Tag: Gaming

Xbox One can now stream YouTube video in 4K

The Xbox One X and S both allow you to watch 4K video, but the consoles didn't have a way to watch YouTube in 4K. That is, until now. This week, Microsoft is rolling out an app for both versions of the Xbox One console that provides support for 4K videos at up to 60 fps -- but not HDR.

While the Xbox One X is a tough sell for us, we think the 4K experience on the Xbox One S (which doesn't allow for 4K gaming, but does upscale graphics and supports HDR) is definitely worth it if you're in the market for a new console. Adding (long overdue) 4K YouTube support just makes it even better. If you have the console, you'll see the updated YouTube app this week, or if you're impatient, you can download it from the Windows Store today.

Via: The Verge

Source: Microsoft Store

The best gifts for a console gamer

Don't worry, we're not out to start a console war in our comments: If you're in the market for a new games system, the Xbox One S, PlayStation VR, Nintendo Switch and 2DS XL all made it into our holiday gift guide, for different reasons. Once you figure out which platform is best for your intended, we have a wide assortment of games and accessories, from a 400GB microSDXC card to a custom Xbox controller to the PlayStation Gold wireless headset, among other things. Find all that and more in our gift guide at the link below.

Source: Engadget Holiday Gift Guide 2017

Ataribox pre-orders start this week, without any game details

Excited for the Ataribox? Well, starting December 14th, you'll be able to lay down $250 - $300 for the retro-modern console. The company emailed the news to fans recently and even teased that there will be a chance for the "earliest supporters" to snag one at a discounted price. No, there still isn't a firm release date for the console (last we heard was "late spring 2018"), or word on its included games. So, you know, proceed at your own risk regardless of how cool those design prototypes might look.

‘Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp’ adds gardening to its list of chores

Collect fruit, trade it with villagers, build furniture, rinse, repeat. That's been the experience with Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp thus far, and if it's getting tedious, know that there's an update coming soon that'll add some variety to the mix. Next month, you'll be able to start crafting clothes like shirts, pants and shoes. Players will also gain access to a garden. As you might expect, the garden is where you can plant flowers, and you can even water friends' flower beds for them.

At this point, the flowers could just be another resource type for building stuff (like apples), but there's every chance that gardening could be a full-blown new activity. We won't know until we get our hands dirty. Even with this update, Pocket Camp is a far cry from full-fat Animal Crossing, but it's a step in the right direction. Compared to something like Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes, though, it's feeling pretty sparse at the moment.

Source: Animal Crossing (Twitter)

Tech pioneers tell FCC: ‘You don’t understand how the internet works’

Today, pioneers of the internet such as Steve Wozniak, Tim Berners-Lee and Vinton Cerf sent a letter to the FCC telling them, "You don't understand how the internet works." The letter calls on the FCC to cancel the December 14th vote, which would repeal net neutrality.

The letter specifically says, "it is important to understand that the FCC's proposed Order is based on a flawed and factually inaccurate understanding of Internet technology." These problems were outlined in detail and sent to the FCC as part of a 43-page-long comment back in July. The FCC did not correct its misunderstandings, but instead "premised the proposed Order on the very technical flaws the comment explained," according to the letter.

The letter also calls out the problems with issues with the FCC's comment system. FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel wrote a powerful op-ed at Wired asking for an investigation into the public comments on the proposal, after it came to light that around a million comments were fraudulently filed using the names of real people. Another half million were from Russian email addresses. The letter makes it clear that the FCC has failed to respond to a FOIA request from the attorney general of New York about these problems.

We've discussed in detail how the repeal of net neutrality would be disastrous, and also how it would hurt artists and small businesses the most. Plenty of companies and organizations have come out against the repeal, but it's unclear whether the ongoing commentary surrounding the issue is having any effect on the FCC. Apparently we'll find out on December 14th.

Source: Pioneers for Net Neutrality

The Morning After: Monday, December 11th 2017

Welcome to your Monday morning news missive. An anniversary Street Fighter game that crams in 12 (vaguely) different titles, a hacked way of cranking up the sound quality on your cheap Google Home Mini and Welcome To Night Vale gets its own TV show. It's a good start.

The 30th Anniversary Collection arrives in May.
'Street Fighter' anthology brings online play to classic brawlers

Street Fighter turned 30 this year, and Capcom is marking it in -- belated -- style. Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection arrives May 2018 and not only includes a bunch of pre-3D titles but also adds online multiplayer. It'll be available on the PS4, Switch, Windows PCs and the Xbox One. No Street Fighter: The Movie, the game, though. Sad.

Pump up the digital-assistant volume.
Mod gives Google's Home Mini speaker its 'missing' line-out jack

Google's Home Mini speaker has one key disadvantage over Amazon's Echo Dot: no line-out jack. If you want more powerful sound without buying a higher-priced model, you have to stream to a Chromecast-equipped speaker system. However, that didn't deter SnekTek -- the site added an aux audio port to the Mini through a clever homebrew mod. To say this required some delicate surgery would be an understatement, however.

