Tag Archives: mobile

Apple Arcade: How Can Subscription Services Change Games?

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Announcement: I reviewed Generation Zero for Indie Game Website. Check it out: https://www.indiegamewebsite.com/2019/03/25/generation-zero-review/

Main Post: Apple announced another video game subscription service, being the latest company to jump on the idea after Google, Microsoft, and really every other platform holder depending on how you look at it. Personally I have yet to lean one way or the other on subscription services, and in regards to Apple Arcade specifically, mobile games as well. I guess my main question is: will Apple Arcade’s exclusives be able to hold my attention longer than the usual time-wasters?

I haven’t spent significant time on a mobile game in a long time, and books are actually the main reason. I don’t know if other people don’t read books on smart phones as opposed to tablets or dedicated e-readers, but a phone has always had enough screen real estate for me. When I’m out somewhere with my phone and some time to kill, books have been doing a better job at holding my attention than mobile games. Continue reading

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The Manga Industry’s Newest Attempt To Compete With Piracy

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This happened a little while ago but I wanted to write a bit about the manga industry’s recent attempts to catch up with digital distribution, particularly on mobile devices.

If you don’t know, searching “manga” on the iOS App Store will bring up a bunch of apps for reading manga, but most of them are for reading straight-up pirated chapters online. Companies like Shueisha in Japan and Viz in the west started a new initiative a few weeks ago to try to catch up, with some pretty aggressive pricing and leniency. It looks like a serious first step in competing with piracy, but I honestly don’t know how far the industry can go here. Continue reading

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Is There Still A Software Gap Between iOS And Android?

Almost as soon as the iOS-Android rivalry began there were guides, think pieces, and other talk about users switching between one and the other. I think Samsung’s entire smartphone advertising strategy has been about people switching to their phones from iPhones — how their phones get new features before Apple copies them. I’ve always had a problem with these messages, and it’s with how they almost always focus on hardware and operating systems to the exclusion of the software that runs on them.

Basically, I never really thought about switching because of how much iOS software I’ve paid for over the years that wouldn’t come with me if I left that ecosystem. Recently though I sat down and took stock of all those apps and what such a transition might actually cost me. I found that the difficulty is really dependent on what you’re using your device for and what kind of apps that entails. Continue reading

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The Real Difference Between Mobile And Console Gaming

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When Apple unveiled its new iPads and MacBooks this past week it boasted the new iPad Pro can get graphics performance that rivals the Xbox One S. Whatever arguments may ensue about the differences between mobile gaming and console gaming, I don’t think hardware performance is the main factor keeping what some might consider “real gaming” from appearing on smartphones and tablets. Just being able to run Xbox games doesn’t mean you’re gonna start seeing the likes of Red Dead Redemption on the iPad. I think by far the biggest factor is the standard of pricing for mobile software. Even the touch-only interface isn’t that big a deal in comparison. Continue reading

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[iPhone September 2018 Keynote] What Matters To You When Upgrading iPhones?

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As Apple unveils its new iPhone models this week, the iPhone XR, Xs, and Xs Max, I find myself once again thinking about what’s going to affect my hardware purchasing decision the most — the software.

My decision on when I’ll want to upgrade from my 6 Plus is going to depend a lot on how iOS 12 performs on my current phone when it drops next week and throughout the fall. I actually could’ve sworn I’d posted something here about that when Apple unveiled it in June but according to the search on this site I haven’t, so I guess I can go over my hopes for that too. Continue reading

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The Nintendo Switch Is Mostly Getting Ports. That’s OK. (Part Two)

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After the Nintendo Direct in January I said that the Nintendo Switch mostly receiving ports of games from other systems was fine. It still is after this week’s Direct. In fact I’m satisfied with this direct because Nintendo announced the Switch was getting some ports I’ve been waiting for (and there’s at least one other I hope gets announced later).

What we’re seeing now is really a shift in the purpose dedicated handheld gaming systems serve alongside a shift in how third party game developers operate. If you didn’t complain about all the ports for the PlayStation Vita, you can’t really complain about the ones on the Switch. Continue reading

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On Duolingo (And Other Free Online Language Education Tools)

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For nearly a year now I’ve been using the popular language-learning program Duolingo, and since it technically treats itself as a game, I thought I should go ahead and put a few words about it down here. For anyone curious, I don’t think Duolingo on its own can replace entire language courses, but it still makes for a very good first step and individual part to a larger experience. It’s also not the only decent free online language-learning tool. Continue reading

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Nintendo Switch: Non-Gaming Software Isn’t Detrimental To Games

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When it came to light that the Nintendo Switch won’t have a web browser on day one I imagine some people probably started asking if it even really needs one. It’s an issue that neatly separates more hardcore gamers from general users.

I’ll go ahead and admit I’ve very seldom used the web browsers on my game consoles, but I have used them. I have a phone with a web browser and I have a full-blown Windows PC hooked up to my television, so I have very little use for web browsers in say, my PlayStation or my Nintendo machine. That said, I can’t agree with people who complain about too much non-gaming software on game consoles. Continue reading

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Is Nintendo Conceding To The Tablet Living Room Reality?

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When Eurogamer and other publications recently broke all those new details about Nintendo’s project NX, I said in a bullets section last week that I wouldn’t retread the same talking points I’d brought up in every post speculating about NX. The truth is these new, strongly-supported rumors, pretty much back up what I’d been thinking about the future direction of Nintendo hardware. If all this is true though and NX is a console-tablet hybrid, then it’s made me realize Nintendo has realized mobile devices are the future of the living room — they’ve done what game consoles were originally supposed to do. Continue reading

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Why Iterative Consoles Make Sense Now

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Now reports have come in that Sony is at least playing with the idea of iterative game consoles. A lot of people seem to be afraid of the changes this might bring. I’ve already done a whole post on why I think this is ultimately where game consoles should go, but it was framed around what Microsoft’s Phil Spencer was saying which included a lot of things about Windows.

When you’re talking about Sony doing this though, the PC element isn’t there so you’re only talking about iterative game consoles. I should note here that based on the nature of the Sony reports and speculation on them from other tech sites, it looks like nothing is set in stone as of now. What seems to be happening is that Sony is merely exploring and researching the idea of taking the existing PS4 and beefing it up. Nothing may ever actually come of it, but something also might. We probably won’t have anything concrete until E3.

That said, I still want to go further into what this could or should mean for game consoles going forward. I think iterating on game console hardware is a pretty fundamental shift that could put the industry more in line with what other tech has always been doing. It could get rid of the entire idea of “console generations” as we know them.  I think some people are scared because the uniqueness of game consoles seems to be under threat. Continue reading

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