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  • The developers at Harmonix aren't afraid to hit the reset button if something isn't working correctly. Chances are, strumming a plastic Stratocaster changed quite a bit before you ever even started playing "Creep" by Radiohead in Rock Band. Same goes for stepping to the beat of Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" in Dance Central, too. That willingness to start from square one time and again? Well, it's carried through to the developer's latest Kinect title, Fantasia: Music Evolved, out now for Xbox 360 and Xbox One, as well. The team's aim, seemingly regardless of project, is for whatever you're doing in one of their titles to seem perfectly obvious and natural.

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  • Nintendo was dropping Smash Brothers info-bombs left and right last night, but the company also felt compelled to dive a little deeper into how the Wii U version of the game will play with those curious little Amiibos. You know, the Nintendo character-themed figurines that both look adorable and store game information via NFC? Now, thanks to the marketing wizards in Redmond, we've got a four-minute chronicle of young love, combat and tiny figures that explains just about everything. Key takeaways? You're not actually playing as your Amiibo character -- instead, the little avatar springs to life as a support character, getting in people's faces and generally having a grand ol' time once you tap the figure to your Wii U's gamepad.

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    Source: Nintendo (YouTube)

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  • 3rd Annual Reel Stories, Real Lives Benefiting The Motion Picture & Television Fund

    In an effort to make a push for its recently unveiled Samsung NX1, the South Korean company is now recruiting celebrities to help along the way. As part of this, Samsung has revealed that Joseph Gordon-Levitt, known for roles in movies like 10 Things I hate About You and The Dark Knight Rises, is set to shoot a 4K UHD film entirely on the NX1 flagship camera. The production, titled In a City, will see Gordon-Levitt travel across the world to explore the daily lives of people and capture what makes every place unique. Samsung's partnership with the actor is also going to include working with the community from hitRECord, a production company founded by Gordon-Levitt which focuses on creating different categories of online videos. In a City is expected to be released on December 11th, and it'll be available to watch on the Samsung Camera Facebook and YouTube pages.

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  • Halo Spinoff

    The game industry is capable of building incredible worlds, engrossing us with believable characters, and empowering us to destroy (or create!) both. The unfortunate side of all that enchantment is the shaky business models that much of the industry are built on, which leads to cyclical, annualized layoffs that affect even the most successful franchises. Just look at the recent history of Joystiq's layoffs tag: it's ridiculous. Why is this the case? Kotaku's Jason Schreier did an excellent job reporting that last year, right here, so we're not going to duplicate efforts. This piece is about what you can do, should you find yourself being put through the wringer this holiday.

    Oh, and yes, the annualized layoffs tend to happen around the holidays (which coincides with many companies' financial quarters ending). Sucks, right?

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    Source: GameDevTalk

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  • The BBC's extensively redesigned iPlayer has been gradually lumbering its way onto different compatible devices since it was first launched earlier this year. YouView's hybrid Freeview/IPTV set-top boxes have, until now, been sorely neglected, which is somewhat strange given the BBC is one of YouView's principal investors. Well, better late than never, the new iPlayer has finally started rolling out to YouView set-top boxes, alongside the addition of the BBC's Connected Red Button features. If you're in possession of a YouView- or BT-issued box made by Humax (Huawei's also built a few), then these goodies will show up shortly, if not today. TalkTalk customers, however, are still playing the waiting game, though they can expect to receive the updates "in due course."

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    Source: YouView

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  • If you'd rather that your non-game Oculus Rift experiences be nonfiction, it looks like that wish is coming your way rather soon. Next week, Zero Point hits Steam and it offers full 360 degree views of a Department of Defense military training camp, a beach scene and even the extremely crowded LA Convention Center during E3 2013. The rub of the video is that it's the first of its kind -- a documentary about virtual reality, filmed in VR and made for the platform. It's very meta. Each scene is explorable, with either head tracking, a game controller or a mouse running the action. It's apparently compatible with all past-and-future Oculus dev kits, and will cost $15 come its October 28th release. However, IGN notes that if you purchase before November 4th it'll only run you $12. Want a preview before you buy? Of course you do; just head past the break for that.

