Asphalt 5 running on low-end Windows Phone 8 devices; ramps up price along with Asphalt 7 [Updated]

Asphalt 7 and 8 are the best-known racers on Windows Phone 8, and deservedly so. But the series appeared on Windows Phone (and even Windows mobile) before. Asphalt 5 arrived as an Xbox Windows Phone 7 game way back in July 2012, more than a year after Gameloft first announced it.

Some Windows Phone 7 games have trouble running on low-end Windows Phone 8 devices with 512 MB of RAM, even though Windows Phone 7 itself tops out at 512 MB RAM. Asphalt 5 has long been one of those 512 MB-incompatible games. That changed this week when it finally became compatible, despite the lack of a title update. On the downside, both Asphalt 5 and 7 have inexplicably gone up in price. More details after the break.

Asphalt 5

Asphalt 5

There are only two known reasons that a Windows Phone 7 game would run on 1 GB Windows Phone 8 devices but not 512 MB ones.

First: Windows Phone 7 and 8 handle RAM differently from each other. A game that fits adequately within the allotted space on Windows Phone 7 might require more memory to run on Windows Phone 8, hence the need for 1 GB or more of RAM. Second: the game could require a gyroscope – a hardware feature not found in the Lumia 520 and other low cost devices.

Developers can optimize a Windows Phone 7 game to run on next-gen 512 MB devices, much as they can work to add compatibility to games that won’t run at all on Windows Phone 8. But both actions usually require a title update, as changes to the code of the game are necessary to increase compatibility.

Somehow Asphalt 5 now works on the Lumia 520 and other 512 phones even though the game itself has never been updated. We can’t say for certain what happened. Perhaps a Store setting had incorrectly prevented Asphalt 5 from running on 512 devices even though it should have been compatible – that does happen now and then. In any case, owners of low-end Windows Phone 8 handsets can now play another racing game… Even though Asphalt 7 is also 512 MB compatible and a much better game overall.

  • Asphalt 5 – Windows Phone 7 and 8 – 110 MB – $4.99 – Store Link

QR: Asphalt 5

Asphalt 7: Heat

Asphalt 7

This game has been out for a while, but it made headlines recently when we discovered Gameloft has quietly given it MOGA controller compatibility. The sequel Asphalt 8 has already come around and features the same compatibility, but it lacks the Xbox features of parts 5 and 7.

Today’s less happy news about Asphalt 7 is that its price has gone up from 99 cents to a whopping $4.99 on all Windows platforms. A few Xbox Windows Phone titles have experienced price increases in the past, but never one so large as this. The iOS version still rings up at 99 cents, and even Asphalt 8 for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 is now free to play, so the $4.99 price point really stings.

I can speculate a couple of scenarios here. First: the price change could be a mistake. Clearly there has been some behind-the-scenes tinkering with Asphalt 5’s Store page as of late, so maybe someone accidentally copied that game’s too-high price over to Asphalt 7 as well. Update: Because of the Windows 8 version's price increase, this explanation seems unlikely.

The other (most probable) possibility is that Gameloft intentionally raised the price in order to encourage people to play Asphalt 8 instead. Since Asphalt 8 lacks Xbox Live features, I wouldn’t be surprised if it hasn’t been downloaded nearly as much as its predecessor. 8’s recent switch to free to play status should have helped it overtake 7 eventually anyway, but you never know.

Update: Gameloft has confirmed that the price increases on Asphalt 5 and 7 are intentional.

  • Asphalt 7 – Windows Phone 8 – 911 MB – $4.99 – Store Link
  • Asphalt 7 – Windows 8 and RT – 0.99 GB - $4.99 – Store Link (opens in new tab)

QR: Asphalt 7

Thanks to Mohamed Ashid for the tip!

Paul Acevedo

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!

