Casual Connect USA Justin Saint Claire

Yesterday we ran our final Casual Connect USA news item for the year: a preview of upcoming games Animal Park Tycoon and Yeti Rising. Now its time to look back at how Windows Phone and Windows 8 fared at the show. Did they live up to our predications, and has Windows Phone gaming prospered since Casual Connect 2012?

Microsoft's showing

Casual Connect USA Paul Acevedo Paymentwall
Hey, it's me! You couldn't tell very well who it belonged to, but this was the Payment wall booth.

We didn't expect Microsoft themselves to have much presence at Casual Connect. The Windows platform holder went all-out at GDC earlier this year and of course E3, but didn't make any advance announcements for Casual Connect.

As it turns out, Microsoft did have a small, understated booth dedicated to Windows 8 at Casual Connect. Poor Windows Phone got left out for some reason. Justin Saint Claire, Product Manager (pictured at top) did hint that both platforms will make a stronger showing next year.

Game developer support

Casual Connect USA GREE

This year Windows Phone saw so much more support from game developers than last year. For comparison, we only learned about six different games at Casual Connect Seattle. At this year's event in San Francisco, we learned about 14 brand new games, to say nothing of app announcements and interviews concerning existing games. Established indie developers are lining up to bring their titles to Windows Phone (and Windows 8), and they're excited to talk about them.

Interest in mobile Xbox games however has dwindled to near nonexistence – such a huge shame. Yes, today's announcement of 15 games (technically 12 newly announced titles for Windows Phone 8) from Gameloft is fantastic. But one publisher - no matter how impressive and varied their games may be - cannot sustain the Xbox lineup on Windows Phone. We need developers like Artifex Mundi, Handy Games, and Flare Games to care about Xbox support as well.

Hopefully Microsoft has a change of heart and decides to promote Xbox Windows Phone once again. If they revamp the mobile Xbox certification process and policies in order to make Xbox support appealing, developers will come around.

Casual Connect USA Big Fish Games

Now here are all of this year’s Casual Connect stories for you. If you missed any, please check them out, watch the videos, and leave comments!

Windows Phone only stories:

Windows 8 only stories:

Windows Phone and Windows 8 stories:

Out of all the games we covered from the show, which ones are you fine guys most excited for?

Casual Connect USA Candy Crush Saga costumes

 

Latest And Best Prime Day Deals

The Ring Alarm security system is reaching new low prices for Prime Day
Ring Alarm home security systems

Various configurations of the Ring Alarm are discounted to their best prices yet exclusively for Prime members at Amazon through Tuesday night to help keep your home secure.

The Sonos Beam Prime Day deal includes a $40 discount and 2 $50 Amazon gift cards
The Sonos Beam Prime Day deal includes a $40 discount and $100 in Amazon gift cards
$359.00 $499.00 Save $140

That's just so much savings in one deal. You'll have to wait for the physical gift cards, but that's basically $100 to spend however you want.

Prime Day dropped this PlayStation 4 console bundle to just $250
PlayStation 4 Slim 1TB console with Marvel's Spider-Man and Horizon Zero Dawn
$249.99 $359.98 Save $110

This deal on the PlayStation 4 Slim console saves you $50 off its regular price while also including Marvel's Spider-Man and Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition for free. You'll just need an Amazon Prime membership to snag it.

The newest device in the Echo family, the Show 5, is now down to just $50
Echo Show 5
$49.99 $89.99 Save $40

It's only been on the market since May, but it hasn't escaped the Prime Day price cuts.

Amp up your home security with these huge Prime Day discount on nearly all Ring products
Save on Ring products today only

Whether you need a video doorbell, whole home alarm system, or some lights to brighten a dark area, Amazon has it all marked down today!

These huge price drops on the entire Galaxy S10 lineup might be one of the best Prime Day phone deals we'll see
Samsung Galaxy S10 128GB unlocked Prism Black Android smartphone
$599.99 $900.00 Save $300

We love the Galaxy S10, and we love deals. This combines two of our true loves in one!

Scour Amazon Warehouse's deals to save an extra 20% on tech and more through Prime Day
Extra 20% off Amazon Warehouse

Amazon Warehouse sells a myriad of items in varying conditions, from refurbished to open-box, used, warehouse-damaged, and more. It's a great place to snag a deal, and now Prime members can save an extra 20% off select items at checkout.

There's never been a better deal on the Ring Video Doorbell 2 than this pre-Prime Day offer
Ring Video Doorbell 2 (Certified Refurbished)
$89.99 $169.99 Save $80

Amazon is taking $80 off the certified refurbished Ring Video Doorbell 2, which lets you see and speak with visitors at your front door no matter where you are in the world.

More Prime Day Deals