When we reviewed the GameStick Android console, one of our main concerns was how the library of titles on offer would pan out over time. Today, it's just been announced that Ubisoft will be bringing its Prince of Persia franchise to the platform. Specifically The Shadow and the Flame. This is good news for GameStick owners, and represents the first major developer to embrace the platform, though there's no official release date just yet. PlayJam (the company behind GameStick) advises that there are even more big name game houses set to get onboard too. Of course, there's still plenty of love for the indie side of things, but for those that like to ride both sides of the gaming tracks, things are looking up.
You'd better put that coffee down before you exhale it through your nose. Why? Because thanks to the very kind folk at Cartridge Discount, you could win a 3D printer. A second generation Cube by 3D Systems, to be precise. Not only would this make any tech-lover's Christmas, it solves your shopping woes too -- now you can print those socks for Uncle Alan if you win. Or stock up on bargain toner from Cartridge Discount if you don't. So, undoubtedly this is one heck of a prize for our UK readers (sorry everyone else), but you're likely wondering what you need to do to take part? Well here's the best part, just head past the break, read the terms and conditions (important!), and choose from the assortment of entry methods we've laid on for you. Don't thanks us, thank your lucky stars.
Plex might be a straggler in the iOS 7 app update parade, but as they say: better late than never. The refreshed app comes with a new look for Apple's latest mobile platform, but since it retains most of the old interface's elements, you can't exactly call it a complete overhaul. Other than this mostly skin-deep change, this release also brings a new video player, an "improved music player" and the ability to sniff out URLs from the clipboard for queuing to its myPlex cloud-synced platform. Finally, its creators peppered in a bunch of bug fixes, including ones for random freezes and syncing errors, to make version 3.3 more palatable and perhaps more worth its $5 price in the App Store.
It's been a relatively slow week for news due to the holiday, but there's still plenty for your hosts Ben Drawbaugh and Richard Lawler to chat about. While Sony is bragging about it's November PS4 sales, Microsoft is keeping quiet and dealing with a few compatibility issues on the UK front. Looking forward to the next round of holidays, Ben is predicting a rush on the affordable Chromecast device and Netflix is offering up a new animated series to bulk up its Christmas programming -- which it's definitely lacking. There's still plenty of football going on -- both real and imaginary -- and Richard takes a moment to lament both his fantasy picks and Michigan's ability on the field. All this and more is waiting for you at the streaming links below, so head on down for another edition of the Engadget HD Podcast.
Following in Samsung's footsteps, Philips has announced that it's bringing Spotify to its Smart TV platform in Europe. As of today, those of you across the pond who own a qualifying 2013 Philips set -- including the series 6008, 7008, 8008 and 9708 -- will have access to the renowned music streaming service. In addition, Philips is flipping the switch on the Cloud TV service it revealed back at this year's IFA, which allows viewers to stream "hundreds" of channels over the internet on Smart TVs from 2012 and 2013. That's not all though, as the manufacturer also added Cloud Explorer to 2013 models, giving users access to photos, videos and other documents they have stored on a Dropbox account. All in all, we'd say it's a pretty good day to be a Euro-based owner of a Philips intelligent television.%Gallery-slideshow130874%
In what we can only hope will be a dog murder-free second season, Netflix announced this morning that original series House of Cards returns on February 14th, 2014. Apparently Netflix is big on releasing original programming alongside holidays -- smart, considering the binge-viewing around said time periods. It's a big date for the Kevin Spacey vehicle, with the entire 13-episode season launching on Netflix at once in all territories Netflix is available (the US, Canada, the UK, Latin America and Ireland).
It looks like Microsoft is on its way to the "tens of thousands of games" it wants produced through its "ID@Xbox" self-publishing program on Xbox One: The company announced this morning that the program will kick off starting in early 2014. The news dropped alongside a lengthy list of developers already signed on -- from the big (Crytek) to the small (Definition 6, which is basically just a single dude) -- some of which we've already heard from. Below dev studio Capy, for instance, was a known quantity.
We've dropped the full list of devs after the break, alongside some of the games they're best known for. Microsoft's self-publishing head Chris Charla (the man previously behind Xbox Live Arcade) says today's list of devs is "far from comprehensive," and "just the first selection of the hugely diverse complement of developers who are working on bringing games to Xbox One via ID@Xbox beginning early next year."
