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Even though we don’t yet know what the PlayStation 4 looks like or how much it will cost, one of the many details revealed at Sony’s February event was that games will be playable even as they download. Now it turns out we won’t have to wait for the new hardware to experience that feature on a console — Steam, for example, does this on PCs with some games — as The Last of Us leaders Bruce Straley and Neil Druckman told Game Informer the PS3 game will be available as a download the same day it arrives on discs, and is playable once the transfer is 50 percent complete. There’s no word whether other developers will have access to the “magic” Naughty Dog worked out with Sony to make it happen, but as least there will be as little delay as possible before you begin exploring its post-apocalyptic landscape June 14th.
Source: Game Informer
With much of its information obscured it’s hard to say what Google has planned for this new device revealed by its FCC filing, but the model number at least indicates someone has a sense of humor. Called an “H840 device” and rocking the model number H2G2-42 (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – 42, the ultimate answer to the question of life, the universe and everything) it has WiFi of the 802.11 b/g/n varieties, but that’s all we know for sure. The natural question is whether this is a proper revamp of / follow up to the failed Nexus Q project, particularly with its appearance coming so closely after the unveiling of its Google Play Music All Access subscription. Of course, Google has no shortage of mysterious device projects in store, we’re hopeful this one will reveal all of its secrets soon.
With all of the recent chatter about the rise of Bitcoin, a number of theories have been put forth as to how the “digital gold” achieved its status. In this week’s issue of our slate mag, we examine whether the so-called virtual currency is the prototype for a digital economy or if the anonymity that it carries will lead to black market dealings. As far as reviews go, HP’s ElitePad 900 and Sony’s Xperia XP both get extended time in the hands of our editors. Eyes-On takes to the streets of San Francisco with Stealth’s Bomber, Hands-On tackles the latest from Google I/O and Gears of War designer Cliff Bleszinksi offers up his thoughts on next-gen gaming. The weekend is almost here, so we’ll let you get right to it via the usual download links that follow.
Amazon is still determined to snag every TV exclusive possible, and it just scored one of its better deals — or at least, one of the more forward-thinking. It now has the sole unlimited subscription streaming rights to the previous seasons of five NBCUniversal shows. The highlight could be Hannibal, which will reach the service later this year; gamers may also like the crossover SyFy series Defiance, which should be ready in early 2014. Those who just can’t wait to stream something will get their fill through exclusives for Covert Affairs, Grimm and Suits, all of which are in the catalog today. Amazon isn’t completely shutting out rivals like Netflix, however: its expanded NBCU deal includes regular deals for Alphas, Eureka, Smash, Warehouse 13 and a collection of children’s shows destined for Kindle FreeTime Unlimited. While we’d prefer that there be as few exclusives as possible, there’s no question that some Prime members will feel better about springing for that $79 yearly fee.
This week many TV networks are putting on “upfront” where they lay out their content plans for the next year, and The CW President Mark Pedowitz announced it’s bringing full TV episodes streaming to the Apple TV. The CW already has ad supported full episode streaming on several platforms including iOS and Android, Windows 8 and it launched last month on the Xbox 360 (pictured above). Pedowitz indicated the network is working to reach more viewers on more platforms, so Apple TV is probably not the last. In a note to MacRumors The CW confirmed it will mirror the experience on other platforms, with episodes available the day after they air, no cable TV authentication required and supported by advertisements. Les Moonves is president of CBS (which is a part owner of The CW, along with Warner Bros.) and previously remarked on turning down participation in an Apple subscription service funded by advertising revenue. Of course, CBS now does full episode streaming on mobile iOS devices, so we’ll see if this a sign of more changes on the way, although with no release date we don’t know how long we’ll have to wait.
Considering it’s not one of the company’s key operations, it’s safe to say AT&T’s been successful in its efforts to build out U-verse. Now, in an effort to make life on the couch a little less complicated for subscribers, the Rethink Possible network is introducing an all-new On Demand storefront. With a focus on making content easier to discover, AT&T says the UI will make for an intuitive way to navigate the menus. Additionally, you’ll find some novel search tools that should make it easier to find movies and TV shows. U-verse customers will now also see a “My” section, allowing them to quickly access rentals, queued up flicks and promos that AT&T may be offering. The newfangled U-Verse On Demand will be available in more than 45 markets starting today, with more being expected to join “on an ongoing basis throughout the year.”
TiVo, the company that made its fortune by making you forget about live television, is now attempting to revamp the traditional TV guide with a new content-discovery feature for its iPad app. The feature, called “What to Watch Now,” is similar in concept to TiVo’s existing Discovery Bar, though the layout is different. Here, you get seven columns of tiles showing what’s currently airing or what you’ve previously recorded. So whether you’re in the mood for sports, prime time, movies, kids programming or whatever happens to be playing on your favorite channel, you’re a tap away from watching it on your TV — or directly on the iPad if you have a TiVo Stream. And of course you don’t have to watch it right now; you can just as easily schedule a recording or season pass and watch it later.
The new feature does seem handy, but configurable options are minimal. Basically, you’re limited to rearranging the columns into a different order and filtering out specific sports you have little interest in — no, you can’t remove sports completely. Speaking of sports, thanks to TiVo’s partnership with Thuuz, some sporting event tiles have a number between zero and a 100 assigned to them to help draw your attention to the most exciting matches currently in play. The new feature is available immediately via the App Store as an update to the existing TiVo application. Gallery: What to Watch Now
Gallery: What to Watch Now
Remember CASIS, the folks in charge of granting the public access to the national lab onboard the International Space Station, who were looking for the next great research project to send into space? Well, CASIS is still in the process of choosing the most deserving from among our reader submissions, but in the meantime, it’s looking to give away a pair of the mission patches — signed by their creator, famed designer Shepard Fairey — from the inaugural orbital experiment scheduled to arrive on the ISS this fall. To enter for a chance to win one of these exclusive bits of space history, you need only venture beyond the break to read the rules of engagement and fill out the entry form. Best of luck folks, may the force of Fairey be with you.
Google just announced it will be upgrading Google TV units to Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, and China’s TCL has announced it will have the first 4K TV built on the platform. We got a look at TCL’s custom-skinned MoVo Google TV platform and 4K TVs separately at CES (pictured above, and in the gallery) so it only makes sense they’ll be combining the two. Part of TCL’s MoVo customizations include a motion sensor to recognize each user and personalize offerings based on their habits. Called Personal Box Office (PBO) or “Lazy TV” searches the available content and makes a recommendation without the need for a remote or even voice command. The press release indicates it will be available “later this year” although whether that includes a US release like Seiki’s 50-inch Ultra HD set remains to be seen. According to the company it’s being demonstrated at Google I/O this week, we’ll see if we can get some hands-on time tomorrow.
Gallery: TCL CES 2013 booth
Google TV is getting a refreshed YouTube app to go along with its update to the latest versions of Android and Chrome. The video-streaming service now features a sleeker UI, complete with playlists displayed under the video discovery and subscription tabs and larger thumbnails for previewing content. The update also lets you subscribe to a channel with just one click, and it’s now easier to share a clip via Google + as well. Other additions include more in-depth playback controls and support for paid subscriptions. Google TV owners can download the update now — just hit up the source link below.
Via: Android Police