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  • Sure, there are already options for getting fit with the help of your Xbox console, and now one of the most popular in-home exercise options is offering more sweat soaked material. P90X for Xbox Fitness brings a 30-day version of the three-month slim down to your living room via the Xbox One (sorry, Xbox 360 owners) with five new routines to boot. The video-based workout curriculum will leverage the Kinect to keep an eye on your form along the way as well. As you may recall, trainer Tony Horton has already served up P90X and Insanity workouts for Redmond's fitness efforts, alongside Jillian Michaels and others. Forking over $60 today gets you the month-long challenge, and there's a downloadable calendar and nutrition plan coming next moth. Of course, Mr. Horton is along for every second of the action -- just in case you thought you were getting off easy.

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    Source: Xbox

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  • BRITAIN-ART-CINEMA-THE COUNSELOR

    The works of author Phillip K. Dick have proven fertile ground for classic sci-fi movies like Total Recall and A Scanner Darkly, and The Man in the High Castle is up next. Except, well, it's making its debut on the small screen, by way of Amazon Studios and executive producer Ridley Scott (pictured above), according to Deadline. For the unfamiliar, Castle takes place in a 1962 where the Allied Powers were defeated in World War II, and, as a result, Germany and Japan began an occupation of the United States -- Scott's sci-fi phase apparently isn't stopping anytime soon. With the legendary filmmaker working on Halo: Nightfall, the Prometheus and Blade Runner sequels and now this, we're even tempted to call it a trend.

    [Image credit: AFP/Getty Images]

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    Source: Deadline

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  • What do Halo: The Master Chief Collection and the Atari landfill-dig have to do with comic books? Not much, really, but that doesn't mean that Microsoft isn't at this year's San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) trotting them out to those in attendance. Let's start with Master Chief. The big green galoot has a boxed set of the games he starred in coming out this November, Redmond has seen fit to drop a trailer for the collection's gorgeously overhauled Halo 2 cinematics and we've embedded it below. What's more, MCC's developer Certain Affinity announced that the map that introduced the world to Halo 2's multiplayer, "Zanzibar," is getting the remake treatment alongside "Lockout," "Ivory Tower," "Coagulation" and "Ascension." The final of the six remastered maps will be revealed at Gamescom in Germany next month. If that isn't enough Halo news, we've also embedded video from the Halo: Nightfall panel that recently took place at SDCC.

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    Source: Xbox Wire (1), (2)

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  • Want to watch the latest Weird Al music video or catch a movie trailer straight out of Comic-Con? Amazon now has a place for that. Variety reveals that Amazon quietly launched a new "video shorts" section of its instant video service, filling it out with music videos, movie trailers, video reviews, interviews, featurettes and more. It seems like a simple addition of short-form video content, but it's more than that: this is one of Amazon's new advertising platforms.

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    Via: Variety

    Source: Amazon

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  • The 3D hype may have died down from its peak a few years ago, but Sir David Attenborough is continuing to make use of the technology (check after the break for a video explaining some of the infatuation with it) for his critically acclaimed nature documentaries. The latest one is Conquest of the Skies 3D, and Sky has announced that the three 60-minute episodes will air around Christmas in the UK. In order to "tell the evolutionary story of flight" Attenborough and crew are using new 3D macroscopic and high-speed filming techniques, as well as 3D octocopters. What it won't have is the Oculus Rift or Project Morpheus-compatible virtual reality version that was bandied about earlier this year, but that doesn't mean the tech is on the shelf. Newly-expanding Sky has teamed up with Atlantic Productions, and Atlantic's new division Alchemy is planning to have VR experiences (that combine live action 3D footage, 360 degree video and CGI) available this fall.

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    Source: Sky

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  • Welcome, ladygeeks and gentlenerds, to the new era of gaming. The one where you get to watch, and comment, as other people livestream gameplay from next-gen consoles. Because games! They're fun!

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    Source: Twitch

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  • When I open my mailbox, I often find Amazon packages that I don't remember ordering. But today's surprise was a DVD of Sharknado, a movie I absolutely did not purchase. My first instinct was to contact Amazon and change my password, but then I found a note inside: "For you to test out the new Syfy Sync app with your Philips Hue lights." Wait, what? A quick web search cleared things up pretty quickly -- the latest Syfy Sync app enables full control of a Hue bridge (and connected lights) on the same network. The movie, app and lights work together, in theory, to bring you a more immersive entertainment experience.

