With today's unveiling of T-Mobile's G1 phone, the first handset to use Google's open Android platform, free version of Namco's Pac-Man and Glu's Bonsai Blast have been revealed for the iPhone-battling mobile operating system's October 22nd debut.
Among other features, phones with Android installed will be able to access Android Market, a distribution system allowing users to purchase and download software, similar to Apple's App Store for the iPhone. According to a report from consumer electronics site Engadget, all apps on the marketplace will be available for free to G1 owners during the first 90 days after purchase.
Even though they are free, at least two game companies are offering launch games for no charge: Namco Bandai has announced a version of Pac-Man with conventional gameplay and Swipe Mode (touch-controlled), Track Mode (trackball controlled), and Accelerometer Mode (tilt meter controlled.)
In addition, Glu is introducing Bonzai Blast for free - a title whose mechanics challenge players to shoot and match a tangled line of colored marbles, much like PuzzLoop or Zuma. Gamers will be taken through 20 levels with water, fire, earth, and wind themes. The title's controls also take advantage of the phone's touch-screen and accelerometer.
Along with the Open Handset Alliance, a Google-led group of technology and mobile companies dedicated to open standards for mobile devices, Google spent the past year distributing early versions of its Software Development Kit, working with developers to improve the SDK and add to its feature set. Coinciding with the G1's unveiling, Google released Android 1.0 SDK R1.
The Open Handset Alliance intends to open source the entire Android platform by the end of the year. In a posting on Google's official blog, Android lead product manager Erick Tseng said, "Everyone will be free to adopt and adapt the technology as they see fit. By doing so, we hope that users will get better, more capable phones with powerful web browsers and access to a rich catalogue of innovative mobile applications."
T-Mobile’s subscribers can purchase the G1 starting October 22nd. The phone will arrive in Britain for subscribers in early November, with a launch for mainland Europe following in the first quarter of 2009.