Monday, April 4, 2016

KOPLAYER bridges the gap among Windows and Android gaming

KOPLAYER is a Windows Android emulator that lets you perform one or more virtual Android instances on your Windows 7/8/10 PC-bridging the expanse (or filling the void) between relatively scarce Windows Mobile games, Windows PC games, and Android games.

KOPLAYER makes it easy to enjoy the larger screen and added convenience of playing some of your preferred Android games on your Windows PC, whether it's a little Angry Birds side action to distract you from work, catching up on your favorite strategy game, or playing multiple games simultaneously if you're a gaming multi-tasker.

Installing KOPLAYER is as easy as running a simple Wizard, and KOPLAYER emulation works flawlessly via mouse right out of the gate. Opening a new KOPLAYER instance starts a basic tutorial and presents an uncluttered Android screen with a Google Play Store link. Just connect a GMAIL account, open the Play Store, and then install your favorite games.

KOPLAYER also includes KOPLAYER Multi-Manager, which lets you run multiple, simultaneous virtual Android instances-which you can name and even quickly clone, so you don't have to re-configure every instance. For example, if you create an instance and have currently installed all your favorite games, you can then clone that instance. You can run as many instances as you have screen space for, and run a different app in each one.

Thus KOPLAYER can be excellent for keeping up with your favorite 'time-based' F2P games like Clash of Clans, checking in on virtual villagers and their building progress when your mobile device isn't available-or when you just want the benefit of a larger screen.

The KOPLAYER assists 1280x720 resolution and 1024x600 resolution, and it even enables you to set up the amount of video RAM dedicated to the display. You can also customize the resolution manually. There are also convenient buttons for taking screenshots and video of your games in KOPLAYER icon bar, as well as buttons for activating your camera (if your PC has one), configuring/accessing a shared folder, and adjusting your volume. And if you're the sort who wants to play some Angry Birds on the sly at work, there's even a default 'boss key' (CTRL+ALT+W).

For games with touch screen controls, you can activate the 'keyboard' (press F12 or click the icon in the left menu) to assign key commands on-the-fly. Click a location on the screen, and then press a key to assign the keypress to the touch screen control. For example, in Angry Birds Go! You can click the keyboard, then click over the directional arrows to assign the A and D keys to the left/right touchscreen arrows. This does mean that in some games-Angry Birds Go! For example-you must first start the action and then assign the keys because the touchscreen controls don't appear on screen until the action starts. The keyboard control editor isn't the most intuitive element of the KOPLAYER, so you may need to experiment with it a bit to find the optimal keyboard/mouse combination for different games. And a game designed for a touchscreen may still not play as well with emulated keyboard controls.

That said, the KOPLAYER still operates very well with a variety of games, with real time and turn-based strategy games (i.e. those where a mouse makes a suitable replacement for a finger) being particularly well-suited to it. Angry Birds (and its various incarnations), Clash of Clans (an RTS game), and Clash Royale (a tower defense game) all seemed to work flawlessly, at least within the limited scope of testing performed for this review. Similar games would likely play and perform equally well.

For the true gaming multi-tasker: Using KOPLAYER's Multi-Manager to play multiple games simultaneously.


Friday, April 1, 2016

Sony announces plans to produce PlayStation games for iOS and Android

It looks like Sony will follow Nintendo's cue and focus on mobile gaming. The company announced today that it will form a new business unit tasked with bringing PlayStation titles and IP to iOS and Android devices.

That sounds like fantastic news for gamers, but there's a caveat here, it seems. Forward Works, Sony's mobile gaming arm, is going to focus on users based in Japan and Asia, according to today's announcement. The branch will be formally created on April 1-- not a hoax (we hope) and the same date that Sony Computer Entertainment comes to be Sony Interactive Entertainment-- so we're likely to learn more after then.

Atsushi Morita, SCE's head in Japan and Asia, will lead Forward Works. Other directors of the company include Andrew House, who is Group CEO of SCE.

Nintendo launched its first mobile game this month, Miitomo. The long-awaited title isn't really a mainstream release, though. Rather, it is a social app that lets users create cartoon-like avatars-- very much like the 'Miis' you can create with the Nintendo Wii. That's likely to limit its appeal to hardcore Nintendo fans. Sony, however, has hinted that its mobile titles will be "full-fledged," which makes us optimistic that they will be more universally appealing. Sony's previous effort at tapping smartphones-- PlayStation Mobile-- was tied to its Vita handheld.