After dedicating a lot of focus to its streaming subscription services, Sky is finally showing some love for those who like to rent movies. Originally only available to its TV customers, the broadcasting giant has opened the Sky Store to all in the UK, allowing anyone with a browser, Now TV, Roku or YouView box to rent any of its 1,200 movies. While Now TV attempts to conquer the UK streaming market, Sky's Store expansion will provide a firm footing for it to take on Apple's iTunes and Google's Play Store in the fight over à la carte movie downloads. For latest releases, the Sky Store charges £3.49 (around $6) per rental, with older movies available for between 99p and £1.99. You will, of course, still be able to access the Sky Store via your Sky+ box, but if you've decided to make cut the cord, today's announcement may help if you've watched everything in your Netflix or Lovefilm queue.
Many Smart TVs don't really talk to other devices as well as we'd like; integration tends to be basic, proprietary or both. LG may soon have a more elegant solution, as it's promising AllJoyn support in its TV line. The Qualcomm-built framework should let you control on-screen activity from any AllJoyn-capable device, whatever platform it runs -- Android, iOS and Windows users could theoretically play the same TV game. LG hasn't said when AllJoyn will reach its sets, but we wouldn't be surprised if the company has more to say at CES next month.
It's Tuesday and time for the Engadget HD Podcast. We hope you'll join us live when the Engadget HD podcast starts recording at 8:30PM. Tonight we try to finish up our Xbox One and PS4 news by covering the news both have endured, post launch. If you'll be joining us, take a peek at the topics after the break -- then do everything else you'll need to do in order to be ready to participate in the live chat.
You remember when that ironically titled film Turbo came out this past summer? The one about the snails (thus the irony)? Apparently it was popular enough to warrant an exclusive animated series on Netflix -- the streaming service's first such investment -- and it becomes available on Christmas Eve. Just in time to distract the little ones while you're gorging on nog!
On December 24th, the first five episodes of Turbo FAST go live on Netflix in the US, Canada, Ireland, Latin America and the UK, while the rest of the season will go live at unnamed intervals during 2014. As such, we'd suggest meting out those first five episodes sparingly, lest the little ones demand more before more are available.
Now that British Android users finally have access to TV shows on the Play Store, Google's finally starting to make good on its promise to deliver award-winning content. Following its deal in the US, the search giant has today made Game of Thrones and other popular HBO shows like Boardwalk Empire, True Blood and Girls, available on the UK store. While Sky and Tesco's VOD service Blinkbox beat all other UK players to the punch by offering Game of Thrones TVbroadcasts and streams respectively, Google will enjoy the fact it has access to the first three seasons of the show ahead of Apple. For Game of Thrones, you'll pay £18.49 (around $30) for each season or £1.89 (around $3) for individual episodes, with other shows coming in slightly cheaper. Google says classic HBO series like The Wire and The Sopranos will soon be available, letting Android smartphone, tablet and set-top box owners access episodes from early next year.
One million units in a day was a pretty good start, and SCE's Andrew House has just announced that the company's now sold 2.1 million PlayStation 4s as of December 1st. That combines sales from the US, Europe and parts of Asia, although the Sony console hasn't reached every corner of the globe just yet. Perhaps everyone's read our recommendation...
Update: Microsoft issued its own numbers missive this afternoon, instead choosing to tout various game stats of the Xbox One rather than sales numbers. The piece says "over 3 billion" zombies were killed in Dead Rising 3 and that "over 90 million miles" were driven in Forza Motorsport 5 by December 1st. It doesn't say whether or not the Xbox One bested 2.1 million consoles sold by December 1st, and we're betting it doesn't because the Xbox One still hasn't bested 2.1 million consoles sold as of December 1st. Read into it what you will -- the Xbox One launched seven days after the PlayStation 4, albeit in more markets, and both consoles are on-track to sell out everywhere this holiday. We're just glad the next-gen is finally here!
Sure, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are here, but this week's big game release is for the PS3. Gran Turismo 6 arrives Friday, while the latest iteration of the racing franchise will feature over 1,200 cars (including a moon buggy, because why not?) and all the tracks of its predecessor (Forza 5 -- we're talking to you). College football fans can look forward to a slew of championship football games this weekend leading up to the big bowl selection reveal Sunday night. On Blu-ray we're looking forward to The Wolverine, and the long-awaited Blu-ray release of EuroTrip. Look after the break for our weekly listing of what to look out for in TV, Blu-ray and gaming.
