Gaming on Xperia – Part 1

Posted On: Monday, December 29, 2008

Before I even got my hands on Xperia, I had downloaded tons of windows mobile games and applications to test out on the device. No surprise when most of the games did not run or caused problems or ran in VGA leaving part of the screen showing the previous window (usually the Games Folder or the Today Panel or something like that) which obviously didn’t sit well with the gaming experience.

But with time, things are starting to brighten up as more apps and games are beginning to support the WVGA resolution as well as those games that still run in VGA but in full-screen (i.e. part of the screen is black).

So… here is Part 1 of a series – that goes through the games that I have successfully run on the device. Please note that though there are games such as Syberia, Tomb Raider, and Return to Mysterious Island that run without any lags or killing the mobile performance, I won’t be mentioning these games as they only work in VGA resolution (non-Full screen).

 

The Gameloft Collection (Java based games)

 

Gameloft, at this moment, offers 12 games that are compatible with Sony Ericsson Xperia X1. These include my favorites:

  • Abracadaball - An addictive aim-and-shoot puzzle that lets you escape to a magical universe, full of enchantments.
  • Block Breaker Deluxe - Get ready for a frenzy of block breaking action and discover a fun and original universe through the countless levels of Block Breaker Deluxe!
  • Bubble Bash - Take off for Bubble Island! Burst bubbles and make your way through the 100 levels of this surprising puzzle game.

To get a full list of X1 compatible JAVA games, visit http://www.gameloft.com/.

 

Windows Mobile Games

 

Xperia comes with its own set of 4 games pre-installed on the device, including; Astraware Sudoku, Bejeweled 2, Bubble Breaker, and Solitaire. But for us mobile users it is always about what more you can get on the device rather than what is already pre-installed. So… without further delay, here are the windows mobile games that I have installed on my Xperia that support full WVGA resolution:

 

* – These games are not actually WVGA but cover the entire screen none-the-less with the game’s menubar at the bottom and the mobile taskbar at the top.

 

And the following is a list of games that work in VGA resolution in full-screen (i.e. with the remaining portion of the screen blacked out), thus totally playable on the Xperia.

 

That is all for now. Though the list of full WVGA compatible games is very small at this point, but hopefully we will see more and more releases really soon. But to be honest, i haven’t really searched for more WVGA games since I installed ScummVM on Xperia and downloaded games for it. :)

I will post Part 2 of ‘Gaming on Xperia’ once I get my hands on more compatible games.


 

Office on the Go

Posted On: Saturday, December 27, 2008

When I had purchased my Xperia... I was excited to get it and work with the powerful Word, PowerPoint, and Excel on it. But as it turns out... Office Mobile isn't as great as you'd expect it to be.

Word Mobile is more like a version of the Windows WordPad and PowerPoint Mobile is only a presentation viewer. Good at what they are meant to do on the device, yet the lack of features in Office Mobile was a total let-down.

Then… i came across SoftMaker Office for Pocket PCs. Bundled with three software; PlanMaker (an alternative to Excel), Presentations (an alternative to PowerPoint), and TextMaker (an alternative to Word), this suite has everything to offer that Office Mobile had missing.

I won’t go into details on what the features are but below are screenshots of each program from the official site.

TextMaker 2008.

PlanMaker 2008.

Presentations 2008.

Bravo SoftMaker!

FYI – at my end, each program took approx. 5-10 seconds to load up ready for you to work on.


 

ScummVM on Xperia

Posted On: Friday, December 26, 2008

If you, like me, loved the old classics such as Broken Sword 1 & 2, Monkey Island 1, 2 & The Curse of Monkey Island, and Sam & Max - Hit the Road then you are in luck. ScummVM is working on Xperia X1 and games are playable with perfect performance. You can even take advantage of the keyboard where ever possible.