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  • Film Navigating Netflix

    We've heard your complaint: you can't find anything to watch on Netflix. Despite all the A/B testing, app updates and data Netflix is measuring behind the scenes, the way it presents the library makes it nearly impossible to see everything that's available to watch, and sometimes you want to do the choosing instead of letting an algorithm or hired gun do the work. The good news is there are a ton of different ways to sort through the pile -- or ditch sorting for the bliss of random selection -- but the bad news is that some of them will be going away soon (more on that in a minute). If you're not already taking advantage of third party tools like InstantWatcher to dive deep into the catalog, we're here to explain why you should be.

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  • Back in June, Google revealed Cardboard: an open-source attempt at mobile virtual reality. Heck, even the "hardware" is open source --here are instructions to make your own, right now!

    But the concept is more than a low-tech solution to mobile VR. It's emblematic of Google's approach to virtual reality: use the phone that's already in your pocket. Samsung's taking the same approach later this year with Gear VR, only it's also partnering with Oculus VR on the software side.

    This stands in stark contrast to the PC-dependent, ultra-high-res experience Oculus VR and Facebook are aiming to achieve. The Oculus Rift headset both literally and figuratively kickstarted the re-birth of virtual reality in modern technology. It remains the peak of technological achievement in virtual reality. And now, the medium is splintering into two distinct futures: one of entertainment, the other of immersion.

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  • Rumors of an assault on Europe have circled for quite some time, but today BSkyB has finally made a move to expand its pay-TV empire outside of the UK. The company today announced it has agreed to pay 21st Century Fox a total of £4.9 billion ($8.33 billion) to acquire Sky Italia and buy the majority share (57 percent) of Sky Deutschland. If the deal is given the green light by regulators, the newly-formed Sky Europe would emerge with almost 20 million European customers.

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    Source: Sky (PDF)

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  • Despite the popularity of its music service, Spotify's presence on connected TV platforms is still spotty. It's on Apple TV via AirPlay, Roku, LG and Samsung, but not Xbox, PlayStation or Chromecast (officially). We can add on one more today, as Vizio says it's coming to their VIA Plus enabled TVs. The only bad news? That list is currently limited to just a few models consisting of the 2014 E- and M-series TVs, and you'll need Spotify Premium to tune in. If you don't have Spotify Premium you can try it free for 48 hours -- check out some favorites from our editors if you need musical suggestions.

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    Source: Vizio Blog

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  • YouTube comments typically fill one with shame and disappointment in the human race, but here's one that just might make you cry. Below a video from PBS about video games as spiritual experiences, a user going by the online handle 00WARTHERAPY00 has written a touching story about the time they spent gaming with their dad. 'THERAPY00 says that when he or she was four years old, they'd play Xbox with his or her father and had tons of fun up until a few years later when their dad passed away. It was ten years before the commenter could bring him/herself to boot Microsoft's first game console and when they did, there was a surprise waiting for them. Rally racer Rallisport Challenge features a function that records the best lap-time for a given circuit with an apparition-like version of the car used. Meaning that, quite literally, there was a ghost of 00WARTHERAPY00's father waiting to compete against him or her.

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    Via: Yahoo! Autos

    Source: YouTube

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  • Back at this year's E3 we learned that Halo: Nightfall would tell the origin story for a new character in Halo's sci-fi universe, and we're finally getting to see some of the show in motion. And, well, there are a couple of instances where it looks pretty similar to the Alien not-a-prequel, Prometheus. That almost assuredly isn't a coincidence given the fact that Prometheus' director Ridley Scott is serving as executive producer for the show. It's hard to tell exactly how the episodic series is going to turn out based on a teaser trailer (embedded after the break), but we can tell you that in its 74 seconds there's a distinct lack of Master Chief and a whole lot of talk about an element that "selectively kills humans." How's that for mystery? You'll be able to check out the exploits of Agent Locke and his crew after Halo: The Master Chief Collection releases this November.

    Update: Video of the entire Halo: Nightfall panel from Comic-Con is also embedded after the break.