Its research has come a long way in a short time.
Apple AI chief reveals more progress on self-driving car tech

Apple is now more than eager to share how much progress it's making on self-driving car technology. AI research director Ruslan Salakhutdinov made a presentation this week that revealed more of what the company's autonomous-driving team has been up to. While some of the talk was familiar, there were new examples of how far the fledgling project had come.

To start, Apple has crafted a system that uses onboard cameras to identify objects even in tricky situations, such as when raindrops cover the lens. It can estimate the position of a pedestrian even if they're hidden by a parked car. Other additions include giving cars direction through simultaneous localization and mapping, creating detailed 3D maps using car sensors and decision-making in urgent situations.

The bigger mystery of the project is how Apple will commercialize its self-driving know-how. At the moment, its next goal is to produce driverless employee shuttles. The company isn't currently expected to sell its own cars, but licensing its work to others would be unusual when Apple typically prefers to develop everything in-house.

But wait, there's more...

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‘Evil Within 2’ trial gives you a taste of surreal survival horror

Free trials (aka demos) are good ways to get a feel for a game before you buy, but they could be particularly helpful for The Evil Within 2. How are you going to wrap your head around Shinji Mikami's surreal survival horror game based on second-hand info? You don't have to. Bethesda has released a free trial of Evil Within 2 for PS4, Xbox One and Windows PCs. The sample lets you experience a few chapters of detective Sebastian Castellanos' bid to rescue his daughter, including some open world experiences and character customization. Any progress you make can transfer to the full game if you decide to splurge.

The original Evil Within wasn't particularly impressive when it launched, but its sequel has generally fared better. The emphasis is more on the "survival" part than the "horror" this time, but reviewers have generally liked the more involving gameplay and open world aspects. In that sense, the trial is particularly fitting: it's a chance to check out a franchise that you might have ignored the first time around.

Via: Windows Central

Source: PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store, Bethesda (YouTube)

‘Street Fighter’ anthology brings online play to classic brawlers

The original Street Fighter turned 30 this year, and Capcom is marking it in style... if a little late. It's releasing a Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection in May 2018 that not only bundles many of the pre-3D titles (ranging from the first game through III 3rd Strike), but adds online multiplayer. Fire up II, II Turbo, Alpha 3 or III 3rd Strike and you won't have to gather rivals in the same room to show off your Ryu or Sakura skills.

This isn't the most comprehensive collection. What, no Street Fighter: The Movie? However, you might not mind so much given the broad platform support. The 30th Anniversary release will be available on the PS4, Switch, Windows PCs and the Xbox One, so there's a good possibility that you can play your preferred flavor of Street Fighter whichever way you like, including on the road.

Via: Kotaku

Source: Digital Eclipse (Twitter), Street Fighter (YouTube)

‘MechWarrior 5’ will revolve around co-op and user mods

Piranha Games is starting to open up on what MechWarrior 5: Mercernaries will entail after a year of teasing, and it's good news if you don't always want to play alone. The robot battler should launch in December 2018 with co-op play as a central feature -- up to four players can take on the game's central campaign. Your friends stand in for the AI teammates in your unit, which could be helpful when you absolutely need someone watching your back.

The title will also make a big deal of mod support through Steam Workshop, letting you tailor your own missions, planets and other aspects of the game. Not surprisingly, the game mostly hinges on running your own mercenary company. And if you're wondering: yes, there's a good chance the Clans play a role. The game starts in MechWarrior's 3015 timeframe and lasts for about 35 years, or right as the Clan invasion is in full swing.

There's still a lot we don't know about MW5, but for many its mere existence is important. It's the first MechWarrior game with a single-player mode in over 15 years, and the first new game in the series for over 4 years. For some, it isn't so much a sequel as it is a return to the franchise's roots.

Via: PC Gamer

Source: Piranha Games (YouTube), MechWarrior 5

New ‘Ready Player One’ trailer reveals more of the real-world story

The initial trailer for Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Ready Player One focused on the virtual world of OASIS, and for understandable reasons: it's a visual showcase for a crucial part of the story. However, Warner Bros. wants to remind you that reality plays an important part as well. It just posted a new trailer that dives deeper into the real-world story, even as it makes a few extra nods to video game nostalgia.

As with Ernest Cline's book, the story centers on Wade Watts and his bid to win James Halliday's Easter Egg hunt, which promises both half a trillion dollars and (more importantly) control of OASIS. That, in turn, leads to an ideological battle -- Wade and fellow competitor Art3mis are racing to find all the clues before the megacorporation IOI gets them and exploits OASIS for profit. Wade is effectively drafted into a resistance movement, and his moves will have consequences in both VR and real life.

There aren't quite as many tributes to digital culture as in the first trailer, but there are a few pleasant surprises -- there's even a certain iconic Overwatch character that shows up. It's hard to say if Ready Player One will live up to the rapidly mounting hype when it premieres on March 30th. However, the trailer shows that Spielberg and crew are aware that clever references and dazzling visuals aren't enough to carry the movie.

Oh, and there's one more thing: Cline revealed in a livestream (shortly after the 27-minute mark) that he's writing a sequel to Ready Player One. He has precious few details, but he noted that Spielberg's movie helped jumpstart his work on a follow-up. Even if the movie falls flat, you'll have something to look forward to.

Source: Warner Bros. (YouTube), Ready Player One (Facebook)