Comic Con reveal shows reworked cutscenes from Blur, gameplay footage leaked
During a panel at San Diego Comic Con last week, new footage from Halo: The Master Chief Collection was shown off by a number of people involved with the Microsoft project including Franchise Development Director Frank O'Connor. A new video was released by the company offering a first look at the new cinematics completely remade for high definition. Leaked gameplay footage from the panel has turned up as well, showing off some of the in-game changes.
Sony's PlayStation announces upcoming 3D Blu-ray support for PS4
Sony's PlayStation has announced that its next system update for PS4 will include support for 3D Blu-ray releases. The firmware update, v1.75, is anticipated to arrive next week, according to PlayStation Europe's tweet from earlier today. This information was released in light of Microsoft's announcement of Xbox One's upcoming 3D Blu-ray support.
Full HD, thin notebook powered by Intel Core i7, Nvidia GeForce graphics
Maingear announced a new notebook in its Pulse last week series called the Pulse 15. Following on the design of the Pulse 17, the new 15-inch model crams many of the same components into a smaller shell. The Pulse 15 packs power into a chassis that is only 0.75 inches tall when folded, with a weight of less than four pounds. Maingear states it's the thinnest 15-inch notebook they have ever produced.
MacNN and Electronista Friday deals for July 25, 2014
It's that time of the week again! Time for Friday Deals! Every Friday, we're going to take a look at current sales, and bring you what we think are some of the best bargains on prime apps, gadgets, and peripherals for you, the discriminating MacNN and Electronista reader. All prices are verified at the time of publication, but any sales may not be valid if you're reading a few days down the line. Check pricing before you click buy! We have a tendency to add deals over the weekend as we find them, so check back often!
Google Glass developer kit adds support for external webcams
Google has added support for external cameras to Google Glass, on top of the existing built-in imaging sensor. Android Police reports the latest Glass Development Kit update enables the use of an external webcam connected via a USB On-The-Go (OTG) cable, though it warns plug-and-play does not work, and if it includes a microphone, it may disable voice commands. Glass owners looking to try it out will have to wait for a developer to create an app for it, as Google does not supply an application to view through a connected webcam.
Low profile, symmetrical design gives users balance, comfort and button choices
The list of gaming devices is growing larger with each passing day. A large number of companies have entered the gaming input arena, already containing some well-known names in the industry. Many PC gamers know one such name, Razer, as the go-to company for mice and other controls. The Taipan is a mouse that Razer has offered since 2012, but gave it new flair with a white finish this May. Does the new finish give gamers a good reason to revisit the Taipan, or is it a dated approach to gaming? Find out in our review.
Deal said to be worth $1 billion, matching previously rumored purchase amounts
A new report has surfaced that Google has signed a deal that would see the search giant picking up the popular game streaming platform Twitch for $1 billion. The report adds builds on the previous report floating around that Twitch was being courted by Google's video arm for a possible purchase with a price tag in the same ballpark. By purchasing Twitch, Google could be positioning itself to be the number one destination for live streaming games, as well as watching associated videos.
Origin PC introduces new EVO15-S lightweight gaming laptop, Back to School promotion
Origin PC has announced its new EVO15-S gaming laptop, as well as a Back to School promotion. The laptop is thin, with a width measuring 0.78 inches, and weighing 4.36 pounds. Featuring a fourth-generation Intel Core i7 Processor, 16GB of DDR3 memory, Nvidia GeForce GTX 870M 3GB discrete graphics and Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 2 sound, the 15-inch laptop manages up to four hours of battery life. The EVO15-S includes Bluetooth 4.0, a KillerNIC E2200 LAN connection and USB 3.0 connectivity. Its anti-ghosting backlit keyboard offers seven standard color choices, with the option to fully customize colors and zones. The laptop's exterior can also be customized with a variety of paint choices and etching options.