  • *devices
  • Asphalt 5 price is so high..!! Graphics are dull, and I don't care ;)
  • DEVICES spelt wrong!
  • You're spelled wrong!
  • Interesting read.
  • Thanks for the spellpedia...
  • Devicaes? Is that French?
  • And where the hell is "Devicaes" in the article afterall? (unless updated)
  • Just a typo that's already been corrected.
  • So let me get this straight, Gameloft expects us to pay 5 dollars up front, and then pay even more in app purchases?
    Since its a great game, count me in!
  • Male even more? Is there a misspelling contest I'm missing?
  • You really don't ever need to make in-app purchases in Asphalt 7 though. They're entirely optional.
  • I'm not really surprised seeing their price hike. You can actually beat the game w/o making in-app purchases in A7. I myself have finished the game w/o spending a single penny in IAPs. However in A8, case is different (sorry for being off the topic). That's the game's a way too difficult to beat and forces one to buy  IAPs and so does the game goes "FREE" when they already know making it "FREE" will only increase their probability of more income from A8 and they deserve it.
  • Not true. I'm on season 7 right now...
  • LOL! You know what I think lead to the jump up in the Asphalt 7 price? Asphalt 8.
    That way they discourage people from buying the superior Asphalt 7 and lead people towards the inferior non-Xbox free Asphalt 8.
    At any rate, I already bought Asphalt 7 so I don't mind the price hikes.
  • I don't think it's superior to 8 at all.
  • To each their own.
    In my book, the simple fact that it has Xbox-Live features puts it above 8. ;)
  • He's actually just trolling. We have no way of knowing whether he has even played the games or (most likely) not.
  • Indeed, tanglewoodDEV long ago was revealed to be an anti-Xbox troll who scours these types of articles and picks fights with Xbox gamers.
  • Neither do I. The In-app purchases in A7 are not at all superioir to those of A8... If you know what i mean otherwise A8 all the way...
  • Nobody likes IAP. Many people like Xbox achievements, though. Thus, many people prefer Asphalt 7 to Asphalt 8.
  • Asphalt heat ftw
  • Only one thing to say about price hike.... Dafuq.
  • Asphalt 7 lags a lot after the latest update on my 8x! Things are bad all the time, but it's unplayable when phone is not connected to wifi.
  • I can even play subway on my nokia lumia 720 using developer unlock
  • How did u do it can u give me link or guide??
  • How u make your phone dev unlock?
  • Yeh tell me tooo
  • Watch this subway surfer on 520
  • Thanx for the URL.
  • I've been sitting on the fence about Asphalt 7 as it was too cheap. Now it's in a premium-price bracket I can finally buy it! Afterall, if it's 5 times more expensive it's got to be 5 times better? Amiright? :P
  • LOL!
  • Super Monkey Ball 2 works on 512 devices.  At least it does on the Lumia 520.
  • Thanks; fixed.
  • This seems like an actual move to stop people buying asphalt 7 for its xbox features, what kind of twisted company does that? Wake up gameloft and realise that your games sell better with xbox.
  • A company that is embarassed that they were wrong: they thought Xbox branding wouldn't matter that much, but Asphalt 8 never selling as well as Asphalt 7 showed them otherwise.
  • Absolutely this is Gameloft in a desperation face-saving move to spur Asphalt 8 sales against Asphalt 8. I have been watching the sales of both titles closely since Asphalt 8 launched in November (using user ratings as a proxy). Despite Asphalt 8 being a newer game, and being featured prominently in several Microsoft commercials on TV, Asphalt 7 (Xbox enabled) had continued to outsell Asphalt 8 (non-Xbox enabled). My belief is that Gameloft gambled that Xbox branding wouldn't matter that much to sales, and now they're finding out otherwise. Asphalt 8 was their first test of that, and I've no doubt that they were frustrated when they realized that Xbox branding does matter: the older Asphalt 7 was outselling the new Asphalt 8! So now they're trying to cover that up by making Asphalt 8 free (thereby increasing sales) and jacking up the price on Asphalt 7 (thereby decreasing sales) so that they can tell their bosses that Asphalt 8 is selling better. In my opinion, jacking up the price five-fold on such an old game that has always cost 99 cents is a huge slap in the face from Gameloft to WP gamers. They already snubbed us by not including Xbox integration in their new games; the least they could do is keep their existing Xbox portfolio reasonably priced.
