Next week’s Xbox Windows Phone release Skulls of the Shogun is possibly Microsoft’s most ambitious game yet. Not only will it be launching on Windows Phone, but also XBLA and Windows 8/RT simultaneously. Take that, WSOP: Full House Pro! Sorry, I just ate some sour grapes. On top of the three-platform release, Skulls also supports shared campaign progress across devices thanks to cloud saving and asynchronous cross-platform multiplayer.
The only problem with Skulls coming to all Xbox-supporting platforms at once is that Microsoft has yet to establish a ‘universal app’ pay structure like iOS and the Playstation 3/Vita support. Thankfully the game’s developer 17-BIT and Microsoft have just announced special launch pricing that will make picking up all three versions (or even just one) more attractive to gamers.
Sometimes information come along that doesn’t exactly seem newsworthy, because we already know it. I mean, if Nokia added a webpage touting Angry Birds Space for Windows Phone to their website right this minute, would we have much reason to go shouting about it from the mountains? But not everybody hears every piece of news the first time around, so when it gets reiterated somehow, it becomes new to them.
As such, we’ve received enough tips on a couple of already-known stories lately that we might as well address them now. One: Gameloft’s got a teaser video for their upcoming lineup of Windows Phone 8 games. Two: Microsoft has dedicated a page to Xbox-branded Windows 8 games on their PlayXBLA site. Read on to find out what this all means for you, the faithful Xbox gamer.
We dished out praises like crazy to the original Full House Poker game for Windows Phone. It was the first Windows Phone 7 game to have proper avatar support and is still the only one, really. A picture of the user’s avatar on their stats screen like AlphaJax and Wordament have doesn’t really count; users want to play games as their avatars.
ASUS has launched (and will be launching) multiple products that run Windows RT / 8. A family of laptops branded under the VivoBook umbrella, the S200 and S400, are solutions for those who require a light, thin notebook that sport touch screens and all the bells and whistles for Windows 8. We recently invested in an S400 to see what all the fuss is about with this mid-range notebook. We must admit - we're pleased with the experience on offer.
Latest data from advertisement network AdDuplex reveals usage statistics of both Windows 8 and Windows RT in the first month of 2013. Information presented in this report was collected on January 14th (112 Windows Store apps running the AdDuplex SDK). As well as usages, Windows RT devices and multiple geographic locations are also included.
We’re not going to beat around the bush with this one: Xbox Music leaves a lot to be desired on Windows 8 (and Windows Phone 8), so with every little update we get a tad excited.
Today, Microsoft is pushing out an update for the Music portion of your PC or Surface bumping it from version 188.8.131.52 to 184.108.40.206. Luckily for you we also have a corresponding changelog so you know what to look for...
We’re still unsure about the next couple of weeks, but the drought of Xbox game releases for Windows Phone will definitely cease by the end of the month. Microsoft has made a rare advance release date announcement for a mobile game – and it’s a good one. At long last, Skulls of the Shogun from 17-Bit and Microsoft Studios will debut on January 30th for Windows Phone 7 and 8, Xbox Live Arcade, and Windows 8 and RT!
Microsoft has fired out an email introducing consumers to the Xbox Music Pass, which was previously branded the Zune Pass. The subscription model opens up an impressive catalogue of music that's available for streaming, download and purchase (should one wish to cancel the subscription but retain music tracks). We've previously expected the company to launch the rebranded streaming service as successor.
While CES may not feature a ton of Windows Phone news, Windows 8 made quite the impact at the show with Lenovo, Samsung, Acer and others all showing off their new computers for this year. Heck, Corning with their awesome Gorilla Glass booth (more on that in a bit) had a huge Windows 8 computer that was provided by Microsoft.
We’re not sure on the size of it, so we’ll just call it a BFC (if you ever played the game ‘Doom’ you can extrapolate on our meaning there). The display features Corning’s glass on board resulting a very low resistance screen, which is important when you’re swiping all around with those new gestures (and demod by WPC's Sam Sabri in the video).
In short, it was quite fun using Microsoft’s new OS on such a ginormous display and yes, we want one for Windows Phone Central HQ.
As well as a number of Windows Phone app updates, new releases have also been hitting the Windows 8 Store, which include both Fantweestic! and the official OneNote app. So what's new in the new versions for both Windows apps?
