The Morning After: Monday, March 27th 2017
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 27 March 2017, 6:00 am

Hey, good morning!

Hello from Monday morning. Over the weekend, we welcome the return of a 1998 gaming classic, toured the fanciest toilet showroom you'll ever see, and reported on a self-driving Uber crash. Oh, and in case you forgot, we will finally get to see Samsung's next flagship smartphone later this week.

'NBA Jam' creator talks about Midway's little-known history
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 26 March 2017, 7:57 pm

If you hung around arcades in the 1990s, you were likely extremely familiar with Midway sports games like NBA Jam and NFL Blitz. Apparently, though, even these classics have a few secrets left. Former Midway design lead Mark Turmell has participated in a Reddit AMA where he revealed a handful of surprises about Midway games. For instance, he confirmed that pre-release versions of NBA Jam did have Michael Jordan -- the developers had to yank him out just weeks before launch due to his Nike deal. In fact, there were custom editions given to Jordan, Ken Griffey and Gary Payton that put each of them in the game.

Source: Reddit

'StarCraft: Remastered' upgrades a real-time strategy classic
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 26 March 2017, 1:56 pm

Blizzard is legendary for keeping old games alive, but it's going the extra mile this time around. The studio has unveiled StarCraft: Remastered, an overhaul that drags the 1998 real-time strategy game (including the Brood War expansion) into the modern era. It's getting the obligatory fresh coat of paint, including higher-resolution graphics (with support for 4K resolution), improved audio and support for Blizzard's current game launcher and multiplayer network. However, the team is also using this as an excuse to 'fix' the game by adding content and features you take for granted. There will be reasons to play even if you've played the classic title to death.

Via: Kotaku

Source: Blizzard

Germany wants to regulate a 24-hour livestream as a broadcaster
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 March 2017, 11:02 pm

You might want to think twice about running a non-stop livestream just because you can -- at least in Germany, regulators will want to have a word with you. They've told the 24-hour let's play channel PietSmietTV that it has to apply for a broadcasting license by April 30th if it wants to keep running. While it's operating through Twitch and YouTube instead of TV or radio, it technically meets all the legal definitions of a broadcaster: it's a "linear information and communication service" aimed at the public, with an editorial focus and not meant for personal purposes. Channel founder Peter Smits is respecting the decision, so there isn't going to be a fight.

Via: Heise (translated)

Source: WBS (translated)

Digital downloads killed 150 GameStop stores
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 March 2017, 6:34 am

It's game over for at least 150 GameStop stores. The retailer has announced that it's shutting down 2 to 3 percent of 7,500 shops across the globe after sales and earning plummeted last year. According to The Wall Street Journal, the company was affected by the shift to digital downloads. More and more people now prefer installing their games straight from their console's online store instead of buying physical copies, that GameStop's sales dropped 14 percent in 2016. It did especially bad this past holiday season when its sales dipped 19 percent. As a result, its fourth-quarter profits fell 16 percent and its shares went down by about 12 percent, as well.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

The Morning After: Weekend Edition
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 March 2017, 8:00 am

Letter from the Editor

There's something about the internet that turns grown-ass adults into sniveling, name-calling adolescents. We make dick jokes, start flame wars and lol so hard when others fail. In my six years at Engadget, I've learned the hard way why they say "Never read the comments." I've been called a "lady guy," a "perverted piece of shit" and a "pathetic and icky chronic wanker" by commenters with screen names that are about as original as a JanSport backpack on the first day of school.

We're playing 'Splatoon 2's Global Testfire and you should too
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 March 2017, 2:22 pm

You won't be able to buy the follow up to Nintendo's hit Wii U competitive shooter until Summer, but if you have a Switch you play the game today. Over the course of the next three days, Nintendo will hosting the Splatoon 2 Global Testfire -- an online multiplayer demo that teases gamers with the sequel's levels, weapons and whimsical style in six, one hour chunks. The first two are today at 12pm PT (3pm ET) and 8PM PT (11PM ET).

Logitech's CEO says you can innovate and be humble
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 March 2017, 1:00 pm

Logitech is a rare technology company. It's been around for 35 years, all the while finding different ways to thrive as an independent accessory maker. But despite being a well-known brand, it's never been considered "hip" like Apple or Beats. Instead of betting big on showy new products, Logitech has always focused on finding successful niches where it can build a small, but loyal following. And according to the company's CEO, Bracken Darrell, he wouldn't have it any other way. At SXSW last week, I sat down with Darrell to chat about the road ahead for Logitech.

