from the other side of the wall - clearly someone in the next room is having a good time.
A few days ago, there was a huge commotion around the Android and iOS campfires: Microsoft is bringing its first-party games to mobile platforms other than Windows Phone! The news stemmed from this Reuters report that Age of Empires would be coming to Android and iOS, followed by other titles. The first part is correct (though not nearly as exciting as it sounds, see below) but the latter part seems to be a translation error - Phil Spencer, Microsoft's VP of the company's internal game studio, clarified the issue via his Twitter account.
Nexus 7 in South Korea
The international rollout continues as Google has announced that the Nexus 7 is now on sale in South Korea. This marks the ninth country the tablet can be purchased in and the widest availability of any Play Store hardware to date. The first runner up is the Nexus 10 with a whopping 8 countries.
Nexus 4 in Japan
The Nexus 4, however, wants to catch up in that list with a possible Japanese launch.
Au's Infobar phone line has been around since 2001, always featuring plenty of color and hoping to bring innovative ideas to the smartphone world through eye-popping, unique design. Bringing another stylized entry to the lineup, Au has posted a brief dossier on the new Infobar A02, designed by Naoto Fukasawa and manufactured by HTC.
One of the device's main claims to fame is its apparent use of HTC's ImageSense chip, allowing for smooth burst capture.
We've been taking a close look at some of Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo's 2013 offerings: LG's flagship Optimus G Pro, Panasonic's similar Eluga X, and the dual-screen NEC MEDIAS W. DoCoMo announced three other phones at the same time, all of which are at the head of their manufacturer's lineups. We've already seen Sony's Xperia Z, Xperia Tablet Z, and Huawei's Ascend D2. Fujitsu's ARROWS X F-02E matches up to both, more or less.
In case there was any doubt that 5 inches is the new standard for Android superphones, Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo has removed all of it with a new hardware series. Right at the top of the list is a new device from Panasonic in their relatively young Eluga family, this one christened the ELUGA X P-O2E. The 5-inch LCD screen is naturally 1080p, and hides a 1.5Ghz quad-core Snapdragon Pro processor, and a 13.2 megapixel camera.
When the specs of the supposed LG Optimus G Pro leaked last week, it seemed almost too good to be true – like one of those fanboy wishlists you see populating forums and sub-Reddits across the web. Now Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo has announced the device as part of its DoCoMo Next 2013 Spring lineup, and the reality matches the leak quite well.
The LG Optimus G Pro will be following the trend of big and beautiful screens.
As part of the company's continued international expansion efforts, Amazon is now announcing that its Appstore is available in Japanese markets. Not a moment too soon, either, as in a couple of weeks, the Kindle Fire HD family will start selling in Japan (December 16th). Without an app market, it would be an even harder sell than a not-quite-Android tablet is now.
Image via Mitchey
The Appstore will be bringing paid apps (good news, developers!) as well as Amazon's typical Free App of the Day promotion.
We've heard rumors that Sprint is considering outbidding T-Mobile for MetroPCS's affection. Just in case that doesn't work, though, Sprint wants us to know that there is another plan in the works: being purchased by Softbank. Since most of you likely aren't up to date on Japanese telecoms, here's the deal: Softbank is a Japanese telecom. The third largest wireless carrier in the country, so a bit of a kindred spirit with Sprint.
If you can say nothing else about Square Enix, the company sure is raising the bar on both Android game prices and scope. With the recent Final Fantasy ports, mobile gamers with some cash to spare have had the opportunity to spend a considerable amount of time in mythical lands leveling up and fighting outlandish enemies. If you're looking for something in that neighborhood that you haven't played before, though, Chaos Rings has finally been ported to Android, and it looks fantastic.