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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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  • Wyatt Cenac: Brooklyn

    This week baseball fans tune into their championship series as two once-unlikely contenders do battle for the crown. If you prefer your drama on stage and screen however, you'll probably be saying goodbye to HBO's Boardwalk Empire this weekend as it wraps up its run. Netflix and Amazon both bring highlights on streaming this week too: Netflix has comedian and Daily Show contributor Wyatt Cenac plus the documentary E-Team, while Amazon brings the first few episodes for season two of its comedy series Alpha House. Hit the gallery or just look after the break to check out each day's highlights, including trailers and let us know what you think (or what we missed).%Gallery-slideshow234339%

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  • There's no doubt that video on demand is about to go through its own gold rush era. From giant TV networks like CBS to wireless providers such as Rogers, it looks as if everyone wants to join the fun before it's too late. Taking note of this, film studio Lionsgate and Tribeca Enterprises, the media company behind the Tribeca Film Festival, announced today they are teaming up on a new, subscription-based video-streaming platform. The service will be known as Tribeca Short List and is slated to launch sometime during the first half of 2015. You can expect a "prestigious selection" of movie content from Lionsgate, which will be curated by Tribeca with help from "leading voices in contemporary culture."

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    Source: Tribeca Enterprises

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  • Video-streaming titan Netflix is set to continue its original production efforts with Between, an upcoming six-episode drama series. The story will be produced in partnership with Shomi, a video on-demand service from Canadian wireless carrier Rogers; and City, a television station based out of Toronto. Strangely enough, when Shomi's VOD offering was launched roughly a couple of months ago, it was pegged as a direct competitor to Netflix -- though that's clearly not going to be the case. Plot-wise, Between follows the story of a strange disease in a small town that has abolished everyone under 21 years old, and was created by Canada's own Michael McGowan, director of Still Mine and One Week, among other relatively popular indie films. No definite timing yet, but the series is going to premiere on Shomi and City in Canada, while the rest of the world will be able to catch it on Netflix.

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    Source: Rogers Media

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  • If there's one slight criticism to be made of the free Sky Go service -- which lets Sky subscribers stream live TV and on demand content to computers and mobile devices -- it's that you can't access the full selection of channels found on your set-top box at home. The same can be said of Virgin's equivalent TV Anywhere service, and bit by bit, both providers are strengthening these offerings with additional channels. Today, it's Sky's turn to announce a handful you can now stream through Sky Go for the first time, including Channel 5, which is home to the new Batman-inspired Gotham series, and its sister channels 5* and 5USA. British Eurosport 2 is also now available on Sky Go, alongside the freshly launched channel ITVBe -- also known as the place braincells go to die.

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    Source: Sky

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  • Google Nexus Player at the FCC

    Well, that didn't take long. Just a couple of days after Google stopped pre-orders of the Nexus Player while it waited for the FCC's all-clear, its Android TV puck has received approval. There aren't any surprises in the regulatory filing, but it should let you both pre-order the WiFi media hub soon and (hopefully) get it around that originally promised November 3rd release date. If you were worried that you'd have to make do with a Chromecast for a little while longer, you can relax.

    Update: And now the Nexus Player is finally available for order again. Though, it's not set to leave the warehouse for another three to four weeks. So you'll just need to be patient.

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    Source: FCC

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  • Disney's upcoming animated film Big Hero 6, about a boy and his soft robot (and a gang of super-powered friends), is perhaps the largest big-budget mash-up you'll ever see. Every aspect of the film's production represents a virtual collision of worlds. The story, something co-director Don Hall calls "one of the more obscure titles in the Marvel universe," has been completely re-imagined for parent company Disney. Then, there's the city of San Fransokyo it's set in -- an obvious marriage of two of the most tech-centric cities in the world. And, of course, there's the real-world technology that not only takes center stage as the basis for characters in the film, but also powered the onscreen visuals. It's undoubtedly a herculean effort from Walt Disney Animation Studios, and one that's likely to go unnoticed by audiences.

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  • Google Nexus Player

    If you were dead set on ordering the Nexus Player this weekend, you're about to be disappointed. Google has quietly halted pre-orders of its Android TV media hub because it has "not been approved" by the FCC -- the company would be in trouble with US regulators if it took your hard-earned dollars for something it can't ship. There aren't any hints as to when the Nexus Player will get the all-clear, but you can be sure that we'll keep our eyes peeled. Hopefully, the approval arrives before November 3rd so that you can get that Android TV set-top box on time.

    Update: And now the Nexus Player is finally available for order again. Though, it's not set to leave the warehouse for another three to four weeks. So you'll just need to be patient.

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    Via: Android Police

    Source: Google Play

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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 new-gen consoles. Because games! They're fun!

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    Source: Twitch

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  • At last, our long national nightmare is nearly over. Earlier this week HBO announced plans to introduce a standalone streaming service in 2015. This is especially exciting for those of us who've been "borrowing" our parents' HBO GO access. Are you ready to put your money where your mouth is? Stop by the Engadget forums to let us know if you'd be willing to pay for access to HBO's catalog -- how much.

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    Source: Engadget Forums

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