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3 years ago

Windows Phone Game Review: Flick Baseball

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There's a simple baseball game over at the Windows Phone Marketplace that challenging enough to keep from getting boring, nicely animated and a decent way to pass short bits of time with. Flick Baseball is a pitch and hit baseball where you have five outs to see how many runs you can score.

It may not be a game you'll play for hours on end but Flick Baseball is a decent option to choose when you need help passing short bits of time.

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia ESPN App updated, routine maintenance?

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There were a few tips in the Inbox this morning that the Nokia ESPN app was updated overnight. Sure enough, when we turned on our Lumia 900 the update notification was sitting there waiting to be acknowledged.

Beyond that, there's not much more to say. The update takes the ESPN app to version 2.2 and appears to be a maintenance styled update. The Nokia ESPN app does seem to have a little more pep in its step after the update.

Then again, was UEFA Euro 2012 always in the list on the Sports Page?

Seeing that there's not much out there on the update, we thought we'd share a new video ad that Nokia is running on their Youtube Channel highlighting both the ESPN app and the Lumia 900. If anyone notices anything new with the update, please sound off in the comments.

If you haven't downloaded the Nokia ESPN app, simply go the Marketplace on your Lumia Windows Phone and go to the Nokia Collection.

Thanks, everyone, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Microsoft opens Cafe Press store for Windows Phone Gear

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Microsoft has finally answered the call and opened up a Cafe Press store for Windows Phone stuff. Tee shirts, coffee mugs, a Thermos, glasses, you name it the Windows Phone Gear store has it.

You can head over to the site http://www.cafepress.com/windowsphone now and start ordering yourself or loved ones wares splashed with the "I Heart Windows Phone" logo. Oddly enough, it's the old logos with the non-Mango looking icons.

The prices are not exactly cheap being Cafe Press but hey, if you want to look the part you have to pay up, we suppose. 

Thanks, Rodney, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Final Fantasy becomes the first Xbox Live RPG on Windows Phone next week

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Battling the Kraken

The mobile Xbox Live lineup is getting better and better lately. This week we got Battleship, the first Live game with true online multiplayer, and next week’s game… Wait for it… Final Fantasy I from Square Enix! Why Microsoft chose not to demo the game at E3, we’ll never know.

Final Fantasy will be the first traditional RPG in the Windows Phone lineup. A direct port of the iPhone game which was a port of the PSP game which was a remake of the original Famicom version – it’s like seven degrees of Kevin Bacon but with black mages and imps. Players will assemble a party of four warriors from a pool of iconic classes and then set out to save the world from the dastardly Elemental Fiends. Overworld and underworld navigation utilizes a funky-looking virtual pad for movement while the battles are more tap-focused. Numerous hours of role-playing goodness will ensue.

Windows Phone Central received these exclusive first screenshots of the mobile Xbox Live version of Final Fantasy I in action. You might be wondering about the black bars on the sides of the screens... It seems that Square Enix simply increased the lower resolution iPhone version of the game to match Windows Phone 7's vertical resolution without tweaking the the aspect ratio or UI elements for a wider display (I even did some resolution tests to confirm this). In other words, the original game ran at 480 x 320. The Windows Phone game's display has been resized to 720 x 480, leaving 80 pixels of dead space. Let's hope the screen will at least be centered in the final build - we'll find out in less than a week.

Final Fantasy I launches on Wednesday, June 13th and will cost $6.99 (two dollars less than on iPhone).

Garland the rogue knight has kidnapped princess Sarah.

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3 years ago

E3 2012 - Skulls of the Shogun developer interview and multiplayer hands-on

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One of the biggest highlights of E3 2012 for us has been playing Skulls of the Shogun on Windows Phone and Xbox Live Arcade and meeting two of its creators at 17-BIT. Skulls is an amazingly beautiful and accessible turn-based strategy game in development for XBLA, Windows 8, and Windows Phone. Yesterday we posted our Windows Phone impressions; today we follow up with an interview and in-depth demonstration of the XBLA game in action. (The color shifting in the interview video is due to fancy overhead lights on the show floor.)

Head past the break for more Skulls of the Shogun details and gameplay footage!

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3 years ago

Turbo Camera framing up a bit of success on the Marketplace

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Some time ago we reviewed the Windows Phone camera app Turbo Camera. It's an app that brings a rather fun burst mode to your Windows Phone camera that can capture images at a rate as high as thirty frames per second. Since our review, the app has climbed to the top twenty apps in the Marketplace and is currently the number one camera app in the Marketplace. Turbo Camera is available in twenty-nine Marketplace countries and is doing rather well in each.

Along with its popularity and success, Turbo Camera has also seen a few updates improving performance and bringing new features to the table. The latest update, version 1.7, adds the following features to Turbo Camera.

  • Create animated GIF videos from your pictures
  • Backup your video to SkyDrive
  • Share your videos via email
  • Improved thumbnail resolution on export.