Xbox One launch title 'Ryse' is free to play next month
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 March 2017, 11:47 am

April is fast approaching, which means another handful of games will be free to play on Xbox One through the Games with Gold program. During the course of next month, four titles -- two for Xbox One and two for Xbox 360 -- will be free to download. The most notable of the group, Ryse: Son of Rome, will be available for players to download during the entire month of April. If you'll recall, Ryse was an Xbox One launch title back in 2013.

Source: Major Nelson, Xbox Wire

The Morning After: Friday, March 24th 2017
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 March 2017, 6:00 am

Hey, good morning! It's Friday!

We made it. This Friday, hackers are threatening Apple, read about experiences of online dating when as a woman in her 40s, the good and the bad in Mass Effect: Andromeda. Oh and how to dress like an adult -- with some liberating online help.

Razer's 'paid to play' program bribes gamers to use its Cortex software
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 March 2017, 1:00 am

Lingering in the mind of every gamer is a silly, whimsical idea that very few manage to make a reality. "Gee," we think to ourselves. "It sure would be neat if I could get someone to pay me to play video games." Most of us know it's a futile dream, but it's a desire Razer is banking on. Today the company announced its "paid to play" initiative, a program that's almost exactly what it sounds like. Yes, Razer is going to reward gamers for play their favorite games, but those players won't be earning cash -- they'll be earning ZSilver points from the company's new digital currency platform.

What we love and hate about 'Mass Effect: Andromeda'
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 March 2017, 1:30 pm

A veteran Mass Effect player and a complete novice walk into a bar.

This isn't the beginning of a terrible joke: Instead, it's the premise of a conversation between Engadget associate editor Timothy J. Seppala and senior reporter Jessica Conditt, both of whom have been playing the latest Mass Effect game, Andromeda, over the past few weeks. Tim has devoured and adored the Mass Effect series for almost a decade while Jessica has never touched the games before.

How does Andromeda compare to previous Mass Effect games? Does it stand on its own as a worthy addition to the sci-fi genre? Are the animations always this messed up? In the following conversation, Tim and Jessica discuss Andromeda's highs and lows from two vastly different perspectives -- and somehow, they end up with similar conclusions.

Spoilers for the entire Mass Effect series reside below; you've been warned.

'Destiny 2' is expected to arrive this September
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 March 2017, 10:40 am

Destiny had a rocky start, but the first-person space shooter eventually ended up living up to the promise it showed back when it was announced. Time flies, though, and the original game is nearly three years old, and Bungie has promised a full sequel will be coming soon. Now, thanks to an poster image apparently leaked by an Italian retailer (and posted by Italian site Lega Network), we can be pretty sure that Destiny 2 will arrive this September. Friday, September 8th in Europe, to be precise -- which means the US release date could be the prior Tuesday, September 5th.

ICYMI: Watching plants grow and playing 'Mario Kart' with an actual car
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 March 2017, 9:30 am

Today on In Case You Missed It: The thought of watching a plant grow seems, well boring. But researchers from the Institute of Science and Technology in Austria used lasers, fluorescent lights and a microscope to track the growth of a flowering weed's roots. The end result is a close-up 3D video that looks more like a glowing burrowing worm than a plant. The researchers also twisted the plate the plants are growing on to see how the roots adjust to changes in gravity which could be helpful when we need to grow food in space.

The Morning After: Thursday, March 23rd 2017
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 March 2017, 6:00 am

Hey, good morning!

Welcome to your Thursday morning. Now relax: we tap technology for ways to relax and decompress, get excited by Netflix's next big budget project, and learn how Google is trying to make location sharing happen. Again.

Three years later, 'Diablo III' Seasons mode heads to consoles
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 March 2017, 7:39 pm

It might be time to rekindle your love for the loot-fest of Diablo III. A big new patch with a ton of tweaks for the hack and slash dungeon crawler will land on March 31st. The update finally brings the popular Seasons mode to Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Seasons has been available to PC players since 2014 and now console players will finally get to join in the fun. We've asked Blizzard why it took so long to bring Seasons to consoles and will update if we receive a response.

Via: Kotaku

Source: Blizzard

Nintendo cites 'manufacturing variation' for Joy-Con issues
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 March 2017, 9:24 pm

Since the Switch started to show up in gamer's homes, some have been complaining about issues with its wireless Joy-Cons. Problems with losing connection, particularly on the left one, have plagued some enough to attempt DIY fixes, but in a statement to Kotaku, Nintendo said there could be a reason for problems.