  • Asphalt 8 was already free on iOS and Android. It just took a while to update the WP8 version with the free to play mechanics.
  • There are many instances where games and apps that are free to play on iOS and Android cost money on Windows Phone, with these pricing discrepancies never corrected.
  • Yes, however the plan was always to update the mobile Windows versions of Asphalt 8 to the same feature set as the iOS version.
  • Most likely that is the case regarding Asphalt 8, but the parallel decision to jack up the prices of ancient games like Asphalt 7 and Asphalt 5 is suggestive as well. While I have the not-so-secret desire for Gameloft's 'eschewal of Xbox features' strategy to backfire, prompting them to come back to the Xbox on WP camp, I know this is extremely unlikely, which makes it all the more vexing that they would further kick us Xbox gamers while we're already down, by trying to exploit us because they know we want to play Xbox games, which are becoming scarcer. Grrr....Gameloft! 
  • What if I told you your theory is entirely wrong? First, I don't think they ever "gambled". The reason behind why Asphalt 8 came without any Xbox title lies in the fact that most of the people had no gears to wait a long for its Xbox integration given Windows Phone is already known for being the last platform for new game releases. By the time WP8 was promised for A8, many android and iphone users had already progressed the "CAREER" in the game. Second, A7 was underpriced from the begining while having an Xbox title. Why not throw a few dollars ($5) to such a good game when you buy trashes of games (sized 20-30 mb) for $0.99 - $2.99 just because they got that green title "Xbox"?. Moreover, A7 doesn't really require any IAPs because the game is already easy enough to beat while contrary lies with A8. Third, there are two reasons to make A8 FREE. If you say it's free becase the other two platforms have it free then you may be wrong. There are couple of games which still are free in iOS and 'Droid but not in WP. By making it free, they are making sure you pay them EVEN MORE (read my comment above).
  • If you told me that my theory is entirely wrong I would tell you that your theory that my theory is entirely wrong is entirely wrong. Indeed, "most" people don't care about Xbox achievements, but those who do represent a signficant niche of the Windows Phone gaming market, enough to influence sales. I don't understand your second point. "Buy trashes of games"? I never said they made Asphalt 8 free because it's free on other platforms: I'm saying they made it free because it wasn't selling as well as they had hoped. I agree that IAP also played a role too.
  • Certainly I do agree about your Xbox view. Those are the Xbox fanboys you're talking about. I personally don't care about getting say 200G from a single Xbox WP game which I can easily get by just playing one mission in Xbox (depends if you have one). If a game is good enough to be paid for, I won't look for the title. By "Buy trashes of games" I didn't mean to hurt Xbox at all but the craze out there who would buy "any" game if it's Xbox titled regarless of its features and category bothers me. I mean the title represents more to them than the fun to play the actual game. And gradually became a reason for many good games getting underrated because of it. Yeah you didn't say they made A8 free because it was so in other platforms that's why I initialized as  "If you say..." which most people do.
  • You have to realize that Xbox Achievement hunters are playing a different game: they're playing one big cumulative game where they compete against other Achievement hunters to see who can have the 1. highest Gamerscore, 2. the most completed games, or 3. the highest completion percentage. One reason Achievement hunters like Xbox games on Windows Phone is because they are an inexpensive way to do all of those things. Most titles are either free or cost a dollar or two and are generally are easier to complete than Xbox console games. So, you say it bothers you that they are buying games more so for the achievements than for the games themselves. But why should that bother you? They are having fun in their own way, doing what they want to be doing. And their dedicated patronage to buying games is a boom for everyone who plays games on Windows Phone.