The one feature I like about Turbo Camera is after you've captured a few hundred frames, you get to choose which images are saved to your Pictures Hub. You also can select which camera resolution you want to use as well. Just keep in mind, the higher the resolution the fps may slow down a tad.  On the Nokia Lumia 900 I was able to get in the neighborhood of 15-20 fps at max resolution.  The HTC Titan II, at max resolution, was about 1.5 frames slower. 

There is a free trial version available for Turbo Camera that won't let you save any photos but will give you a feel for the app. The full version of Turbo Camera is running $1.99 and you can grab it all here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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3 years ago

From the Forums: Games Spotlight

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With all the new games coming out at E3 we are getting a good look at the future of games on Windows Phone. That’s great for the future but what about now. Where can we go to learn about games available today? We have the answer to that question in our forum.

Many developers are making their game content available for us to enjoy, review and offer feedback on. It’s all happening right here in our Games Spotlight area. Our developers want us to help them create the best game possible. They are posting information on these games in this area hoping we will download them and do just that.

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3 years ago

Photo gallery - The Microsoft Xbox LIVE booth at E3 2012

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Microsoft's booth at E3 was massive

Now that we're home from the fray of E3 2012 and seeing as we now have working internet (shakes fist), we figured we would show you some of our photos from Microsoft's presence at the giant gaming and entertainment conference.

Needless to say, Microsoft had one of the largest and most busy sections at of the whole conference. For instance had you wanted to try the Halo 4 demo you would have had to wait 2.5 hours in line just to get a shot. Yowza.

 

Life size replica of the Halo Warthog

And yes as you can see after the break in our photo gallery, Windows Phone was there too. No, it didn't dominate but it was certainly there and people were playing with the Xbox LIVE games and seemed to enjoy the experience. Mobile in general at E3 is still a very tiny percentage of the conference, regardless of platform. But every year it grows a bit more and so far, the majority of those games are on iOS.

Here's hoping to Windows Phone 8 and E3 2013!

Check out our complete photo gallery after the break. (Maybe later we'll post some non-Microsoft shots as there were some very cool displays)

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3 years ago

Nokia's giving away a few Purity Headsets

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Nokia is having another giveaway contest over on Facebook. This time they are giving away three Nokia Purity Stereo headsets (in-ear) and three Nokia Purity HD Stereo headsets (over ear).

Entering for your chance is about as easy as it gets. Just head over to this Facebook page, tap the enter button, fill in the blanks and your done.  When you submit your entry, you can choose the style and color of headsets you prefer.

Closing date for entries is June 14, 2012 at 16:00BST (British Summer Time). If my time conversions are correct, that would be 11am EST on the 14th. Winners will be contacted by June 28, 2012 by email. Good luck everyone!

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3 years ago

Contract Killer for Xbox Live on Windows Phone exclusive E3 2012 demonstration

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One thing we can all agree on is the need for more mobile Xbox Live games that let us shoot things. Thankfully Glu Mobile is on the case. The noted freemium publisher will follow up Gun Bros on Windows Phone with a more realistic shooting game: Contract Killer. We had the pleasure of demoing it at E3 2012 today and came away impressed.

Contract Killer places players in control of a mafia sniper. From the map screen hub you’ll choose from a variety of missions or visit the shop. The actual missions come to life via detailed 3D graphics. Aiming at your unknowing targets is as simple as swiping the screen in the desired direction. Once you have them lined up, fire and ruin your enemies’ day!

Each mission costs a certain amount of energy to take on. Energy restores over time, but you can also purchase snacks with Microsoft Points and get right back in the action. As with Glu Mobile’s other freemium titles, the PDLC is completely optional and simply a way to get through the game quicker while showing your support for the developers. Programmers gotta eat!

Contract Killer has no official release date yet, but we expect it arrive later this summer. Windows Phone Central will have first word of the launch date, so make sure you check back frequently! If you’d like to try Contract Killer out now on PC, jot on over here with the Google Chrome browser.

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3 years ago

E3 2012 - Stepping into the shoes of the Gun Bros on Windows Phone

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Who says you can’t find mobile games at E3? A few days ago, Windows Phone Central met with Mike DeLaet and Jason Enriquez of Glu Mobile to discuss their upcoming mobile Xbox Live games. The first title they demonstrated for us is Gun Bros, which we revealed in April.

Gun Bros is a top-down twin-stick shooter somewhat reminiscent of arcade classic Smash TV. Players choose from one of two titular brahs, outfit them with an arsenal of high-tech weapons and armor, and then fly to one of several planets and start filling hostile aliens full of equally hostile ordinance. Don’t worry; the aliens are actually big jerks and they totally have it coming.

