Forget S Pens and Infinity Displays. The standout feature on the upcoming Galaxy Note 9 could include pickaxes and pulse grenades.
That's according to a pair of reports from both 9to5Google and XDA Developers, which contend that Fortnite will make its long-awaited Android debut as an exclusive for Samsung's new handset.
You heard that right. The Note 9 will likely be your only way to play the online battle game for a while, as 9to5Google reports that Fortnite will be exclusive to the Note 9 for 30 days.
It might seem like an odd choice for Fortnite developer Epic Games to restrict the game's Android debut to just one device. After all, Android is one of the few platforms that the wildly popular Fortnite has yet to conquer, and Android users have been anticipating the game's arrival since Epic teased a summer launch.
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That said, being the centerpiece of the Note 9's unveiling would certainly be a nice achievement for Epic. And if reports are correct, Fortnite would eventually make its way to other Android phones — just a month later.
It's easier to see Samsung's incentive for making Fortnite part of its Note 9 launch plans. On its own, the new phone from Samsung isn't expected to be a major departure from last year's Note 8, even adopting that phone's design. Leaked specs suggest a new and improved processor, bigger battery and better cameras — necessary enhancements, certainly, but not the sort of thing that get people talking about your new phone. Fortnite exclusivity would certainly do that, though.
Samsung may have another incentive to tie its Note 9 launch with Fortnite. XDA reports that Samsung wants to tout the big-screen phone as a gaming device, even going so far as to add a vapor chamber heat pipe to keep the Note 9 cool during gaming sessions. This sounds like a bit of a departure for the Note, which up until now has largely been positioned as a productivity-boosting phablet. But with the S Pen reportedly gaining Bluetooth connectivity, one of the stylus's new features could be as a controller for Fortnite, XDA reports.
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Android gamers could have another incentive to grab the Note 9 other than an exclusive crack at Fortnite for 30 days. 9to5Google's report claims that people who pre-order the new phone could get up to $150 worth of V-Bucks to use when playing the game.
Samsung wouldn't be the first phone maker to turn to popular games as the way to juice sales for a phone. In 2017, LG bundled six games with its new G6 phone, including Temple Run 2, which had been updated with a new level specifically designed to showcase that phone's new-at-the-time 18:9 aspect ratio.
The Note 9 is expect to be the centerpiece of Samsung's August 9 press event, with some rumors having the phone hit the market by August 24. (A new rumor in the last week suggests that Samsung will speed up the phone's rollout.)
If Samsung truly has scored a 30-day exclusive for the Android version of Fortnite, that means other owners of other Android phones may finally be able to get their hands on the game by the end of September.