no xbox release

It’s another sad week with no new Xbox Windows Phone game release – Tetris Blitz never showed up yesterday. As such, the Xbox Red Stripe Deal must provide hungry Windows Phone gamers with sustenance. Well, this week’s deal game has gone on twice sale before, but more than a year ago and never for as cheap. Physics puzzler Implode from IUGO is now on sale for 99 cents, down from $2.99. Probably what it should cost all the time, but who are we to judge?

Rounding out this week’s Red Stripe Deals are Darts Arena Online from E-Bouma and Week View 8, a calendar app from Hannes Biribauer. Both are on sale for 99 cents. Descriptions, free candy, and store links after the break!

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Since we had no new Xbox Windows Phone release this week, the Xbox Red Stripe Deal is left to pick up the slack. And for once, it doesn’t disappoint! Yes, this week a game that HAS NEVER BEEN ON SALE BEFORE goes on sale. That doesn’t happen too often. What’s more, it’s one of the best games available!

Yes, Rayman Jungle Run from Ubisoft is the Xbox game on sale this week. What Windows Phone 8 gamer could resist it for only 99 cents? Rounding out the Red Stripe Deals are an indie game called 2150 A.D. from Lumosoft for 99 cents and the Twitter app Rowi from Hidden Pineapple for $1.49. Descriptions and Store links after the break.

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Windows Phone sadly did not get an Xbox release this week, but that doesn’t mean a new mobile Xbox game didn’t come out. It’s just tablet-mobile instead of smartphone-mobile.

Ty the Tasmanian Tiger from Australia-based Krome Studios (developers of the Game Room series and Full House Poker for Windows Phone) is now available on Windows 8 and RT. Ty had previously soft launched in the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, but now all Windows 8 users can buy it without the hassle of region-switching trickery.

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It looks like this is the third week in a row with no new Xbox Windows Phone game. That officially makes this the second drought of the year. Now, last week I complained about the lack of release and some people felt I was being too harsh. So this week we’ll look at the bright side of a new game not coming out.

The most obvious advantage of not having a new Xbox release is that it allows us to catch up on our reviews! We published our Tiny Plane review today, and last week our Monopoly Millionaire review ran. If Microsoft bothered to keep publishing a new game each week like gamers want and expect, we probably couldn’t have finished those reviews. What can I say? It takes me a while to play a game and then give it a lengthy and detailed review.

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Earlier this year, Windows Phone experienced an extended Xbox game release drought that actually began at the end of 2012. As the weeks stretched on, we became increasingly worried about the future of Xbox games on Windows Phone. The severity of the drought prompted me to write our seven-part “How Microsoft can save Xbox games for Windows Phone” series, which all Windows Phone gamers still need to read.

In February, Skulls of the Shogun basically broke the drought, though the following week there was no new release. But since then, we’ve seen a steady release of Xbox games for Windows Phone 7 and 8 from major publishers like Gameloft, Rovio, and Ubisoft. It looked like the days of drought were behind us.

Then last week we got no new Xbox release. It stung, but maybe this week would be different. Well, as far as we can tell, there is no new Xbox game this week either. Could this be the start of a new drought?

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As our game-playing readers have probably noticed by now, Xbox for Windows Phone isn’t truly out of drought territory just yet. There is no new Xbox release this week. We asked Microsoft whether the two free Gameloft games on Tuesday were intended to make up for the lack of release. Unfortunately, those games being offered for free resulted from a Store glitch that has since been corrected.

Microsoft couldn’t tell us whether there will be a new Xbox Windows Phone game next week, either. It’s clear that the problems facing the platform won’t go away any time soon. Let’s just hope our editorial series can inspire the powers that be to move things in a better direction… In the meantime, we've got another rumor explaining the lack of games and a hefty list of titles that Microsoft could and should be producing for Windows Phone!

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No new Xbox games for Windows Phone appeared this week, not even a game from Nokia. This marks the fifth week without a new release – the longest in Windows Phone history. But Windows Phone 8 did gain a new playable title in the form of Shuffle Party (which was previously incompatible), and all Windows Phone users can look forward to the highly-anticipated Skulls of the Shogun next week.

It’s no secret that we consider the ball to have been dropped pretty far as Xbox games for Windows Phone go. You might even say the ball had rolled across the street and into the scary old neighbor’s yard. Throughout the release drought, Windows Phone Central has worked hard at getting an explanation from Microsoft themselves. At last we have official word and a bit of good news to go along with it.

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I regret to report that the Xbox Windows Phone game release drought continues unabated this week, making the fifth week in a row without a new release (not counting Nokia exclusives). But it’s not all bad news. For one, we have the awesome cross-platform Skulls of the Shogun coming out next week on January 30th. And this week, Microsoft will be throwing Windows Phone 8 users a bone…

Following on the heels of yesterday’s Let’s Golf 2, another game gains Windows Phone 8 compatibility tomorrow: Shuffle Party from Babaroga and Microsoft Studios. Shuffle Party will be free as always, and is probably the third best free mobile Xbox game after Wordament and AlphaJax.

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Last week, Windows Phone received no new Xbox game for the third week in a row. Our detailed editorial posited several theories to explain the prolonged release drought, and many readers chimed in with their own theories. This week marks the fourth consecutive dry week, and the sixth within the last two months. Microsoft has informed us there won’t be a new Xbox game or Deal of the Week once more.

