Amazon Game Studios has announced a pair of videogames exclusive to the upcoming Amazon Fire Phone — Saber’s Edge and To-Fu Fury. Saber’s Edge combines puzzle gameplay with strategic combat, while To-Fu Fury is a platform game that appears to star a…menacing ninja marshmallow (yes, I know it’s a tofu cube). Both games take advantage of the Fire Phone’s unique “Dynamic Perspective” feature. You can check out the trailers for both games below. Here’s a clip from the press release:
Saber’s Edge and To-Fu Fury are co-developed with partners, Hibernum and HotGen as part of Amazon Game Studios’ mission to build fun, immersive games from the ground up for Amazon devices. These new games were created exclusively for Fire phone and take advantage of Amazon’s groundbreaking Dynamic Perspective. With Dynamic Perspective, Fire phone enables players to control gameplay with their head movements or by tilting the device to change direction or view.
‘Amazon Game Studios is working with some of the best studios to co-develop games that leverage the amazing capabilities of our new devices,’ said Mike Frazzini, Vice President of Amazon Games. ‘The new games we are releasing today deeply integrate Dynamic Perspective and offer players new ways to engage with games—using head movements to navigate gameplay and tilt gestures to strategize upcoming moves.’
While I was intrigued by the Amazon Fire Phone when it was announced, there are some aspects of it that are unappealing to certain tech nerds. Seeing “exclusive” games like Saber’s Edge and To-Fu Fury is an important step in the right direction. Content is king and exclusive content is…uhm…an intergalactic warlord (yeah, that’s it!). It’s good to see Amazon supporting its unique phone with unique software. These titles should be the first of many that are exclusive to the Amazon Fire Phone.
Amazon appears to understand how important mobile games are and looks like it will support its hardware nicely through Amazon Game Studios. While I’m interested in the games (particularly To-Fu Fury), I’m more interested in seeing how big and bold Amazon Game Studios will be. There’s some fantastic potential there and it’s always good to have another big player in the videogame space.
Anyway, check out the trailers when you have a chance and let me know what you think about the games (please!). Also, what do you think Amazon will accomplish with Amazon Game Studios?
Yesterday, Amazon caused quite the stir with the Amazon Fire Phone. At best, it’s a compelling smartphone that offers some great features and backed by unique Amazon services. At worst, it’s a smartphone that’s exclusive to a mediocre network (depending on where you live) and backed by an ecosystem that isn’t broad as what Android or iOS bring to the table. For certain consumers (those that are technologically apathetic or ignorant), the Amazon Fire Phone seems like a great choice; on paper, the hardware compares favorably to other top-of-the-line smartphones and millions of people are already comfortable with buying from Amazon. For others (tech nerds), it’s tough to make a case for the Amazon Fire Phone…continued
Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, Han Solo breaking his leg, Joel Embiid breaking his foot, or Kevin Love’s next NBA team, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.
Yesterday, Amazon caused quite the stir with the Amazon Fire Phone. At best, it’s a compelling smartphone that offers some great features and backed by unique Amazon services. At worst, it’s a smartphone that’s exclusive to a mediocre network (depending on where you live) and backed by an ecosystem that isn’t broad as what Android or iOS bring to the table. For certain consumers (those that are technologically apathetic or ignorant), the Amazon Fire Phone seems like a great choice; on paper, the hardware compares favorably to other top-of-the-line smartphones and millions of people are already comfortable with buying from Amazon. For others (tech nerds), it’s tough to make a case for the Amazon Fire Phone over the top Android and iOS devices. This is especially true for consumers that live in areas where AT&T service is poor.
Now that we’ve all had a day to think about the Amazon Fire Phone, here are some random thoughts (binary style!) on the product. Naturally, I’d love to hear yours as well. After you’ve read my binary list, please share your thoughts on the Amazon Fire Phone in the comments section. Are you hot for the product? Mildly intrigued? Or left with a sense of ennui? Whatever the case, I want to know! Now onto the Amazon Fire Phone binary list.
Good: The Amazon Fire Phone’s specs are good to great — 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU, Adreno 330 GPU, 2GB of RAM, 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, 4.7-inch HD LCD display with a 1280 x 720 resolution at 315 ppi, and 2,400mAh battery. It competes nicely in the high-end market, though there’s certainly room for quibbling.
Good: The device brings some excellent marriages of hardware and services. On paper, the camera looks good. More importantly, photo storage is backed by Amazon Cloud Services for unlimited storage. Firefly is a devilishly clever service that turns the Amazon Fire Phone into a 24/7 impulse shopping portal that’s fun and easy to use.
Bad: While there are some places where AT&T has great service, there are some where the service is dreadful. The service pricing isn’t the cheapest either. There are some people (mostly tech nerds) that won’t use AT&T products based on the company’s anti-consumer policies. It’s a shame that the Amazon Fire Phone is launching as an AT&T exclusive. Hopefully that window is small and the phone will come to other carriers before the end of the year.
Good: The phone comes with one year of Amazon Prime. This stellar service offers free videos, free music streaming, and upgraded shipping on most Amazon purchases. I’ve been an Amazon Prime member since the program’s inception and absolutely love it.
Bad: The phone’s pricing is inline with other high-end smartphones, but I expected something much more radical from Amazon. Considering that the Amazon Fire Phone is a gateway to all sorts of Amazon purchases — both digital and physical — I expected a much higher subsidy. Amazon’s e-readers and tablets are aggressively priced; the inexpensive hardware is made up for through digital and physical purchases. Considering that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is a fairly aggressive executive, I was disappointed by the conservative business model he pursued with the Amazon Fire Phone. I was hoping for something like a $99 phone with a two-year Amazon Prime subscription. Instead, he’s following the same model that everyone else uses.
Bad: For some people, Amazon’s app offerings will be just fine. Amazon offers a solid selection of Android apps through its own store. For certain consumers, that app environment won’t be good enough. The curated selection isn’t as diverse as what Google offers though Google Play or what Apple offers through the iOS App Store. In the context of the Amazon Fire Phone costing the same as any other high-end phone, I can see tech nerds having a problem with buying a phone that has a smaller walled garden than competing Android and iOS smartphones.
Good (Potentially): Amazon made a big deal about the phone’s “Dynamic Perspective” feature and the demo was awfully impressive. That said, I’m not yet convinced it will work as good as it was shown. I’ve seen several attempts at this type of usability and all of them were better on paper than they were in practice. Still, that demo almost convinced me. I want to believe it works that well and hope it does, just so it pushes competing operating systems.
Bottom Line: I was really intrigued by the Amazon Fire Phone press conference…until the product was announced as an AT&T exclusive. That killed most of the enthusiasm I had for the Fire. While I’m still curious about the Amazon Fire Phone, I’m really disappointed by the “me too” pricing and exclusive carrier. While I never expected it to replace my Apple iPhone or Google Nexus, I thought it could be a compelling alternative. For some people, the Amazon Fire Phone will be a great choice. For me, the carrier and app store limitations negate the phone’s interesting features.