The Famitsu iPhone App

Enterbrain, the company that publishes Weekly Famitsu, has now released an application, or app, if you will, for the iPhone and iPad.  The app updates itself every Friday with a small "preview" version of the magazine, which hits shelves every Thursday.

Famitsu has brought us so many great Final Fantasy XIV articles and interviews over the past year, so I thought it would be worth a look.  Let's see what the app has to offer, and how you get it for yourself!

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After the splash screen from the opening of the post, we get this "cover page" pictured above.  This first thing I noticed was that this application was obviously meant for a iPad over an iPhone.  The picture comes out a little blurry, squeezed onto such a small device.  However, there are two zoom levels, accessed by double-tapping, which make the text nice and crisp.  A third double-tap zooms everything back out.

Another nice feature is when your device is in landscape mode, the app displays a two-page spread.  This also lets you turn two pages at a time, and gets you through the magazine quicker.  However, this preview app isn't exactly a novel, so you don't really have to worry about endless page turning.

So, you're probably wondering what content this app brings to the table.  Well, it mixes parts of the magazine itself with some original content.  It begins with the weekly News Headlines page: Love Plus + On Sale, Ni no Kuni Special Event, Capcom Seaside House Opens in Kanagawa.

Next up is an original article profiling some "gaming masters" from around Japan.  These gamers have become legendary in their genre.  For example, God, pictured above, took home the top prize at Monster Hunter Festa '09.  This section continues for a number of pages and actually makes up the bulk of the app itself.

Now we come to the Gamer Opinion page, where Famitsu prints reader comments on recent news.  This week almost exclusively focused on E3 and the Nintendo 3DS in particular.  In a poll asking which company left the biggest impression, Nintendo won by a landslide, with Sony in 2nd and Microsoft in 3rd.

The next section is also pulled from the magazine and showcases some games that have recently gone on sale.  You can see one such page above in the two-page layout snapshot.

This e-magizine then has a page that features an app for the iPhone/iPod Touch.  This week had one related to the new Nintendo DS game, Love Plus +.  You can sync the information of your virtual girlfriend and have her act as your alarm clock and event reminder, among other features.  The app costs 600 yen, with additional alarm messages available for 230 yen a piece.

Lastly, the issue wraps up with an interview with a gamer from entertainment industry.  In the current update, Famitsu talks with model and self-professed gaming perfectionist, Yuka Nanjou.

So, in the end, is there anything for FFXIV fans?

Well, on the final page, where they print the schedule of game releases for the coming week, we see that the next issue of Famitsu will have a FFXIV Play Report from the beta!  So, we've go that to look forward to :)

If you want to check out the Famitsu iPhone/iPad app for yourself, just switch the region of your iTunes account over to Japan.  It's only available in the Japanese iTunes store, but since it's free, you can download it without any problems.


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