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    Via: IGN

    Source: Steam

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  • The internet's been blamed for making a lot of things redundant, and you'd be justified in assuming that that extended to America's Funniest Home Videos too. Except, surprisingly, the wealth of cat videos and stripper-pole-fail clips online hasn't had a fatal effect on the long-running show, according to Bloomberg. How the series has managed to survive is apparently been by embracing the internet and creating a trio of YouTube channels, a Facebook page that, according to AFV's Vin Di Bona, gets an average 5,000 to 10,000 shares per post and a partnership with online video giant Maker Studios. Di Bona also says that the wealth of AFV digital content is driving viewers back to its traditional broadcasts too.

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    Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

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  • The early '90s were a simpler time: Mullets were acceptable, everyone was wearing Zubaz pants and rocking your dad's flannel didn't make you a hipster. In an effort to bring us back to the era when grunge ruled the earth, the folks at formerly-defunct 3D Realms has bundled 32 of its classic games into one package and is selling 'em DRM-free over at its website. What's in the collection of almost everything the company produced? A killaton of games (and a remastered soundtrack, apparently), that's what; including, but not limited to: Duke Nukem 3D, Commander Keen: Goodbye Galaxy, Wolfenstein 3D and Wacky Wheels. The anthology will set you back $40, but if you act within the next two days you can get it for half of that. There's a video after the break if you need a refresher course on who the company is, too. 3D Realms also promises that in the coming months it'll have much more to talk about including its in-development games. Come get some, indeed.

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    Source: 3D Realms

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  • Think you know everything there is to about Super Smash Bros for Wii U? Think again: during today's Smash-centric Nintendo Direct event, the gaming giant announced an eight-player mode for absolutely bananas action. How will you even keep track of all that madness on the Wii U? We're willing to find out. There are sure to be some more announcements from the broadcast, and we've embedded the video just after the break.

    Update: Remember the create-a-stage feature from Super Smash Bros. Brawl? Well it's back in the Wii U version and it's gotten a pretty big upgrade thanks to the console's touchscreen-based Gamepad. You can now draw out your custom levels using the stylus (sorta like Mario Maker) and even share them online with others. Pretty neat!

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    Source: Nintendo

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  • Can you smell that? It's the aroma of game lovers' tears everywhere as they realize their bank accounts likely can't sustain buying every title coming out in the annual deluge of fall video game releases. That's to say nothing of the amount of time you'd need to play absolutely everything that's come out since September. Or even on November 18th alone! But what is each console offering exclusively this holiday? That's a bit more manageable, and we compare them below.

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  • Sky's Now TV puck is an inexpensive way to smarten up your TV, but perhaps you wish it looked a little smarter itself. In a bid to get its box on a few more Christmas lists, Sky's cooked up five, limited edition variants that swap the plain white exterior for something a bit more colourful, including one with a Lego Movie-inspired skin. Sky recently made a special edition puck to celebrate the newest series of The Walking Dead, but it was only available to competition winners. These five new designs will go on general sale November 24th with the same £10 price tag as a plain ol' Now TV box.

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  • The folks in Microsoft's Xbox One update preview program are a pretty privileged bunch. Hot on the heels of this week's announcement that the next patch for its new console will bring custom backgrounds, Redmond's giving that access to the testers starting today. This is in addition to the ability to use a custom color or achievement image for your backdrop, and comes as an update to the system's media player app. Sounds pretty simple to use, too: just open the JPEG or PNG file of choice from a USB drive, hit the controller's menu button and choose to set the image as a background. What's more, the outfit has even posted a Photoshop template for calculating just what in your picture will and won't be obscured by the Xbox One's tile-filled dashboard. Voila, now you'll have something other than the infinite blackness of eternal night to occupy the system's UI.

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    Source: Major Nelson

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  • Amazon announced the impending arrival of its Fire TV set-top box in the UK last month, and right on cue, it's now available for £79 through the company's online store. It's Amazon's attempt to steal market share from the likes of Apple, Google and Roku, though the only thing that really differentiates it from competitor products is its second job as an Android mini-console. And for that, you need one or more of the Fire game controllers, which go for £35 a pop. Fire TV also enables you to push content from smartphones and tablets to the big screen, and its remote has a built-in microphone for shouting search criteria into. Otherwise, the set-top box is merely a window to various content streaming apps, with Amazon's services obviously taking pride of place, potentially making it the best option for loyal patrons of the Prime ecosystem.