Support added for Mint, Ubuntu with distro-independent archives, remains DRM-free
GOG, the gaming website and merchant previously known as Good Old Games, announced today that it has added support for Linux, delivering on an earlier promise to expand to the operating system. The DRM-free game distributor said earlier in the year that one of the next steps for the company would be to add support Linux distros.
Cops versus robbers game pushed to early 2015, Dragon Age pushed to November
Electronic Arts (EA) appears to be in need of additional time for two of its highly-anticipated releases that were scheduled for this year. Battlefield Hardline, which saw a beta test launch after the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2014, and Dragon Age: Inquisition, the third installment of the role-playing series, are seeing their release dates pushed back.
Image shows thumbstick on Steam Controller replacing button group
Valve Software may have made another change to its Steam Controller, the gaming peripheral designed for use with Steam Machine game consoles. An image appearing in files associated with the beta version of the PC Steam client shows a modified version of the last controller design, with four face buttons instead replaced by a thumbstick.
Free games, subscriptions offered as compensation for PSN intrusion
Sony has agreed to a preliminary settlement worth $15 million in a hacking class-action lawsuit in the United States. The agreement, which still requires approval from a judge, will see Sony handing out free games to console owners affected by the April 2011 PlayStation Network hack, which saw the shutdown of the service and Qriocity for several weeks, as well as compromising personal data and credit card information from over 77 million users.
Razer Nabu slated for launch in US in next two months
Game peripherals manufacturer Razer is adding support for WeChat to its Nabu smartband, while also confirming the device is shipping soon. The two companies are apparently working together on ways to use the Nabu, including exchanging contacts by shaking hands and comparing fitness statistics with friends using WeChat, as well as allowing the wearable device to display notifications from the messaging service.
Bungie decided to preserve the experience for players, not push each console
Bungie took on the difficult task of developing its latest game Destiny for four different consoles across two generations of technology. While this isn't uncommon near the end-of-life cycles for consoles, Bungie decided to craft the experience for each console according to their vision rather than hardware limitations. However, hardware does keep the game from advancing into cross-platform play territory, an area of play that gaming is moving into.
Publisher activates anti-piracy measures after thousands of plays turn up online
It turns out that winning an early access to game isn't enough to satisfy every fan, as mobile developer Gameloft recently learned. In a contest that gave fans access to Modern Combat 5: Blackout before its expected July 24 release date, one of the lucky winners decided to crack the game and upload it for illegal distribution. Afterward, thousands of players turned up in the game before its release on Android, iOS and Windows 8 devices.
Puppy Pop is first game made for the LG G3's QuickCircle case window
LG has made its case for the G3 smartphone arguably more useful, by releasing the first game designed specifically to use it. Puppy Pop, a "match-three" game involving dogs, is being made available for free through Google Play later today, and is notably the first and only to use the round window on the front of the company's QuickCircle protective case.
Marty O'Donnell takes settlement in individual suit after Harold Ryan denied benefits
Composer Marty O'Donnell, best known for his work on the Halo video game franchise, settled his individual lawsuit with Bungie President Harold Ryan last week on a judge-approved deal. In the lawsuit against Ryan, which was filed in May, O'Donnell claimed that Bungie owed him unpaid time off and other benefits under company policy, which Ryan denied.
Disney's Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse released for OS X July 24
Feral Interactive today announced the upcoming release of its fairytale platforming game Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse, a reworking of the SEGA Genesis and Mega Drive original. Players navigate the 3D game as Mickey, with the goal of rescuing Minnie Mouse from the evil witch Mizrabel. Players will run, jump, swing and swim through whimsical levels such as a haunted forest, and solve puzzles along the way.
Nvidia Shield Tablet retains game-streaming functionality of original device
Nvidia has finally launched a new gaming tablet in the Shield product line, following a number of leaks. The successor to the Shield controller and the Tegra Note 7, the Shield Tablet effectively separates the display and controller elements of the original Shield, with an accompanying wireless controller allowing it to be used in a similar manner as a portable console.