Why another dry week, you ask? An Xbox game developer has come forward with information supporting one of our theories… And no, it isn’t the best news.

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Things haven’t been looking too good for Xbox games on Windows Phone lately. As our readers probably know, there hasn’t been a new Xbox game released since KenKen on December 19th. Just before that there were two more weeks with no release: one before and one after AlphaJax arrived. Nokia users have a bit more to play thanks to iBomber Defense, but that does not help everyone else. Well, this week the disturbing trend continues: Microsoft has confirmed that there will be no new Xbox Windows Phone game or Deal of the Week this week. Yikes!

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No new Xbox Windows Phone game for the New Year

It’s easier to criticize than compliment. Things we dislike stick out like a sore thumb. Also, I’m not too fond of sore thumbs! As you can tell, it’s time for some bad news and hand wringing. That’s because it looks like we won’t get either a new Xbox Windows Phone release or even a Deal of the Week to ring in the New Year.

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It looks like there might not be a new Xbox Windows Phone release this week, as we haven’t heard news of one from Microsoft. But they like to surprise us every now and then, so time will tell. In the meantime, Windows Phone 8 users can play a new(ish) game, as in a WP7 title that was previously incompatible with the new OS. Even better, the newly returned title is one of the best from the incompatible list.

Crimson Dragon Side Story from Grounding and Microsoft has been patched for Windows Phone 8. The version 1.2 patch greatly enhances the game’s speed, but we've also heard it closes a well-liked loophole.

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Two weeks ago on November 28, AlphaJax missed its intended launch date. As such, there was no Xbox Windows Phone release that week. We sort of understood that the game had hit a last minute road bump, and then it popped up the next week, so little harm was done. I’m afraid I have similar news to report: there will be no Xbox release this week. Perhaps the sting is lessened since nobody announced a title in advance, though I’d argue the lack of even a delayed game to look forward to makes it worse.

The lack of an Xbox Windows Phone release is not unprecedented. Although it hasn’t been much of a problem this year, we suffered two dry weeks in a row in 2011. Whenever this happens, it’s my duty to point out the finished games that Microsoft could release if they felt like it. That list has long included Shaolin’s Road and Time Pilot, but we can now add Loondon as well.

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Last week’s Xbox Windows Phone Black Friday sale was the largest sale the platform has ever seen, with no less than six Xbox titles discounted. And in fact, the Windows Phone Store hasn’t updated yet, so you can still get those games on sale as of this writing. I have to bear some bad news though… Microsoft has revealed to us that the popular Xbox Deal of the Week program will be taking a break for the remainder of the year. Presumably it will restart sometime around January 2nd.

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Microsoft responds to Xbox Live release drought

As gamers have surely noticed by now, there was no new Xbox Live release for Windows Phone this week. The same applies to last week, which means we haven’t had a new Live game for two weeks in a row. It’s a frustrating situation for avid gamers and Achievement hunters, and has lead to much speculation about the cause of the release drought.

Who better to ask about the situation than Microsoft themselves? So we asked and this is what Michael Yaeger, Senior PR Manager for Xbox Live, had to say about it:

We are actively working with our partners as they finish development of new mobile titles, and look forward to sharing them with you as they become available.”

In other words, while many games are in development, none of them has been ready to publish in the last couple of weeks. Yes, it’s disappointing to people who want more games to play. But Michael stressed the importance of properly testing games and maintaining Xbox Live’s high quality standards. I can see his point there – I would rather have no game than a buggy game that takes months to get fixed (like I Dig It, whose patch finally went live recently).

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This week’s Xbox Live release is a repeat of August 24’s release. How can that be? Why, there simply won’t be a new Xbox Live game this week. For those keeping score, that marks the second time this year there hasn’t been a Live release, or the third if we count the week Twin Blades got re-released.

It shall now become my tradition whenever this happens to openly ask: where are Shao-Lin’s Road and Time Pilot? Both of Konami’s Game Room titles have been complete since the beginning of the year, which we know because they’re simple arcade ROMs that were demoed at CES and whose Achievements have long been public. Maybe Microsoft picked up on our Game Room fatigue when they pushed four such titles out in a month’s time, but that was then. This is now! And surely we can all agree that some game, even one that predates many of our readers’ births, is better than no new release.

Maybe next week's game will be extra special, just to make up for this week.

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No new Xbox Live game on August 24

While Microsoft recently announced 12-ish new games coming to Xbox Live, it looks like those titles may not be ready for release just yet. Prepare yourselves, Windows Phone gamers: there will be no new Xbox Live release next week.

I can’t remember the last time there wasn’t an Xbox Live release in the US. Sadly, our European readers already know what it’s like to not see a new game on their Marketplace. When Sudoku and Minesweeper came out for free last week, everybody was surprised that they were only released in the US.

I’m just shocked at this hole in the release schedule, as the last two Game Room retro games, Time Pilot and Shao-Lin’s Road, have almost certainly been complete for a long while. Hopefully the negative reaction to previous Game Room games (stemming largely from the ancientness of some of those games and releasing them all in a very short time span) hasn’t resulted in their cancellation. Some of us want those Achievements!

There will, of course, be an Xbox Live Deal of the Week, so many gamers will still have a reason to pick up a game they didn’t own before. Check back here on Wednesday and we’ll let you know what game is on sale.

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