It was just over a month ago when NVIDIA's handheld, Shield, got the ability to stream Android games to TVs at 1080p resolution via Console Mode. Today, it can now do the same for PC games thanks to a software update that also brings improvements to 720p streaming mode and its Gamepad Mapper feature, too. Of course, the Gamestream technology that powers Shield streaming officially supports a limited number of games at the moment, with Batman: Arkham Origins, Borderlands 2 and Assasin's Creed IV: Black Flag among the highlights. In all, 63 games are currently available to stream in full HD, with more titles scheduled to be added every week.
With Gamepad Mapper, users can now map motion controls to physical ones. So, instead of tilting your handheld from side to side in the games designed to do so, you can map those gyro inputs to the Shield's thumbsticks instead. And, to better let folks know of all the custom control possibilities, NVIDIA is rolling out a community beta feature that lets folks share and rate different control map profiles. Lastly, if you have a Shield and live in Northern California, you can now get in on NVIDIA's GRID beta. For folks who aren't familiar, GRID is NVIDIA's cloud gaming technology, similar to Gaikai and OnLive. So, folks with a sub-40ms ping time to NVIDIA's San Jose, Calif., servers and a minimum 10 Mbps connection through a GameStream-ready router can get exclusive access to the service's library of games on their Shield. Looks like Christmas came early, folks, so head on down to the source for the info needed to grab all the goodies.
As tempting as post-Thanksgiving savings are, some of us simply aren't brave enough to face the Black Friday hordes. That doesn't mean stay-at-home shoppers aren't still looking for a bargain: Cyber Monday is upon us, and there are deals aplenty. If you skipped this weekend's brick-and-mortar discounts, read on -- we've got TVs, PCs and tablets galore. Can't find what you're looking for? Stick around, we'll be updating this post as more deals go live.
If you've been eager to send cloud or locally-stored media to your TV, another option could be on the way. Currently in beta, AllCast is an Android app that streams content from places like Google Drive, Dropbox or your mobile device's storage to an Apple TV, Roku, Xbox console, Samsung Smart TV and other DLNA-compatible hardware. ClockworkMod dev Koushik Dutta is behind the wheel here, however there's currently no support for Chromecast -- something we hope he'll be allowed to restore once the device's Cast SDK is released. In order to test drive this latest version of the software, you'll need to join the ClockworkMod beta testers group before nabbing the download from the Play Store (no rooting required). Need further convincing before opting in? Head down past the break for a video demo.
The Xbox One arrives with a 500GB HDD built-in, and in contrast to the PlayStation 4's easily-accessed storage, it's not meant to be accessed or replaced by the user, ever. While we'll probably leave ours in place to keep from voiding the warranty or risk a ban from Xbox Live, a few folks have already cracked open the console to see what else will fit. iFixit noted during its teardown that there's an off-the-shelf 2.5-inch Samsung HDD inside connected via SATA II inside, and swapping that out isn't much of an issue. Brian Williams has already tried out the system with two alternate drives: a 500GB Samsung EVO SSD, and a Seagate 1TB hybrid SSHD. As you can see in his video (embedded after the break) boot time from off to the dashboard only improved slightly, with the SSD loading in 46.1 seconds compared to 50.5 stock. A test with Call of Duty: Ghosts revealed similar results, with the SSD loading up in 27 seconds and the hybrid drive close behind in 27.7, compared to 33.5 seconds stock. We'll need tests with more games to be sure, but so far it's not showing the improvements seen after swapping the PS4's hard drive out for speedier options. The folks at Testedreport doing so improved level load times in Killzone: Shadow Fall from 60 seconds to 39 seconds.
So, if it's not a ton faster, why would you want to take the chance of prying Microsoft's box open? To get more space. Brian's drives were simply copies of the original transferred by Clonezilla, but an individual named Juvenal1 has already worked out how to get the system to actually recognize and make use of drives bigger than 500GB. By copying files from your original drive and using their Linux-compatible tool to repartition the new HDD, you can be up and running with more capacity after just a reboot or two. Of course, this carries significant risks and we don't recommend it for most, as Microsoft's Albert Penello has already revealed support for external drives is coming in a future update, along with the ability to do crazy things like see how much storage you actually have left. Still, if you just need to live on the edge (or store every game released so far and record hours of clean Upload Studio clips) the instructions can be found here.
Update: If you're interested in performing the upgrade, Brian Williams has followed with a video walkthrough for the process of properly formatting a larger hard drive, even if you're not familiar with using Linux.