Twitch overhauls Android app interface, adds user profiles
Game streaming service Twitch has updated its Android app to version 3.0. The app has received a visual upgrade with an updated user interface, while the addition of user profiles provides more details about individual channels and the option to chat on channels which are not broadcasting yet. The app also allows viewers to access offline channels, an improved search, and the option to swipe between channels and users.
June console sales up 103 percent, PlayStation 4 in the lead by 476,000 units
After Microsoft provided internal figures that saw sales for the Xbox One double since dropping the Kinect and $100 off the price, NPD confirmed that the increase still wasn't enough to catch Sony's PlayStation 4. For the sixth month in a row, the PlayStation 4 claimed the top spot for console sales as the hardware market increased to $292.7 million.
Deal passes final hurdle with California government approval after hearing last week
After a hearing last week with the California Department of Business Oversight, Facebook's $2 billion deal for virtual reality headset maker Oculus VR has officially closed this week. The California government was the final piece of regulation that the companies needed to clear for the offer, first reported in March, to go through.
Qplay video streaming app and device from TiVo to be shut down next Friday
TiVo's video service, Qplay, is due to be shut down on July 25. The company provides a media streaming TV adapter and mobile video app, and has only been running for six months. According to its blog, Qplay states that it is "not possible for [it] to keep developing and running the service. Users who have purchased a TV Adapter device can receive a refund upon request, if made prior to July 25 at 5PM PST.
Tight-fitting headset covers all-around needs for gaming, everyday listening
Gaming headphones are a challenge to get right, for a long list of reasons that are unique to the consumer buying them. Some shoppers want a universal set of headphones, some weigh the difference in the configuration, while others just want something with a good built-in microphone for voice chat. What about gamers looking for their next set of headphones for longer gaming sessions? Razer, a brand many gamers are familiar with, may have a solution with the Kraken Pro headset. But is it good enough for gaming as well as everyday needs? Find out in our review.
Title changed to reflect reboot, but updates some classic shooter elements
Late last week at QuakeCon in Dallas, id Software gave attendees an exclusive reveal of the new Doom game from the company. Doom 4 has witnessed turmoil in its production, since ZeniMax-owned Bethesda Softworks acquired id Software in 2009. However, the company finally showed off gameplay footage at QuakeCon, after promising information on the title since 2010.
MacBook Pros, printers and more
This week, Adorama.com has the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display for $1,699. That's $100 off the list price of $1,799, and the lowest price we have seen on this Mac model by about $50. This MBP features Retina display, 2.6GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 16GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage. Included is a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
Rumored Shield Tablet has similar appearance to predecessor, metallic speaker grilles
An image of what is believed to be Nvidia's next attempt at a gaming tablet has leaked. Thought to be called the Shield Tablet, tying into an earlier certification leak, the device appears to have a similar appearance to the company's previous Tegra Note 7 tablet, though apparently it will have a slightly different placement of front-facing camera and metallic sections covering the speaker grilles.
Notebook focused on gaming power with Intel Core i7 processor, SSD raid setup
Computer hardware manufacturer MSI released a beefy new notebook today that's positioned to be a "desktop replacement" for gamers. The new 17.3-inch GT72 Dominator Pro notebook packs its power in a one-body aluminum case to give gamers the hardware they need to step into a game in any location.
Controllers track hand and body movements, could upset other device developers
Oculus VR, the company behind the Oculus Rift headset, is reportedly developing its own motion controllers to accompany the virtual reality (VR) headset. CNet reports that people familiar with situation indicate Oculus is creating a controller in-house that would track hand and body movements for a more immersive VR experience.
Amid layoffs Microsoft announces closure of original content wing of Xbox
On top of the 18,000 layoffs and shifting company structure, Microsoft will be closing the Xbox Entertainment Studios in the coming months. The studio was launched to add Microsoft to the original content race on the Internet, with shows based on some hit Xbox franchises such as Halo. Xbox head Phil Spencer issued an internal memo thanking the team for their work, as well as what to expect. Microsoft issued a statement to Joystiq confirming that existing projects would carry on.