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    Source: Xbox Wire, YouTube

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  • Let's say you wanted to give Bungie's latest shooter, Destiny, a go before the game comes out in September, but the idea of pre-ordering video games goes against the very core of your being. Well, Bungie's just announced that it's opening the floodgates on the test-phase for the game and is letting everyone get in on the fun. At 7 p.m. Eastern / 4 p.m. Pacific, you'll be able to head to the digital marketplace on your gaming platform of choice (PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One) and grab the multi-gigabyte file for yourself and see what everyone's been raving about. And remember, on Saturday at 5 p.m. Eastern, 2 p.m. Pacific, Bungie is promising a special reward for whoever is playing, and that it'll carry over to the game's final version come September.

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    Source: Bungie (1), (2)

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  • What's the internet's most popular game-streaming service worth? About $1 billion, if VentureBeat sources have their story straight. Earlier this year, Variety and the Wall Street Journal reported that Google was in talks to acquire Twitch, but conceded that the two companies were only just starting negotiations. Now, sources familiar with the deal say an agreement has been reached, though its unclear when the reported acquisition will be officially announced. Naturally, there are some concerns that a Google acquisition of Twitch would stifle competition for rival services, but the tried and true platform could certainly bolster Mountain View's own streaming efforts. If nothing else, perhaps the deal will validate emerging market shared gameplay in the eyes of its doubters. Both Google and Twitch have declined to comment on the report.

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    Source: VentureBeat

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  • Apple's set-top hobby has come a long way since its major refresh in 2010, thanks largely to a variety of services bringing different content to the platform. When it comes to gaming, however, the Apple TV isn't exactly a powerhouse, despite being able to support it through AirPlay features -- something similar to what Real Racing has done in the past. Another developer that's made use of this particular second-screen kind of experience is Rolocule Games, and it just announced a new free title (with in-app purchases) dubbed Dance Party.

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    Source: App Store

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  • When a broadcaster logs off for dinner or puts down the controller for some shut-eye, Twitch now lets them keep the game streaming going with its new Host Mode. The function keeps a channel's chat up and running, but embeds a video of the action from another user's session or event while the host takes a breather, or a nap, or goes outside. Viewing stats are still compiled for the original broadcaster and the option can be triggered with a simple chat command. For now though, Host Mode is only available via the web interface.

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    Source: Twitch

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  • It seems as if this week is a good one to get stuff on the cheap or even for free. First, Marvel announced a promo yesterday which gave access to its Unlimited comics service for 99 cents, and now EA has quietly revealed that it's giving away copies of The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection. You'll need to have Origin, EA's software distribution platform, installed on your machine to take advantage of this deal, but it's as easy as entering a code for old and new users alike. Just don't expect EA to keep supporting the classic game after you install it, since the publisher brought closure to that a few days ago. The Windows download on Origin will be available until July 31st at 1:00AM ET, which means there's plenty of time to let it all sink in and cancel whatever you had planned for the weekend.

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    Source: EA

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  • It's hard to believe that it's been a year since Google's streaming dongle arrived on the backs of TVs, bringing easy streaming chops to the masses. As a proper celebration, the folks in Mountain View are thanking both current and new Chromecasters with three free months of Google Play Music All Access -- starting today through September 30th. The company has been keen on adding new features to the accessory regularly, and in the festive announcement teased the ability to beam content while away from your WiFi and customizable homescreens as upcoming additions. Heck, with that bit of subscription savings, you'll almost have enough for a second unit.

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    Source: Google Chrome Blog

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  • We're not sure how many of the new Oculus Rift VR kits have shipped out to developers already, but it looks like a healthy amount are in San Diego right now. That's where Comic-Con is happening this week and, following the X-Men VR demo we already heard about, Legendary Pictures and Oculus have teamed up for Pacific Rim: Jaeger Pilot. It lets attendees take control of the 250-foot tall Jaeger "Gipsy Danger" (no drift connection necessary) and do battle in a virtual reality combat simulator against the kaiju Knifehead (the first one you see in the movie). The whole experience is built in Unreal Engine 4 using the same assets Industrial Light & Magic worked with for the movie. Sure, you've seen the movie, and maybe even in IMAX 3D, but we're pretty sure even Guillermo del Toro's directing tricks can't add up to feeling like you're there, fighting an 8,700 ton monster off the coast of Alaska. It's all in Legendary's booth #3920 for all four days the show is open, from Thursday through Sunday. Don't have a ticket? There's a video preview embedded after the break, but it can't compare to diving into a VR world with Oculus -- maybe we'll be able to enjoy it at home by April 2017 when Pacific Rim 2 arrives.

