One of the defining features of both next-gen consoles is their ability to stream live gameplay. Although Sony has had issues with several elements of the PlayStation 4 launch, Twitch and Ustream have been running smoothly right out of the box. This isn’t going to be the case for the Xbox One, however. Microsoft’s latest post on the Xbox Wire states that “[Twitch streaming] won’t be available right away” but the team will be looking to “deliver it during the first part of 2014.” Instead, Xbox Live Gold members will be limited to viewing broadcasts until Xbox One streaming is ready for primetime. Microsoft has tried to balance out this piece of bad news with some details of the Xbox
If you had asked me a month ago which consoles I’d be spending the most time with over the holidays, the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS would not have been on that list. Two huge releases later, however, and I’m having trouble deciding which Nintendo console to power on. Super Mario 3D World is the sequel to Super Mario 3D Land, which released on the 3DS in 2011. Of course, sequels in the Mario series are more about gameplay, aesthetics and level design than they are about story or character development. Although Super Mario 3D World and its prequel are both full 3D Mario games, the layout of each level tasks the player with continuous forward motion, combining the classic appeal
Valve plans to show off its virtual reality prototype and explain what it will mean for Steam at its Steam Dev Days event that takes place in Seattle in mid-January. The schedule for the developer sessions includes a couple of virtual reality-related events aptly titled “What VR Could, Should and Almost Certainly Will Be within Two Years,” and “Virtual Reality and Steam.” Apparently, in addition to Steam Machines and Steam Controllers, Valve is interested in building more gaming hardware. In the first presentation, Mike Abrash will share Valve’s conclusions about the future of virtual reality. The event description says that the company has already “figured out what affordable Virtual Reality (VR) hardware will be capable of within a couple of
Outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer knows that a lot of investors have their knives out for Bing and Xbox, but he’s not having any of it. GeekWire reports that in his last-ever shareholder meeting as CEO, Ballmer vigorously defended Microsoft’s search engine and game console divisions by claiming that both are an integral part of the company’s future. In particular Ballmer singled out the Xbox One as “a reflection of what is possible when a company, our company, is unified under a common vision” while also pointing out that Bing is helping Microsoft improve and enhance its other services such as its Windows Azure cloud computing platform. “This is really a signature moment in the transformation of the company,” Ballmer
The critical consensus on the PlayStation 4 (including our own) has been positive so far, but how does the next-gen console fare when a group of design experts take a stab at reviewing it? Fast Company gave Teague, the design consultancy behind the original Xbox, a platform to share its thoughts on the PS4 from a design perspective. The results were decidedly mixed. Teague introduces the first new system of the holiday season as “a beautiful console,” giving Sony props for the console’s compact design, the elegant horizontal and vertical orientation options, the matte and gloss separation, and the redistribution of venting to the back of the device. The team even notes the subtle and attractive light bar, a favorable
If the PlayStation 4 is any indication of the quality of the next generation of gaming, then it was worth the wait after all. I’m writing this review seven years to the day after Sony brought the PlayStation 3 to the United States, a console I swore I would never buy after Sony revealed the ridiculous price tag at E3. Seven years later, the Japanese electronics giant has value in mind and the PlayStation 4 is a bargain at $399.99. The box itself is a thing of beauty. Video game consoles are traditionally more utilitarian than they are attractive, but the angular design of the PS4 might actually earn it a visible spot in your entertainment center this time around
Microsoft has started rolling out an Xbox One version of its SmartGlass app for Windows Phone. While many of the features, including remote control and SmartGlass companions, are the same as the separate and existing SmartGlass for Xbox 360 app, there are some notable additions. Xbox One owners will be able to control the app-snapping feature of the console by selecting individual applications to open snapped or full screen. One extra addition to the settings interface will let SmartGlass users keep a Windows Phone device alive while the app is open, preventing it from locking.
Rovio has confirmed to Washington Post that it did not license Angry Birds to North Korea’s new Android tablet called Samjiyon. The tablet comes preloaded with a pirated version of the game. Samjiyon has been receiving surprisingly hot early reviews and is apparently a perfectly serviceable 7-inch tablet. Some tourists have been snapping up the device in Pyongyang for less than $200, but the price to North Korean elite bureaucrats is closer to $100. The launch of the tablet is a part of Kim Jong-un’s campaign to improve North Korea’s image. Other parts of his decidedly unorthodox PR drive include palling around with Dennis Rodman and planning a visit to China, which means fun times for high-level politicians in North Korea. Things remain grim for the
Is the pent-up demand for next-generation video game consoles the tech media has been talking up for the past few months real? Sony’s announcement from this past weekend suggests the answer is a decisive yes. The consumer electronics giant on Sunday announced that its PlayStation 4 launch was a huge success, with sales to end users having topped 1 million units during the console’s first 24 hours of availability. “PS4 was designed with an unwavering commitment to gamers, and we are thrilled that consumer reaction has been so phenomenal,” said Andrew House, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment. “Sales remain very strong in North America, and we expect continued enthusiasm as we launch the PlayStation 4 in Europe and Latin America
Sony Corp said on Sunday it had sold 1 million units of its new PlayStation 4 gaming console in the first 24 hours that it was available in the United States and Canada. The console, which Sony is counting on to kick-start a revival of its consumer electronics business, went on sale on November 15. Andrew House, the head of Sony Computer Entertainment, the unit of Sony that oversees PlayStation, said in a statement that "sales remain very strong in North America." "We expect continued enthusiasm as we launch the PlayStation 4 in Europe and Latin America on November 29," House said. Sony Corp had previously announced it had received more than 1 million advance orders for the console.
Thanks to a few huge fall releases, video game sales managed to improve year-over-year once again in October, according to the latest numbers sent to us by the NDP Group. This makes for the third month of positive growth for the industry, an estimated $1.3 billion in total consumer spending that signifies a 5% jump over October 2012. The Nintendo 3DS led the hardware segment for the sixth consecutive month, in part due to 2DS sales, although overall hardware sales were down 8% from last year. With the launch of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One this month, hardware sales should see a major surge in November, but for now, Nintendo still has the best-selling console on the market.
One of the coolest features we saw in Sony’s own teardown of its new PlayStation 4 was how easy it looked to replace the console’s hard drive. In fact, the PS4 shown in Sony’s teardown video had a hard drive that was literally held in place by one screw, which means that even the less mechanically inclined of us out there shouldn’t have much of a problem swapping out the device’s 500GB hard drive for a bigger one if we need it. The team at iFixit tore apart the PS4 to see for itself if hard drive replacement was as easy as Sony made it look and found that it really is a simple little operation. “We’ll have a detailed
After a long year of waiting, Sony has finally delivered the PlayStation 4, which is currently begging you to spend the weekend with a DualShock 4 in hand. You want to oblige, but you have neglected to pick up any PS4 games. You have read the reviews and you know about the curse of the launch lineup, but you can’t just sit around and wait for four months until Infamous: Second Son comes out. If this short story describes you, I’d like you to know that I’m in the same boat, so I’ve written this handy, completely unscientific evaluation of the three exclusive PS4 launch games to provide some assistance for befuddled gamers. Killzone: Shadow Fall Killzone has always been