By completing missions you’ll earn both XP and Xplodium, a rare mineral. XP leads to leveling up, opening access to better equipment. Xplodium can be processed and used to purchase said equipment and items. Of course, Gun Bros is a freemium title and players can purchase even shinier guns and things with Microsoft Points. You won’t have to purchase credits to enjoy the game though.

Gun Bros has passed certification and should launch very soon. We highly recommend trying the PC version for free right now using Google’s Chrome browser – after a few minutes you’ll see why we’re dying to play it more on the go.

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3 years ago

India to see Lumia 900, Lumia 610 in Q3; 808 PureView this month

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Nokia India announced today at the Nokia Strategy Summit in Chennai that its Lumia 900 and Lumia 610 handsets will be coming to India sometime in Q3 of this year. The pair of Lumias will fulfill the desires of both those looking for a high-end powerhouse phone, in the Lumia 900, and those in the market for something more economical, the toned-down 610. Both phones run Windows Phone Refresh (aka Tango), but are much different in the hardware department. While the 4.3-inch Lumia 900 packs a 1.4 GHz processor, 512MB RAM, 8 mega-pixel and 16GB of storage, the 610 has a 3.7-inch LCD, 800MHz processor, 256MB RAM, 8GB of storage and a 5MP camera. Neither a concrete arrival date, nor pricing, were revealed for either device.

Another announcement that came out of today's Nokia Strategy Summit was the mid-June arrival of the 808 PureView, which was originally revealed back at MWC 2012. The 808, if you recall, is the Symbian-powered phone that is equipped with a 41-megapixel camera. It was originally expected to hit shelves in May, but was delayed for unknown reasons. Nokia has put up a website to pre-book the 808 PureView, but has not made any pricing known for that either. It's an odd move for a device that is so close to its release date. The 808 runs a 1.3GHz CPU, 512MB RAM and 16GB of storage, which can be expanded with a microSD card.

The next few months should be pretty exciting for those in India itching for a new Windows Phone device, or a phone with a monster camera hanging off the back of it. We will keep you posted if any further release dates or prices make their way out into the Ether.

Source: FoneArena (Link 2); Via:Mobigyaan (Link 2), Thanks, ASM, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Photo Panorama Round-up

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With the recent release of Microsoft's Photosynth to the Windows Phone Marketplace, there's really no excuse for anyone not to capture decent panoramic images. Photosynth joins a nice collection of in-house panorama apps and a decent third party app. But how do these panorama tools measure up against one another?

We took our handy-dandy tripod out to see if one shined brighter than the other. There's really not a bad panorama app in the lot but a few lined up a little better than others.

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3 years ago

Microsoft's Mayhem Project turns your Windows Phone into a powerful remote control

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With Mayhem, Windows Phone users can make a custom remote control for virtually anything

Microsoft's Applied Sciences Group has a little project going on that allows you to connect your Windows Phone to various services through a wide range of devices that includes your Windows Phone.  The basic operation of the Mayhem project is creating and connecting a trigger reaction to a desired reaction.

For example, with Mayhem you can turn your Windows Phone into a remote control (using the Mayhem Remote app) for your computer to control a PowerPoint presentation or to control the playback controls for a  video. Mayhem enables you to connect everything to everything else from the comfort of your Windows Phone, computer, Kinect, or even an Xbox controller.

Mayhem is open source, provided through the Outcurved Foundation, to allow developers and users to expand its capabilities. There's even a contest to see what creative add-ons can be developed for a chance to wing $3,000. You can find all the details on the Mayhem Contest here (submissions must be made by midnight PST on June 30th) at the Mayhem contest page.

The applications for Mayhem are endless and really opens up the potential of your Windows Phone. You can learn more about Mayhem and download the Mayhem Windows application here at the Mayhem Website. The Mayhem Remote for your Windows Phone can be snatched up here at the Windows Phone Marketplace. It's all free and full of potential.

Source: Mayhem; Thanks, Eli, for the tip!

              

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3 years ago

Reminder: gMaps Pro free on Friday

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While gMaps Pro vanished from the Marketplace a few weeks ago, it's back but with a slight snag. After dealing with copyright issues and re-branding/updating things, the app was restored to the Windows Phone Marketplace as a new submission. This basically means that if you had previously purchased gMaps Pro, you won't be eligible for any future updates without re-purchasing the app.

To ease the pain of the situation and to celebrate the Marketplace reaching 100,000 apps Alexey Strakh, gMaps Pro's developer, will be offering gMaps Pro (regularly $1.99) as a free app for tomorrow (Friday, June 8th) only.

We have to tip our hat to Alexey for trying to make the best of a not-so-good situation. For those who purchased gMaps Pro before it was removed, nows your chance to get the current version.  This will enable you to stay current with all the updates as they become available without the need to re-purchase the app. Everyone else... you get a heck of a deal on a nice mapping app.

You can find gMaps Pro here at the Windows Phone Marketplace. We aren't sure when the pricing change will kick in so if you don't see it right away on Friday, check back later.

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