Source: Kotaku, CNET

'Super Mario Run' lands on Android a day early
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 March 2017, 6:41 pm

Nintendo notoriously resisted making any of its games available on mobile platforms, a significant move for a company that's been making handheld titles for almost three decades. Then, with almost no notice, it released Super Mario Run for iOS back in December to cacophonous fanfare and promised an Android version in March. Originally planned to come out on March 23rd, the floodgates have opened a bit early: Super Mario Run is live in the Google Play store.

Via: Nintendo (Twitter)

Source: Google Play

Destroy your opponents in 'Rocket League' Dropshot mode
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 March 2017, 2:41 pm

Chaotic jet-car soccer game Rocket League just got a little crazier with its new Dropshot mode, which changes how you play the game. This free update rolls out to Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC today, bringing a new competitive tournament as well as some goofy Easter-themed items for your in-game automobile.

Source: Psyonix

PS4 update is causing WiFi problems for some players
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 March 2017, 3:25 pm

Sony's big PS4 version 4.50 update landed two weeks ago and despite the boost in framerates, some owners are not happy their consoles have been effectively cut off from the internet. According to a thread started on the PlayStation Forums on the same day as the release, the update completely broke WiFi connectivity for a number of PS4 players.

While some users (including at least one Engadget staffer) thought the WiFi issues might be an isolated case, the two-week-old forum thread has gathered about 250 posts, all complaining about the NW-31297-2 error code. Despite Sony's troubleshooting tips, reconfiguring the console's WiFi setup won't fix the problem and some gamers have resorted to begrudgingly buying WiFi extenders with a built-in ethernet port to bridge the console's WiFi gap.

When reached for comment by Engadget, Sony acknowledged the issue but didn't offer a much better solution just yet. "We are aware and are looking into the situation," a Sony spokesperson said via email. So, if you're unable to run a cable between your PS4 and your router, you'll just have to sit tight and hope Sony releases another update in time for that sweet Wildlands DLC.

Via: Polygon

Source: PlayStation Forums

'Castlevania' successor 'Bloodstained' is coming to the Switch
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 March 2017, 8:31 am

The next game by Castlevania mastermind Koji Igarashi is coming to the Nintendo Switch. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night was pitched on Kickstarter in 2015 as a spiritual successor to the beloved gothic adventure series. With Igarashi at the helm and the promise of new, updated 'Metroidvania' gameplay -- a style that fuses side-scroller platforming with deep exploration and RPG mechanics -- the project raised more than $5.5 million from 64,867 backers. The updated platform support does come with a downside, however -- the Wii U version is being cancelled.

Via: VideoGamer

Source: Bloodstained (Kickstarter)

The Morning After: Wednesday, March 22nd 2017
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 March 2017, 6:00 am

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

How would you like a stealth delivery of Apple announcements? Well you've got them. While there's nothing earth-shattering, there is a new tablet, a vivid new iPhone and a new video app. Also in today's Adult Week series, we digitally clear out our PC and feel all the better for it.

First Xbox One 'Tech Series' controller adds tactical styling
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 March 2017, 8:47 pm

Console players with money to burn might find their stock controllers just a little too drab one day and go hunting for a more stylish gamepad. Xbox One owners are particularly in luck, since Microsoft seems to add new color and design schemes every few months. The latest remix of the console's standard wireless controller comes in the new Tech series, and the first in that line looks perfect for the aesthete in your life that appreciates geometric designs and military chic.

Source: Xbox Wire

'Overwatch's' four-legged tank hero is here (for casual players)
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 March 2017, 4:38 pm

Overwatch's new badass robot centaur Orisa makes her official debut today, but players hoping to climb those Season 4 ranks with her are going to have to wait. Blizzard is disabling her from Competitive mode for one week, according to the game's official forums and Twitter account, so people can get to know her a little better first.

Via: Polygon

Source: Blizzard

The hidden depth of mobile puzzle game 'Where Cards Fall'
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 March 2017, 2:30 pm

We're sitting in a circle on the floor of a decadent San Francisco hotel lobby, crowds of people milling around the couches and stairways. The young men of Snowman, the studio behind Alto's Adventure, watch as Sam Rosenthal sets up a small iPad, preparing to show off his latest game, Where Cards Fall. Rosenthal is the co-founder of the Game Band, a small Los Angeles studio working with Snowman to bring its new project to iOS, Apple TV and Steam this autumn.

Rosenthal flips through a slideshow of character designs, explaining the premise as he goes. Where Cards Fall is a top-down, 3D puzzle game that has players build houses of cards to navigate tricky environments. It follows a handful of teenagers over the course of 10 years, from adolescence to college and finally adulthood. The art is cartoonish yet polished, as if the designs of Oxenfree had been transformed into 3D.

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