The downside – ScummVM runs in 640x480 (in full-screen, i.e. part of the screen is black)

To download visit the ScummVM download section and grab the Windows CE ARM Package. Extract the files and put them into your desired location on the device. (I put mine on the Memory Card)

After the files are copied, execute ScummVM. It will load up with a tiny resolution. Hit the Options button and in the Graphics tab check the ‘Fullscreen mode’ checkbox. Also set Graphics Mode to 2x from the drop-down. Hit on OK to exit. You will need to restart ScummVM for the changes to apply.

The problem now is that the screen-clicks are off and the app is loaded away from the keyboard. To fix this, you will find a ‘scummvm.ini’ file in the ScummVM folder. Note that this file is created after you run ScummVM on the device, so don’t fret if you don’t find it in the folder after you download the application.

At the end of the INI file add ‘landscape=2’ and save. If you modified the file direct on the device, then you’re good to go. Otherwise replace the one on the device with the modified version.

Start ScummVM now. It will load in landscape towards the hardware keyboard and screen-clicks will be in the right place.

Enjoy!

I already have the following games:

  • Day of the Tentacle,
  • Full Throttle,
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,
  • Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis,
  • Maniac Mansion,
  • Monkey Island – Secret of Monkey Island,
  • Monkey Island – LeChuck’s Revenge,
  • Sam & Max Hit the Road,
  • The Dig,
  • Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders, and
  • Broken Sword – The Shadow of the Templars.

 

Zune for Windows

Posted On: Friday, December 26, 2008

I know this isn’t really Xperia related, but while searching for online music stores, looking at Zune Marketplace, I found out about the Zune Software. Although i have only used it for like and hour or so, it is AWESOME!

Fast, simple, and an eye-candy! (I’m definite that it is written in WPF). BRAVO Microsoft!

To get your hands on this A+++ software, visit: http://www.zune.net/en-us/software/download/default.htm

Enjoy the screenshots…

ZuneShot1

ZuneShot2 

Now if only Zune Marketplace or some other store like Rhapsody would just allow subscriptions from around the world including, of course, Pakistan.


 

Xperia Screenshots

Posted On: Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Hi.

Though I initially wanted to do a video showcasing the power and high speed of the device – after applying a few simple tweaks to it, but unfortunately having been unable to get my hands on a video recorder, i thought I’d start off this blog with screenshots from the device instead. Hopefully I will be able to record a video of the device and showcase the fast performance of the device soon. (It is by far the best and fastest Windows Mobile device ever!)

Enjoy these screenshots…

1. The Today Panel/Screen - With SPB Pocket Plus, Inesoft Today, Spb Time, Flash Themes, Pocket Digital Clock Today items enabled.

Screen02 

 

2. The 9 Panels active on the device - First is the default today panel (pictured above), the next two are the Sony Ericsson Panels – though i barely use these two, next is the SPB Panel, then the Media Panel, the Radio Panel, TF3D Panel (thanks to XDA Developers for making this possible), the Windows Live Panel, and finally the Facebook Panel.

Screen24 

 

3. The TF3D Panel. (Weather animation activated for screenshot – i wanted to capture the rain ;)

Screen17 Screen15

 

4. Resco Explorer and SPB Imageer – Two must haves.

Screen05 Screen06

 

5. Inesoft Phone/Address-Book – Surprisingly faster than the default Xperia dial-pad and contacts. And extremely better looking too!

Screen03 Screen04

 

6. Winterface & Memory usage. Average Memory usage is around 32-35%. I switched back to the Today panel from the TF3D panel… ran Winterface for the screenshot and then checked the RAM – which sat at only 40%. On closing SPB Screenshot, it dropped down to 36%.

Screen11 Screen13

 

7. Today Screen plugins & SPB Keyboard (which i like more than the HTC Touch HD’s ported keyboard!)

Screen12 Screen14

 

8. And in the end… Apps & Games – Too many to list here, but all working flawlessly.

Screen23 Screen22

Screen20 Screen21

 

That’s all for now… Hope you liked ‘em. I will post details on games i’ve got installed on my Xperia in the next couple of days as well as details on the tweaks applied to the device and the applications used in order to tweak it.

Best Regards.