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    Source: Amazon

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  • Denon Heos 5 and Sonos Play:5 speakers

    If you thought Denon's Heos wireless speakers were a little too similar in purpose to Sonos' range, you're not alone. Sonos has sued D&M Holdings (the company that owns Denon) for allegedly violating "at least" four patents. The audio gear maker accuses the Denon team of making "little to no effort" to distinguish its speakers -- while they look different and have more inputs, the core concept is supposedly the same. Sonos says it's only asking for Denon to come up with "new ideas," and won't chase after royalties if the two sides can reach an agreement. It's not clear whether or not Denon plans to fight back, but it tells VentureBeat that it takes the lawsuit "very seriously" and will have a full response soon.

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    Via: VentureBeat

    Source: Sonos Blog

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  • So, you put in for the time off from work to hit December's PlayStation Experience event in Las Vegas. The next logical step, of course, is buying tickets and come Friday you can do just that. As previously reported, a single day pass will set you back $50, and it's $90 for a two-day ticket to get in Sin City's Venetian Hotel. In a video on the PlayStation Blog, the outfit touts some "400,000 square feet of PlayStation" will be open to the public in addition to showing brief snippets of footage from The Order: 1866 and what looks like the follow-up to Dark Souls, Bloodborne. So those are likely two of the games you'll get some hands-on time with if you attend. What else is going on there? Panels with developers and Sony employees and such, including Capcom's Yoshinori Ono, who's perhaps best known for his work on the Street Fighter series. Feel like playing gumshoe for more clues? The teaser clip below should provide ample opportunities.

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    Source: PlayStation Blog

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  • What's stopping you from creating the first killer Kinect 2.0 hack? Well, now that Microsoft's released the do-all sensor's SDK to the public for free you don't have many more excuses. The software development kit is available without any fees and what's more, you can now put any finished apps up for sale on the Windows Store as well. Just like that! To help developers along even further, Redmond is releasing an adapter that makes the Xbox One Kinect play nicely with a Windows 8 PC. Meaning, they won't have to use a hack to create a hack (or buy a redundant Windows Kinect). The $50 USB 3.0 dongle not only brings price parity between the two previously separate cameras, but it's another instance of Microsoft reversing a previous hardline policy to better suit its customers too. Now, get out there and get cracking -- the hardware giant already has a head start on you.

    Update: Developer Ubi Interactive, known for large-screen gesture control installations, has posted a trio of brief, new videos demoing some fresh uses for the Kinect 2.0. We've embedded them below.

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    Source: Official Microsoft Blog

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  • This week, a game about a genocidal maniac was announced. There's a video trailer for the game that depicts ultraviolent bedlam: a murder spree of innocent victims, many begging for their lives. So it's basically another week in video games, then? Not quite.

    Okay, okay -- let's rewind and unpack. An unknown development studio from Poland (Destructive Creations) released an announcement trailer (with extremely violent gameplay and sociopathic dialog) for its upcoming PC game, Hatred. The video's around 90 seconds long and, if you're like me, you'll likely find it difficult to sit through. Before the very, very angry main character begins his murder spree, he declares, "My genocide crusade begins here." He's a tall, muscular, white guy with long black hair -- he sort of looks like Glenn Danzig -- and he's about to kill a lot of people. But isn't that what you do in loads of other games? Yes! But also no.

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  • In the early days of HDTV, BBC's nature docs were the go-to showpieces for your new home theater gear. Some time has passed since then, and Planet Earth on Blu-ray doesn't look quite as good as it used to. With Life Story, however, the outfit's jumped into the world of UHD 4K filming for the first time. How's it look? Terrifying. Not for the reason you might expect, though. The teaser clip is of the death-defying journey that Greenland's barnacle geese chicks take to leave their nests. Because they can't fly, the adorable goslings have to glide some 400 feet down a sheer cliffside, to their parents and the feeding ground below. And by glide, we mean enter a controlled fall for a bit and then miraculously survive after tumbling along the rock wall. If the streaming clip over at the source isn't enough for you, the full episode debuts on BBC One at 9 p.m. this Thursday and we've embedded the series' trailer just below.

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    Source: BBC

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  • The wait is over, people of the interwebs. Right on cue, Fox has launched Simpsons World, the online hub where it will be streaming every Simpsons episode ever broadcasted. Even though the content is free to browse, you do need a cable login to start watching -- it's simple, if you're subscribed to a package that offers FXX, a channel owned by Fox, then you're good to go. In addition to the Simpsons World website, all Simpsons episodes can also be streamed via the FXNow mobile application, which is available on iOS and Android. Sure, it's only Tuesday, but at least now you have a clue of what you'll be doing this weekend.

