Archive for category: What We’re Excited About

NVIDIA Follows Up Shield Handheld with New Shield Tablet

tablet-controller-pair-1280NVIDIA has taken its hardware lineup to the next logical level with its announcement of the new Shield Tablet. With 8″ of diagonal screen space and the powerful new Tegra K1 processor, the Shield tablet addresses the only real issue I had with the original Shield handheld. While streaming PC titles (either from cloud or from your own PC) to a handheld device is great in theory, PC games, with all of their contextual menus and small text, simply don’t translate well to a 5″ screen–regardless of how beautiful it is. With the Shield Tablet, NVIDIA gets to pack in a ton of technology (including larger speakers, thank you very much!), while at the same time giving its users enough real estate to work with without inducing eye strain. As always, NVIDIA gives its customers a ton of extras, meaning that along with the included DirectStylus 2 (as well as the first GPU-accelerated 3D painting app that’s bundled with it), you’ll still get NVIDIA Gamestream, the GRID Cloud Beta and ShadowPlay…all great features that owners of the original Shield enjoyed; you’ll also be able to enjoy Console Mode, which allows you to stream the action to your big screen television in glorious 1080p.

The most surprising part of the package is the price…with the 16GB Wi-Fi model selling for just $299; there’s also a 32GB model with Wi-Fi and LTE, but no price has been announced yet–though we’re thinking $399 sounds about right (NVIDIA is also offering accessories for the tablet, with a wireless controller announced for $59, and a cover/stand which retails for $39). We’re pretty excited to get our hands on the new Shield Tablet and take it for a test drive…but with no official release date announced, we may have to wait a while; in the meantime, you can click here to learn more on NVIDIA’s official site.

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You can get LG’s flagship G3 on Verizon next week for $99 on contract

Historically, Verizon’s not often the first carrier in the US to announce availability for a new phone. In the case of LG’s latest flagship smartphone, the G3, it’s actually the last. But good things come to those who wait — and are willing to sign…

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Apple revamps iTunes Extras, adding it to Apple TV now and iOS 8 in the fall

Apple’s iTunes Extras feature has always been extremely limited, but that’s just changed. Previously, only desktop users of iTunes could view extras that came with movies purchased from Apple, things like production stills and deleted scenes. Now, as part of iTunes 11.3 — which went out today — along with a push to Apple TV users running the 6.2 version of the software (which was released last week), iTunes Extras will show up alongside any purchased HD films. Apple is also opening it up for movie studios to add additional content at any time, and for free.

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Nintendo’s 3DS gets its first streaming game this September

 We’ve seen quite a bit of game streaming on PlayStation-branded products, but it looks like Sony will gain some possibly unexpected competition. In Japan, at least. When Nintendo 3DS owners in the region play Dragon Quest X Online (DQXO) come its September 4th launch, they won’t be popping a cartridge into the system. No, like the massively multiplayer online (MMO) game’s mobile version, DQXO on Nintendo’s handheld will use streaming tech along the lines of PlayStation Now or OnLive instead of playing from a local cart or internal storage. As Tiny Cartridge reports, you won’t be able to play in 3D as a result, and you’ll constantly need a WiFi connection to access the game — considering that this is an MMO, that should be expected anyway. However, if you’d rather lay down your cash for a physical bit of DQ gear instead, well, there’s always this Metal Slime smartphone.

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Google officially unveils Android TV

With a success under its belt with the Chromecast, Google is officially renewing its assault on the living room with Android TV. Running on Android L, Android TV will run on set-top boxes much like the Apple TV, Fire TV, and Roku, but with an added focus on gaming.

Today’s announcement confirms details gleaned by The Verge this past April. Google TV, launched in 2010 with its apparent ambition to turn your television into a smartphone, is now firmly in the past. Android TV is Google’s rekindled vision for your home’s largest screen, and it’s considerably sleeker and more in line with the competition’s offerings. Entertainment is paramount this time around, as the software surfaces content from the Google Play Store and requisite…

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Google is bringing Android to the car with Android Auto

Google is finally laying out its grand plans to bring Android, the world’s leading mobile operating system, to your car. It’s called Android Auto. It’s the software you’re familiar with, but redesigned for the car. Google says Android Auto is contextually aware, bringing you the information you want when you need it. And it’s been optimized for voice, which means you’ll never need to take your hands off the wheel to use it. Google said that was a priority in their approach to developing Android Auto; Patrick Brady pointed to alarming accident statistics during his presentation at I/O. “There has to be a better way,” he said.

Android Auto heavily incorporates Google Now to help make driving more convenient; the system gives you quick,…

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Samsung unveils Gear Live, its first smartwatch using Android Wear

So the rumors were true: Samsung has revealed its first Android Wear-powered smartwatch, the Gear Live. Details of the device are scarce at the moment, but it mates a squared-off design (much like the Tizen-powered Gear 2) with Google’s wrist-worn…

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Android One will help manufacturers build low-cost phones for developing markets

Google wants to see an Android smartphone in every hand across the world, and today it’s beginning a program designed to help manufacturers make that happen. The initiative, called Android One, creates hardware reference models that other manufacturers can refer to when building their phones. Those references will supposedly allow them to easily create high-quality phones at low costs. They’ll all be running stock Android and receive automatic updates too, though it appears that individual manufacturers will be able to add their own apps on top of that.

The program will begin this fall in India. One example of what the hardware could look like is a model from Micromax, which has a 4.5-inch display, dual-SIM support, an SD card slot, and…

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You Didn’t Really Need All Your Money Did You? – The Steam Summer Sale Is Here

steamsummersale2014Suddenly there was a great disturbance in our bank accounts, as if millions of dollars had cried out in terror. The Steam Summer Sale is upon us. By now those words should elicit both joy and fear from us all.  From 10am PDT today, all the way to June 30, Steam is offering it’s usual deep discounts on countless games. Up first we have The Witcher 2 at $3.99, FarCry 3 at $7.49 along with flash deals on DMC Devil May Cry at $12.49 and Mirror’s Edge at $4.99, not counting many other offers. So over the next 11 days, be prepared to say to yourself “But it’s so cheap. I really should just pick it up” around 20 or 30 times.

The Steam Summer Sale runs from June 19-30 with new deals every day at 10am PDT and new flash deals every 8 hours.

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Amazon’s Fire Phone recognizes everything around you with ‘Firefly’

Amazon’s Fire Phone is a showcase for the company’s various services, but it’s also being positioned as the best possible way to buy products and digital media from Amazon. Jeff Bezos just demoed a new technology called “Firefly” that’s capable of recognizing both objects in the real world and content like music and TV shows. Bezos said Firefly can identify up to 100 million items in all. It’s triggered by holding the same button that serves as a shortcut to the Fire Phone’s camera.

During Bezos’ on-stage demonstration, the Fire Phone almost instantly identified household goods like a container of Nutella. Firefly lets users easily keep track of anything and everything they’ve scanned and quickly buy them from Amazon.com. And just like…

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