Remember that rumored PlayStation 4 and PS Vita bundle that was due to reach the UK in time for the holidays? It's now official -- if not the discount that some were hoping for. Sony UK head Fergal Gara tellsEurogamer that some stores are carrying the device combo starting today, but it will cost only slightly less than the £500 ($816) you'd pay to get the systems one at a time. Appropriately, a few shops will offer a "soft bundle" that involves regular PS4 and Vita boxes. The kit doesn't make much financial sense, then, but Gara describes this as a philosophical move that highlights the PS4's Remote Play feature. To us, the real problem will be supply; when the PS4 is flying off shelves, there may not be many bundles to sell in the first place.
Sony's PSN woes aren't over just yet. The company has temporarily stopped taking PlayStation promo codes following a surge in traffic on the gaming service; for the moment, money cards and game vouchers won't work. There's no estimate for when code redemption will return. It's easy to see the potential causes, however. Between the weekend, the PlayStation 4's European launch and a big discount on PlayStation Plus subscriptions at Amazon, there's guaranteed to be a deluge of PSN activity -- Sony may have unintentionally created a perfect storm.
Update (12/1/13): According to the PlayStation Europe Blog, Sony is "continually increasing the availability of the voucher redemption functionality," so you should see it soon if it's not on your system already. The next step, which we should hear more about tomorrow, is to switch on the What's New activity feed and Live Item in the Content Information Screen for users outside North America.
Whether you've decided to spend the day battling bargain hunters for an insanely low-priced wafflemaker or just chillin' by the warm glow of your computer screen watching the mayhem unfold, we've got a little surprise for you. We've managed to snag a brand new Sony 55-inch 4K Ultra HD TV and we're giving it away to one lucky Engadget reader. Those who passed by Sony's booth at Expand NY earlier this month can attest to the fact that 4K really is a thing to behold. So don't push, don't shove, but do head on down to the Rafflecopter widget below for your chance to win. Of course, a prize of this size does have some region restrictions, so be sure to check the rules before entering. Good luck and stay safe out there!
Brits can't really complain about Freeview TV since it comes at no recurring charge, but it doesn't stop them tiring of the channel selection. Those who also aren't interested in signing on the dotted line with the likes of Virgin, Sky or YouView now have another way to perhaps cure their programming apathy with VuTV. Launched today, the new service adds 13 channels to compatible Freeview-equipped TVs or set-top boxes for a fee of £7 per month (no extended commitment necessary). VuTV manages to add these new channels via a selection screen hosted within a single Freeview channel, Inception-style. While it sounds like a fair deal, we're far from convinced it's worth the money, unless you're into MTV-made reality shows or have a house full of children to keep entertained. Then again, Comedy Central is a good pick-up on VuTV's part, and you can always take the two-week trial before throwing down any cash. Full channel list after the break.
BT has landed quite a few major sports broadcasting deals as of late, including its buyout of ESPN's British and Irish channels back in February. Today, it's extending its athletic empire with an exclusive arrangement to air NBA games in Ireland and the UK. The agreement will see BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN broadcast as many as seven live games per week, with some of them streaming through BT Sport's website and mobile apps. While there isn't a huge market for basketball in the country, the pact will make life much easier for diehard UK fans and American ex-pats -- they won't have to buy online passes or otherwise bend over backwards to keep up with their favorite NBA teams.
It took a while, but Virgin Media has finally brought its TV Anywhere service to Android. Already available on the iPhone and iPad for more than a year, the app comes to Android smartphones and tablets with nine new UK TV channels including Alibi, Dave, Drama, Good Food, Home, Really, Watch, Yesterday and CBS Reality. That takes the total number of mobile channels up to 67, with up to 90 available online. Virgin Media boasts it now offers more choice than rival service Sky Go, but like it's competitor, some might be frustrated by the patchy support for Android devices. Although you'll find support for Samsung's Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note, HTC One, Sony Xperia Tablet Z and Google's Nexus tablets, you might experience issues if your device is running Android 4.4 KitKat. While you won't be able to install it on your Nexus 5 just yet, Virgin says more Android devices will join the line-up "in the very near future."
Brazil's national currency is the real, but you wouldn't know that by looking at its iTunes storefront. Apple prices everything there in US dollars, which has led Brazil's Consumer Protection Secretariat to write a formal letter to the company requesting an explanation. We're not sure why this has taken so long, given that iTunes came to Brazil two years ago, but in any case Apple now has ten days in which to respond or face the threat of a penalty. Other countries that've tackled Apple over its pricing policies in the past have generally failed to reach a resolution, and in some cases citizens have even been urged to take matters into their own hands.