Valve is one of those companies you just can’t help but admire. They are consumer first (almost to a fault), and course they also haven’t sold themselves to EA and Activision. Anytime they set out to do something ambitious, they gather a lot of media attention. Rumors of a Steam hardware console have been circling for several weeks now, but it turns out their hardware ambitions are much more bizarre. Valve developer Michael Abrash admitted the company is looking to hire hardware designers to help advance a prototype in the field of “wearable computing”.
Xbox 360 gamers will soon have reason to rediscover The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Bethesda today announced plans to release a free title updated later this month that will integrate Kinect support, allowing gamers to yell out over 200 voice commands, including dragon shouts. From bartering to battling, the Kinect update adds a new dimension to Skyrim that previously didn't exist, and there will also be a handful of new functionality to go along with the voice commands, such as special map features, additional hotkey options, and the ability to sort items by name, weight, and value.
If you weren't quick on the draw earlier this week, you would have missed out on a firmware update for your PlayStation Vita. Sony issued a system software update to version 1.65 on Tuesday and then pulled it down yesterday because of a "technical fault." Don't fret though, there's a new software update -- version 1.66 -- that includes all the previous fixes, plus a handful more.
Sony has been understandably tight-lipped about its next generation game console, most obviously because the company is still trying to move PlayStation 3 hardware. But could another reason be that Sony doesn't yet want to reveal its planned participation in killing off the used games market? It's a subject that was touched on earlier this week, and now new information about "Orbis," the codename for Sony's next gen console, seems to suggest that Sony's all-in with the idea.
GameStop's cash cow is its used game business. Sure, you can also buy new titles, game accessories, and even tablets at your local GameStop, and you can't purchase a game without the guy behind the counter pressuring you into pre-ordering half a dozen upcoming titles. But used games are the fuel that makes the company's engine run. You can imagine, then, why GameStop refuses to believe that next generation consoles will try to kill off the used game business model by linking software to your specific hardware. Sounds unfathomable, doesn't it?
After months of speculation, leaked reports, rumors, and anticipation that Microsoft might announce a new Xbox console at E3, the powers that be saw fit to temporarily depart from its longstanding policy of staying tight-lipped when it comes to unannounced products to put the kibosh on hopes we'd get our first glimpse of the Xbox 720, or the 'new Xbox,' to borrow a page from Apple.
The raging battle of words between PC gamers and console gamers has never quite reached PC vs. Mac levels of animosity, but it's come close. Could those angry days be coming to an end? Probably not, but if anybody could convince the two camps to pick up their virtual arms in unison and start singing "Kumbaya," it's Valve -- and rumors floating around say that Valve is developing a console-esque box designed to let gamers get their Steam on in the living room.
Good news if you were one of the unlucky few who have been experiencing color output problems ever since Microsoft rolled out its major dashboard update back in December 2011. A new mandatory update is supposed to kick the unwanted "colorspace issue" to the curb so you can watch videos without washed out colors and poor black levels, which were the most common complaints.
The electronic surgeons at iFixIt point out that they don't break gadgets, they tear them apart. We love when they do, because then we can spy the innards of expensive tech gear laid bare without ruining our own equipment, allowing us to live vicariously through their teardowns. This week iFixIt took apart Sony's new PlayStation Vita handheld console, which turned out to be surprisingly easy to service.
Hulu Plus found a new way to be streamed into your living room. Nintendo today announced it has teamed up with the streaming video service so that Wii owners can now subscribe to and access Hulu Plus for $8/month and instantly stream popular TV shows like Family Guy, Glee, The Office, Modern Family, and more, as well as hundreds of movies, on their Wii console.