There's no doubt that the Asus ROG Phone 5 is a beast — as a gaming phone, it packs all of the latest and greatest hardware, and that makes it a really chunky boy. Asus has a laser focus on gaming-centric features that will delight its core demographic, but the ROG 5 isn’t a complete nightmare to use outside of gaming either. The ROG Phone 5 offers stable everyday use with the added benefit of killer specs that can be tweaked and adjusted like a gaming PC. This is indeed a phone for gamers, but that means it lacks some popular features, and the software has some rough edges.
Gaming phones are chunky, overpowered beasts with outrageous aesthetics that most consumers don't need. But if you're someone who doesn't care about looks or weight, they pack incredible oomph. ASUS released its ROG Phone 2 last year, and it earned a place on AP's Most Wanted list. Now the company has unveiled its successor, and the ROG Phone 3 is probably more powerful than your home computer.
Video games have long been associated with negative connotations about wasting time and killing brain cells, but a new game might just help to change that. The FDA has just cleared the first prescription-only smartphone game, called EndeavorRx, as part of a treatment program for children with ADHD.
Mobile gaming has become a big deal in recent years, thanks to an increase in both smartphone performance and user base. While developers only have to deal with a very limited amount of hardware targets when it comes to iOS, publishing games for Android requires optimizing for a wide range of devices with varying levels of power. Now a new library in the Android Game SDK will help developers improve the performance of their games on Android phones in a much more streamlined fashion.
Phones are getting more powerful all the time, but there's only so much you can do to cool that beefy hardware in a smartphone form factor. Over on the Linus Tech Tips YouTube channel, they decided to look into the mysterious world of water-cooled smartphones. Yes, that's a thing. If you've ever fancied adding a water cooler to your smartphone, here's how you do it.
A couple of months ago, Huawei's sub-brand Honor announced the Play for China. Equipped with a Kirin 970 SoC and up to 6GB of RAM, it also featured Huawei's new GPU Turbo technology. Originally thought to be exclusive to China, Honor has subverted our expectations and is releasing the Play to Europe and the rest of Asia with 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM, starting at €329.
Mobile games are a major contributor to the modern gaming industry, but while many of us play them, only some users actually pay up. That is, of course, because for the most part paying is optional. The dominant pricing model these days is free-to-play games with in-app-purchases (IAP) — for instance, paying real-world dollars in order to play continuously without mandatory cool-off periods, or purchasing extra lives. In a recent report from Liftoff, a mobile app marketing platform, the agency delves into who among us is paying for mobile games, and who is refraining from dipping into their wallets.
It wasn't too long ago that Google started allowing developers to run native sales for apps in the Play Store. We saw the color-based puzzle Linia go free yesterday, and now we have two more. The Great Fusion and VR Space: The Last Mission both come from developer Loading Home. Normally, these games would cost $1.99 a piece, but for a short time, they'll cost you nothing.
For all its flaws, mobile gaming is kind of a big deal. Even world-class gaming hardware and software companies like Sony would be ill-advised to ignore it. And they aren't: today Sony announced that it's forming a new first-party development company called ForwardWorks, which will work exclusively on game development for mobile. Presumably that means Android games (since Sony manufactures Android hardware and leverages it with its PlayStation brand) and iOS games (since it would be foolish to ignore that potential revenue).
ForwardWorks will be based out of Tokyo as a fully-owned Sony subsidiary. At the moment it isn't clear what the focus of the developer will be: mobile tie-ins to popular Sony franchises like Killzone, Infamous, Little Big Planet, and Uncharted are obvious picks, but there's plenty of money to be made in mobile-only franchises as well if developers can score a win with the first title.