  • I do realize the importance of Xbox community in WP ecosystem but it's again beacuse of it's integration, we are the ones to receive games even later than the expected period. I mean Xbox is somewhere helping WP to grow (Xbox fanboys may find interest in buying WP just because of Xbox support) but somewhere also becoming a reason for game releases delay, withdrawing interest from WP gaming system. (2) Many good games get underrated which are even free, just beacuse of lack of an Xbox title. Asphalt 8 is a live example to name. It, actually being a successor and better than Asphalt 7, failed to outshine Asphalt 7. In fact your above comment said so too.
  • The delay Windows Phone sees in getting games and apps compared to iOS and Android is almost entirely due to the fact that developers prioritize iOS and Android, due to marketshare. Getting a game later is not ideal, but when it comes with distinguishing features such as Xbox Live, that more than compensates for it, making it the definitive version of the game on any platform. That said, it is true that the Xbox certification process is counterproductive. We've started an online social movement (#SaveXboxWP) to cajole Microsoft into revising the process, so as to make it easier for developers to make Xbox games on WP. Here is a thread about it:
  • Indeed. That's true developers find more interest in iOS and Android because of their bigger marketshare and scope of more revenue. Alright, I agree with yout support to Xbox for this platform. Saw your post.Would surely join that campaign and tell others to join.
  • I bought Asphalt 7 instead of A8 because of it having achievements. I picked up 8 when it went free but now I only have 7 on my phone. 
  • This just sucks.. I mean, why can't they let those old games for free atleast for some days? Who would buy Asphalt 5, RF2011, Uno HD and the other old titles at those high prices (besides the WP7 owners, not so many now but still)?
  • XBox.
  • Is there going to be asphalt 9????
  • Probably, but they haven't announced one yet.
  • Small correction needed in your article, Paul. Asphalt 7 is $4.99 in the windows store as well. From a company like Gameloft, the price increase does not surprise me. Ridiculous IAPs are just one indicator of going beyond recouping development and attempting to make a profit...smacks of greed if you ask me...just look at Minion Rush. Oh well, that's why we have choice.
  • Thanks Brad. Thought I might have missed that.
  • Not a problem...nice to have free proof readers, eh? :-)
  • Attentive readers are the best thing in the world. :-D
  • Already bought, played and enjoyed Asphalt, still play it to get the last remaining cheevos. Hands down the best racing game on the Xbox.
  • Asphalt 7 at $4.99? Passable, I guess. Asphalt 5 at $4.99? No idea what they're smoking, lol.
  • For real! And can you believe the regular price of Asphalt 5 on iOS is $6.99 for some reason?
  • That's absurd. Asphalt 5 shouldn't be more than $1 now, on any platform.
  • Asphalt 5 was definitely 2.99 when I bought it two years ago and it wasn't on sale. So the current $4.99 price tag for that ancient game is also a price increase. Bout sure when that happened though. Should probably mention that.
  • Thanks for the reminder. Updated.
  • I already purchased and beat Asphalt 7 months ago. I got it right after it launched at $0.99, luckily.   That said, I will not be purchasing ANY GameLoft games until this changes. I installed Asphalt 8 when it went free, but I will be uninstalling it. Screw this company's poor business practices, and the fact it almost exclusively releases copycat games.
  • I bought Asphalt 5 when I had a WP7 Phone (last year) and now if I want to play it on WP8 I have to buy it again? Not fair... : (
  • No, you shouldn't have to rebuy it unless the Store bugged and forgot that you own it. You can normally redownload any game you own, even on new devices.
  • Maybe this is not The same version as in WP7. The same thing happened to me with Angry Birds games, that I bought on WP7 and had to buy them again on WP8.
  • It's the same version in this case. But the WP Store has a bug in which it forgets that users have purchased apps every now and then. It's happened to me several times. If you can find it in your purchase history, you can contact Microsoft support and get them to refund it so that you can buy it again. I would ask for a little bit extra in the refund since the game costs more now than it did at launch.
  • Thanks! I'll do that. ; )
  • ......
  • Asphalt 7: Heat on Windows 8 (PC) doesn't support 5.1 sound system. You have to change to stereo or plug your headphone in to get sound. Asphalt 8 does.
  • Just read this today. Important imformation for achievement friends: It seems like the WP version of Asphalt 7 is no longer completable after the update. You can't buy all cars/upgrades....others have reported this problem too...shameful gameloft.