Company says that sakes figures are up from May according to internal data
It seems that dropping the Kinect as a requirement for buying a new Xbox One is paying off for Microsoft. Posting on the Xbox Wire, an internal blog for Xbox news, Microsoft is boasting that sales of the new console have doubled since removing the sensor in June and reducing the price to $400. The increase could mean an gain in awareness and consumer desire for the console, which has lagged behind the PlayStation 4 in sales for months.
Should allow game studios to start full-scale iOS 8 development
Epic Games has released v4.3 of the Unreal Engine, code that undergirds many desktop, console, and mobile games. Although most of the changes are of interest only to developers, the update also includes the first support for Metal, Apple's new 3D graphics API. Developers must be using the Xcode 6 beta to compile it, and it's not enabled by default. It can however be toggled on via a game's Project Settings.
Notebook ships in August with Intel Core i7 Haswell processor, Nvidia GTX 870M
Computer builder CyberPowerPC announced the availability of a new gaming notebook this week, called the Zeusbook Edge X6-100. The new computer is said to be the lightest and thinnest notebook to date from the company, at 4.75 pounds and 0.82 inches thick. The Zeusbook comes with enough power to run most modern games, but also gives consumers the chance to do a little customization if they want more punch.
Gaming notebook measures under 1-inch thick, includes 3K display option
Computer producer Origin PC has revealed its first ever "thin and light" notebook aimed at gamers and artists. The EVO15-S is a high-performance PC with an Intel Core i7-4710HQ processor and the choice of a 15.6-inch 1920x1080-resolution 16:9 display or a 2880x1620 3K version, packed into a case weighing in at 4.36 pounds and measuring just 0.79 inches thick.
Song identifier app integrates subscription Rdio streaming
Song-indentifying app Shazam (free) has introduced a new update that incorporates streaming music service Rdio into the app, allowing subscribers to Rdio to hear the full version of songs identified using Shazam. Previously, Shazam would have to switch over to a third-party app if users wanted to hear a full copy of a song they identified in the app, but now those with Rdio installed won't have to fire up the previously-installed Rdio app to hear the full track. Shazam also offers iTunes buying of tracks, and in iOS 8 will integrate with Siri so that users can simply ask what song is playing at any time.
BBC points to the newest Shield being powered by K1, utilizing same software
The BBC has learned through anonymous sources that the next iteration of the Nvidia Shield could be used to play Android and stream PC games in a new way. The rumored device looks to build on existing technology surrounding the Shield, including the use of the GeForce Experience and GameStream to stream games from a host computer powered by an Nvidia GPU.
Spaceship-based twist on tower defense game forces confined strategy, resource management
It's hard to imagine what commerce and shipping might look like once humans expand into the far reaches of the universe. One take is that humans in the future could evolve an existing model, like truck driving, to deliver goods to the corners of space. Space Run by Passtech Games and Focus Interactive gives gamers a look into how such a business might unfold, through the use of strategy and resource management to fend off the dangers lurking in the darkness. But is Space Run enough to entice players into high-speed shipping lanes full of pirates and asteroids, or are they better off sitting this one out?
Electronista and MacNN staff deal picks for July 11, 2014
Another week, another episode of "Friday Deals!" Every Friday, we're going to take a look at sales, and bring you what we think are some of the best bargains on prime apps, gadgets, and peripherals for you, the discriminating MacNN and Electronista reader. All prices are verified at the time of publication, but any sales may not be valid if you're reading a few days down the line. Check pricing before you click buy!
First game is a free-to-play action shooter called BlueStreak, published by Nexon America
In 2012, Cliff Bleszinski departed his Epic Games design director position with no indication of what would be in store for his career. For 20 years, Bleszinski worked with the company, growing up with the industry, before announcing that he was stepping away to take a break. That break appears to have ended, as Bleszinski revealed that he is making his return to gaming.