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    Source: Legendary Pictures (YouTube), Legendary.com

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  • A couple of months back, Sky revealed that it was working to bring Now TV to Sony and Microsoft's latest consoles. Today, it finally started that rollout with the PlayStation 4, ensuring Sony fans have all of their bases covered in the process. Although the Xbox One app is still in development, the broadcaster notes that it will become available in the coming weeks. Neither the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One require a subscription to access the Now TV app, meaning you'll only need to put money down for Sky's movie, entertainment or sports packages to get streaming.

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  • We were expecting to see the new iteration of the Oculus Rift arrive on developer's doorsteps earlier this month, but unfortunately it hit a couple of delays. Road to VR points out a Reddit thread where pre-orderers confirmed their credit cards have been charged ahead of shipping. Community manager cyberreality confirmed in the thread that it's happening, and the "DK2" hardware we (and Mark Zuckerberg) were so impressed by is ready to roll. The initial production run is only supposed to cover some 10,000 of the 45,000 units ordered, so for some your wait is just beginning (until next month). In the meantime, you can check out our hands-on video of the latest and greatest in virtual reality after the break (or the new X-Men related Comic-Con demo) -- hopefully Sony's Project Morpheus team responds to this as quickly as they did on Blu-ray 3D.%Gallery-slideshow184814%

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    Via: Road to VR

    Source: Reddit

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  • That was fast. After Microsoft announced the Xbox One is going to get Blu-ray 3D support in an update soon, Sony's PlayStation Europe arm has responded by finally revealing the same feature is coming to the PS4. There's no word yet on any other other home theater related features we'd love to see make the jump from PS3 to PS4 (Bluetooth remote, DLNA, MP3 playback), or a specific release date, but software update 1.75 is the one we're looking forward to. It's hard to say which is the bigger coincidence -- that this feature is confirmed just days after the XB1 or that it comes as we're finding out about the PSN outage settlement. Hey, at least it's not another stability update.

    Update: The PlayStation US Twitter account has chimed in and done one better -- mentioning that firmware 1.75 will arrive next week. Still no word on any other changes, but that will probably put it ahead of the Xbox One, and give you enough time to order Gravity in 3D from Amazon.

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    Source: PlayStation Europe (Twitter), PlayStation US (Twitter)

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  • Way back in 2011, PlayStation Network services and websites went dark due to "an external intrusion." Anonymous claimed responsibility, names, passwords and possible payment information was lost in a data breach, and everybody in general had a bad time. Sony apologized for the fiasco with a "Welcome Back" package, handing out free (older) games to anybody willing to turn their PlayStation back on -- but that wasn't the end of it. The company still had to face a class action lawsuit for losses caused by identity thefts and the needs of gamers who failed to participate in its apology giveaway before it closed. Now the company has reached a $15 million settlement. The short version? More free stuff.

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    Via: Polygon

    Source: Washington Examiner

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  • It's understandable if having a homicidal alien stab you in the chest isn't your cup of tea, so, thankfully, there are more than a few examples of virtual reality that aren't nearly as gruesome. Take The Shoebox Diorama, for example. It's a series of interactive illustrations for the Oculus Rift, each with a different theme; the latest is about sitting atop a tower of chairs, called The Great Gottlieb. As Kill Screen notes, developer Daniel Ernst describes its premise thusly: this mountain of seats was built by the greatest circus acrobat who ever lived because he wanted a little peace of mind. While seated you can even reach out and grab for a star in the 3D sky, like the kid up above is doing. Sounds pretty tranquil, no? To complete the effect, a recent installation was erected (there's a video of it embedded below), where players sat atop a real stack of chairs and had a fan blowing at the back of their head.

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    Via: Kill Screen, Kotaku

    Source: The Shoebox Diorama (YouTube)

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