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    Source: Simpsons World

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  • Rainn Wilson introducing Josh Ritter

    Best known for his roles in The Office and The Rocker, actor-turned-producer Rainn Wilson is reportedly getting ready to bring some of Vine's biggest personalities to TV. According to Deadline, Wilson is set to produce a comedy show called Hollywood and Vine, featuring popular members of Twitter's video-focused social network, like Curtis Lepore, Jerry Purpdrank, Simone Shepherd and a few others. Hollywood and Vine, which is said to be written by Lance Krall (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia), will be based on following the lives of these Vine personalities as they try to make it into the crazed world that is Hollywood. A co-creator of Soul Pancake, the media company behind characters such as Kid President, Wilson is quite familiar with people who have gained fame thanks to the internet -- now it's just a matter of translating that to TV instead of YouTube.

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    Via: The Verge

    Source: Deadline

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  • Starting today, Dish customers will no longer have access to a number of networks from Turner Broadcasting, after both parties couldn't come to terms on a contract extension for these. Among the channels now removed from Dish's programming are: Boomerang, Cartoon Network, CNN, CNN en Español, HLN, truTV and Turner Classic Movies. As you'll notice, others like TBS and TNT aren't included here, and that's because they're part of a different agreement. Dish is unsure of when, or if, the missing Turner channels will be brought back, but the company says it is "committed to reaching an agreement that promptly returns this content to Dish's programming lineup." If they do, we'll let you know as soon as that happens.

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    Source: Dish

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  • We're sending one lucky Engadget reader (and a guest of choice) to Engadget Expand in New York City on November 7-8, thanks to our friends at JetBlue Airways and our sponsors. What's more, if you're one of the 10 runners-up, Suitable Technologies will give you a block of time to mosey around the Expand floor remotely with its BeamPro device.

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  • Microsoft pitches the Xbox One not as a run-of-the-mill games console, but as a fully fledged home entertainment hub. For most Americans, making use of the One's TV integration features is as simple as plugging the HDMI output from their set-top box straight into the console. Europeans don't have it quite as easy. With old-school coaxial cables still in common use, Microsoft cooked up the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner: a small USB peripheral that turns coaxial outputs into something the console can understand. Today, the TV Tuner has finally gone on sale in the UK for £25, and in France, Germany, Italy and Spain for €30. Once set up, you can start watching TV through your Xbox One, using the console's OneGuide EPG to browse channel listings with a controller, or with voice commands if you have a Kinect camera. The Xbox also becomes a make-shift DVR, allowing you to pause and rewind live TV. And when you absolutely have to spend time in another room, you can continue to watch live TV on mobile devices by streaming it through the Xbox One SmartGlass app.

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    Via: Eurogamer

    Source: Microsoft (Xbox Wire)

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  • Microsoft only just unleashed its October update for the Xbox One, and now it's talking about what to expect next month. The update will hit consoles for those in the preview test group soon, and adds many features Major Nelson and crew say the community has been asking for, including custom backgrounds (with the PS4 getting themes soon, it's Blu-ray 3D all over again), and extra details for profiles. The custom backgrounds will launch with a selection of pictures and the ability to post based on achievements, and after a media player update later in the month, gamers will be able to import any image they want. A returning feature from the Xbox 360 will put details like your location and custom bio back on the profile page, plus a self-curated selection of game clips and achievements. Oh, and those game clips? You'll be able to share them with the masses easily, because the update adds the ability to share any of your favorites directly to Twitter. Check after the break for a video demo and more details on what's coming.

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    Source: Xbox Wire

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  • The driving force behind some of Ubisoft's most successful franchises and best moments is no longer with the game maker as of today. Jade Raymond, executive producer on Assassin's Creed II, Watch Dogs and Splinter Cell: Blacklist, has left the company after ten years of service, the company announced. To do what, exactly? That's anyone's guess. She's been in the AAA space for a good portion of her career, working on The Sims Online prior to joining Ubisoft and being a key voice in the creation of the first two Assassin's Creeds. Given her experience running Ubisoft's Toronto studio, though, it might not be much of a stretch to imagine her going indie and assembling a quick and nimble team entirely of her own -- it wouldn't be the first time we've seen it happen.

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    Source: Ubisoft

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