Racing game Grid 2 Reloaded Edition to be released this summer for OS X
Feral Interactive has announced that its multi-discipline racing game Grid 2 Reloaded Edition will be released for Mac gamers this summer. Featuring "World Series Racing," players aim to become the star driver of the league by facing off against international drivers from local clubs. Races are set in a variety of locations, such as mountain roads and city streets of Paris, Miami or Hong Kong. Each vehicle option varies in respects to its gearing, torque and weight distribution.
Game creation tool exits beta and earns physical, digital versions for October release
Team Dakota and Microsoft Studios announced today that the game creation tool Project Spark would see a release later this year. Coming out on October 7 in the Americas, October 9 in Asia-Pacific territories and October 10 in Europe, the software is being offered in downloadable and retail versions for $40.
Game meshes MOBA and first person shooter elements for 2016 release
Gearbox Software, the studio responsible for such hits as Borderlands and Brothers in Arms, announced its next game today in conjunction with 2K Games. Combining elements of multiplayer battle arenas (MOBA) and first person shooters (FPS), the developer aims to create the next triple-A title in its unique stable of games with Battleborn.
MapQuest for iOS update improve ETA feature, adds airport maps, GrubHub support
AOL's MapQuest: Maps, GPS, Voice Navigation and Traffic app for iOS has received an update, improving its ETA feature, and adding new components. MapQuest for iOS allows users to access travelling resources such as live maps, GPS, voice navigation and live traffic updates. The release of v4.4 now includes additional traffic data for improving the accuracy of the estimated arrival time. Its new volume slider helps control volume relative to other applications, so that dictated directions can be adequately heard.
MBPs, monitors and more
This week, Adorama has the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro for the reduced price of $2,550. That's $150 off the list price of $2,700, and the lowest price we've seen on this model by nearly $100. This MacBook Pro features a 2.8GHz processor, 16GB of RAM and 1TB of flash storage. It is backed by a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
BlackBerry Messenger commences private beta on Windows Phone store
BlackBerry has put the BlackBerry Messenger app in the Windows Phone store, though it is not available to everyone. The listing, which follows the earlier BBM launch on iOS and Android, hints at a near-future release of the messaging app on the platform, though according to CNET, the app is being tested in a private beta ahead of its launch, with only whitelisted users able to install the app from the store.
Bungie to release Destiny beta for Xbox July 23
Bungie's first-person shooter game, Destiny, will be available in beta for Xbox One and Xbox 360 gamers starting July 23. Announced last month for PS4 as an alpha preview (beginning July 17), the online, multiplayer beta will run until July 28. Two deluxe versions of the game are available for pre-order: a $150 Ghost edition and a $100 limited edition in several collectable versions. The official full launch of Destiny is scheduled for September 9.
Financial issues cause around 100 employees to walk out, file grievances
The bad news keeps coming for Crysis developer Crytek, as around 100 employees of the company's UK studio walked out last week. Reports surfaced in the middle of June that alleged that the company was in bad shape financially, as it struggled to pay employees on time and saw several projects shuttered because of disputes.
Two-day conference aims to share and collaborate in the interest of virtual reality
On top of the RakNet acquisition news today, Oculus VR shared information on the launch of its first developer conference. Oculus Connect offers a two-day conference for developers and creators that aims to aid in the creation of the "best virtual reality experiences possible."
Oculus used RakNet internally, decided to open source under modified BSD license
Oculus VR announced another acquisition today, this time picking up RakNet for its multiplayer middleware. RakNet is featured in a number of games across multiple platforms due to its comprehensive engine. In the same announcement, Oculus stated that it is open-sourcing the technology.
Platform shooter Broforce parodies action film characters with style
Occasionally, game developers serve up what could be best described as a "one-note joke" game. A title which sounds good on paper, and for all intents and purposes appears to be a pretty good idea, but ends up being a mediocre release with generic gameplay mechanics, a title that is quickly derided once people realize how extremely shallow it is. While Broforce could certainly fall into the realm of the one-note joke, it manages to tell that joke exceptionally well.