Microsoft has previously confirmed it was looking to introduce Sina Weibo connectivity to China for use with its platforms. The micro-blogging service is a must-have for the array of products the company now has on offer. With popular social networks already available through Microsoft Accounts, it's only right that Chinese consumers be able to achieve the same level of integration.
Last week we covered the Stacks for Instapaper app for Windows 8, it’s safe to say we think it’s the best way to use Instapaper on your Windows 8 tablet right now. As part of that review we also did a sneak peak of the coming update to the Windows Phone 8 app. Today it has arrived.
The update essentially brings a host of improvements to the mobile app to bring it visually in line with the Windows 8 app while taking on some new features provided by Windows Phone 8.
While AT&T is seeing success with Windows Phone sales, Microsoft isn't doing to bad with Windows 8. During the 11th Annual J.P. Morgan Tech Forums at CES 2013, Microsoft announced that they have sold 60 million Windows 8 licenses to date.
According to Windows Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer Tami Reller this includes both upgrades and sales to OEMs for new devices. The sales pace is similar to what Microsoft experienced with Windows 7.
As far as Windows 8 apps and games are concerned, growth continues to rise with the number of apps being available quadrupling since launch. As an added bonus, Microsoft recently passed the 100 million app download mark.
Have you ever played through a video game you really enjoyed and thought to yourself, "Wouldn't it be great if I could run my own video game developer studio?" Well, now you can with Game Dev Tycoon by Greenheart Games (www.greenheartgames.com). The Windows 8 title is a simulator that puts the player in charge of a video game studio, which all starts in the garage.
Fantweestic! is a Windows 8 Twitter client with the sports fan in mind and it's about to go on sale.
Fantweestic! is from Liquid Daffodil, the developers of the Windows Phone apps glƏƏk!, Outsider and Locksider, and offers a sports themed take on Twitter.
Fantweestic! has the ability to easily add a Team or College Twitter feed directly to your views based on the theme you select. There's about forty themes available, including a Windows Phone Central theme! Oh... if you don't see your College or sports team listed in the theme, there's no need to panic. Shoot the developer an email and it should be on the list shortly thereafter. Fantweestic's goal is to have hundreds of themes available.
The 2013 Consumer Electronics Show is just now getting warmed up and we are already seeing a nice presence with Windows 8 tablets. While ASUS may not be offering any Windows Phones, they have announced three impressive Windows 8 tablets and a nifty looking Ultrabook.
The ASUS VivoTab (pictured above) is a 10.1" tablet that features an Intel Atom Z2760 dual-core processor. The tablet is 9.7mm thin and weighs in at 580g. The display offers a 1366x768 HD resolution. Other features of note includes NFC support, 8MP rear camera, 2MP front facing camera and ASUS SonicMaster Audio. The VivoTab does have a TranSleeve Keyboard accessory that can pull extra duty as a tablet cover and stand.
Good news for those who have been waiting and anticipating the arrival of Dropbox for Windows 8, it is now available. The popular cloud storage and sharing service has built a reputation as one of the more ubiquitous ways that folks like to share files and so its arrival on Windows 8 as a metro app is significant for the new platform.
The app is available to download for free and will work on both Windows 8 and Windows RT machines allowing you to download and share files at will.
Keeping up to date with things we want to read can be a constant challenge, thankfully there are services which allow you to save things for later. The premise is simple, notice something on the web that you want to read and you can save it to your reading list. One such service is Instapaper, it essentially allows for a stripped down mobile-friendly version of the article for reading later.Your reading list is stored in the cloud so can be easily accessed on your computer, smartphone and tablet.
Stacks for Instapaper has been around on Windows Phone for some time and consistently gets great reviews in the Windows Phone Store. Stacks is now available on Windows 8 and combined with an upcoming refresh of the phone app it might just make this the best Instapaper experience on both platforms. We review the Windows 8 version while taking a sneak peak at the coming update for the Windows Phone 8 app.
Microsoft has published a rather humorous advertisement on its YouTube channel, which illustrates just how simple Windows 8 is. Consumers are shown to be hovering around a Windows counter with a handful of demonstration PC units available.
An employee approaches said members of public to enquire if they require any assistance, which leads to a child to pop out with a stool to run the weary traveller through the delights of the new operating system. The video is recorded in Portugal and is in the native language with subtitles.