Panic, well-known for its thoughtfully-designed Mac and iOS apps, has announced that it’s entering the hardware market with a portable gaming system called the Playdate, which will ship in early 2020 and cost $149. This isn’t Panic’s first foray into the game industry. With the release of the hit indie game Firewatch in 2016, the company became a game publisher. Later this year, Panic will publish the highly-anticipated Untitled Goose Game on the Nintendo Switch. Still, creating hardware is something altogether different for Panic.
The Playdate is a diminutive handheld device with hardware and software features that distinguish it from any other handheld on the market. The bright yellow handheld system is just 74mm × 76mm × 9mm, which is roughly three inches square and a little thicker than an iPhone XS.
Microsoft’s Xbox chief Phil Spencer has written a paean to video gaming, calling games a unifying force that anyone and everyone can enjoy. He rejoices in gaming’s ability to sustain communities, foster friendships, and even reduce stress and depression. He also describes the shift gaming has made; games aren’t just the domain of teenage boys but have grown far beyond that: most gamers are adults, and nearly half are women.
But against these positive elements, Spencer recognizes the many flaws in the gaming community. Online life as a whole includes a “growing toxic stew of hate speech, bigotry, and misogyny,” he writes, but games can be part of the solution. Spencer says that games have a uniquely equalizing ability to bring people together—we’re all just names on a screen, substantially eroding differences in class, race, gender, and so on—and so present an environment that can
Apple doesn’t do gags by half-measures, apparently. Tim Cook made an appearance at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting where he jokingly suggested in a short film that Warren Buffett could have a newspaper-tossing iPhone game, but it turns out that this wasn’t just empty banter — the game is real. Apple has released a Warren Buffett’s Paper Wizard title for iPhones that has you tossing papers (much like Buffett did as a child) to earn “Warren Bucks” based on your delivery skills. Think of it as a first-person, touchscreen Paperboy for would-be billlionaires.
Apple’s 2017 shift from 32-bit to a 64-bit code base for iOS has shut the door on countless games and apps designed during the platform’s early days. Now, a startup called GameClub has attracted $2.5 million dollars in investment to help fix that problem, working with the original developers to update well-remembered premium mobile games for newer devices.
Games originally coded for older, 32-bit iOS devices can be recompiled for newer versions of the operating system. But that requires access to the original source code, which is often held by companies that don’t have the interest or ability to try to find a new market for an old, “defunct” game on their own.
“There’s a surprising amount of detective work involved in identifying who owns the rights and who has the
You know by now that Apple is pushing for as many high-profile games as it can get for its upcoming Arcade service, but how far is it willing to go? Quite far, apparently. Financial Timessources claim Apple is spending “hundreds of millions” of dollars, “likely” over $500 million in total, to secure games for the subscription offering. It’s reportedly spending “several” million dollars per game, and is offering perks if developers grant temporary exclusives that keep titles off Android or even console subscriptions like the Xbox Game Pass.
Today, HandCircus, the creator of Rolando, has released an excellent remastered version of the classic iOS game called Rolando: Royal Edition.
If you were playing iOS games in the early days of the App Store, you are probably familiar with Rolando. The game wasn’t on the Store day one but came a few months later at the end of 2008.
Rolando was one of the early break-out hits on the App Store. The game was downloaded by millions of fans worldwide who loved its colorful, round characters. Rolando was also one of the first games to incorporate the iPhone’s accelerometer into its gameplay in a way that was tightly integrated with the game instead of feeling gimmicky.
However, the original game was a victim of Apple’s 2017 transition to a 64-bit architecture. Although many cherished classics were updated in time, a large number of games fell by the wayside. Until
Today at the Steve Jobs Theater, Apple detailed a variety of services it plans to launch from now through the end of the year. In addition to the expected services for video, news, and an iOS-integrated credit card, perhaps the event’s biggest surprise was Apple Arcade, a gaming subscription service debuting this fall. Apple Arcade will feature no games currently on the App Store, but will instead serve as the only way you can play 100+ new games on iOS.
Apple Arcade will be a game subscription service offering new and exclusive games, including original releases from renowned creators Hironobu Sakaguchi, Ken Wong, Will Wright and dozens more.
What is Apple Arcade?
You’ll be able to play anything you like on all your Apple devices for one set monthly free.
You’ll also be able to share these with your family, and no ads or personal information is tracked. Games will be curated based on originality, quality, creativity, fun and their appeal to players of all ages.
Apple is not just handpicking the games in Apple Arcade, but also contributing to the development costs and working closely with creators to bring the games to life.
This means you can expect games from Annapurna Interactive, Bossa Studios, Cartoon Network, Finji, Giant Squid, Klei Entertainment, Konami, LEGO, Mistwalker Corporation, SEGA, Snowman, ustwo games and dozens more.
Rolando was one of the earliest break-out games on the App Store when it debuted in 2008. Millions of fans downloaded the game, which featured colorful round characters that you maneuvered through four worlds with the help of the iPhone’s accelerometer. However, as Federico highlighted in his story on app preservation last summer, the ngmoco-published title disappeared in 2017 when it wasn’t updated to support Apple’s 64-bit architecture.
…beyond a beautiful overhaul with the brilliant 2.5D aesthetic of the game’s sequel, as well as the expected graphical polish to seamlessly fit into the 2019 App Store, HandCircus have actually overhauled a lot of the levels, interactions and mechanics across the game.
Later this year the team at Niantic will launch a new game based on a very popular IP: Harry Potter. The game’s full title is Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and it will come to both iOS and Android as an AR-centered gaming experience in the vein of Pokémon GO, Niantic’s biggest hit.
Today Nick Statt of The Verge published his impressions of Wizards Unite following a preview Niantic hosted recently. Statt writes:
The core activity in Wizards Unite involves collecting a mix of artifacts and sometimes saving notable characters from the series who are stuck in a bad situation, like the titular Harry being pinned down by a spooky dementor. From there, you play a little tracing mini-game, to evoke the casting of a spell and then collect the item or free your friend. Afterward, you’re able to add that item or character to your collections book, earn experience Continue reading “Niantic Previews Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, the Studio’s Follow-Up to Pokémon GO”
The latest update to Fortnite on iOS adds support for MFi controllers. I don’t play Fortnite on iOS regularly, but I tried the game when it was released on iOS and have played on the Nintendo Switch from time to time. The game has done extraordinarily well on iOS, but on balance, I’ve preferred playing on the Switch because I found it much easier to play with a physical game controller than onscreen gestures. That calculus could change for a lot of players now that the iOS version of the game supports MFi controllers.
Apple’s services model appears more and more to be predicated on offering you all the fun stuff you’ve ever wanted in your life for a rental fee.
Apple’s Netflix for games
A report on Cheddarclaims Apple is in exploratory talks with games developers to develop a subscription service for games.
I guess it works like this: You pay a fee to access a bundle of gaming titles.
The report does stress that these discussions are at an early stage and notes that it is possible nothing will come of them.
When you stop to think about it the move makes sense, given Apple already offers iCloud and Apple Music services, and is expected to expand these with Apple Movies and TV and its Texture-based magazine service and access to subscriptions within Apple News this year.
This covers most of the bases when it comes down to digital appetite,