You might say the day is never really done in consumer technology news. Your workday, however, hopefully draws to a close at some point. This is the Daily Roundup on Engadget, a quick peek back at the top headlines for the past 24 hours — all handpicked by the editors here at the site. Click on through the break, and enjoy.
Samsung’s getting its own piece of the internet radio pie with Milk. Milk Music, to be exact. The company’s new adless music service brings a unique, Slacker-powered way to explore online radio. The catch? It’s only available for Galaxy devices.
By combining an Oculus Rift, Leap Motion controller and a little know-how, folks at Chaotic Moon studios developed SharkPunch. A game where you… punch sharks. And though it may be humorous, the company sees big potential for 3D-immersive tech in the education industry.
Two weeks after Mobile World Congress, Hewlett Packard quietly released its $170 HP 8 tablet: an 8-inch budget tablet with a (relatively) low res display and mediocre internals. Though, if screen size isn’t an issue, you might consider last year’s similarly-priced Slate 7.
Drones can deliver pizza, dance in synchronous fashion, and now they can electrocute people too. Dubbed the Chaotic Unmanned Personal Intercept Drone, or CUPID for short, this aircraft can deliver 80,000 volts of stopping power directly into your skin.
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Filed under: Misc
My Dearest Friends at Engadget,
With this letter I have enclosed a large, slightly frayed chunk of styrofoam that we all thought resembled the prominent “t” in the Engadget logo – you know, the one wearing the cute Wi-Fi hat. We have no use for this item here at Joystiq, so we thought you might hoist it above your reeking desk-beds, or use it in another story about 3D printers.
Assuming this part of my missive isn’t covered in little white bits, I’d love for you to once again consider my proposal for publishing select content from Joystiq, your sibling website that covers the video game industry in a more granular fashion than your folks do. We review everything in the spectrum between indie and AAA, find the best in the worst games, stream upcoming releases twice a week, and have no qualms about making an MIT professor talk about massively multiplayer Pokémon. That does not happen twice a week, but we can work on it.
Of course, the last thing I want to do is inundate your loyal audience with gaming detritus that they already know, so we’ll pick the most relevant and comprehensive articles for Engadget. How’s this one to start? “How many megapixels was the camera in BioShock? The answer will shock you.”
Ludwig Kietzmann, Editor-in-Chief of Joystiq
P.S. Please do not publish this letter verbatim.
Hello LUDWIG KIETZMANN,
We regret to inform you that delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:
Technical details of permanent failure:
Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected for being “too game-y.” We recommend fewer references to goombas and headshots to avoid this error in the future. The error that the server returned was: 1UP LOL 1337 No relaying allowed – psmtp (state 13).
That said, we’d, uh, love to have you over some time. Not sure when we’re available just yet, but we’ll get back to you really soon. In the meantime, why not just drop those hot Joystiq pieces directly on Engadget so we don’t have to surf all the way over. Surfing is tiring. Uh oh … we’ve dropped the facade, haven’t we?
Sony’s Alpha 7 cameras shook up the photography world by offering full-frame shooting in a small body, but they also have their fair share of quirks, such as slow startup times and sub-par JPEG images. Some of those problems may vanish very soon, though, as Sony plans to roll out big firmware updates for both the Alpha 7 and 7R on March 19th. The two cameras should start faster, and they’ll also get a nebulous “image quality improvement” — hopefully, that means better JPEG output. The upgrade will also unlock more features when using the PlayMemories Mobile app to control either camera, and there’s better support for a recent 70-200mm telephoto lens. We’re not seeing any attempts to speed up the Alphas’ sometimes pokey autofocusing, but the updates should still help early adopters who’ve had live with some noticeable flaws for the past few months.
Source: Sony Japan (translated)
Or at least, he will have done so come April 1st, no foolin‘. Sony just announced that the long time SCEA executive will be making way for his replacement Shawn Layden, current EVP and COO of Sony Network Entertainment International. According to the company, Tretton’s parting is the result of a “mutual agreement,” but naturally, neither side’s saying how that agreement was reached. The move certainly comes as a surprise, as Tretton had been with SCEA for almost 20 years, and was a part of the PlayStation team from the very beginning — most recently overseeing the successful launch of Sony’s most recent console, the PS4. Evidently, that wasn’t enough to keep him around… time will tell if Layden’s a worthy successor.
Image Credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
Source: Sony Computer Entertainment
When Ubisoft showed off Watch Dogs for the first time in 2012, there was no such thing as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Well, okay, they existed in some sense of the word, but both consoles were far from publicly ready, making Watch Dogs an unbelievably pretty game for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Unbelievable to the point that many journalists were incredulous about it not being touted as intended for next-gen, but Ubisoft couldn’t say it was headed to unannounced consoles. In so many words, Watch Dogs was essentially the first “next-gen” game shown off…even before the consoles were unveiled. It’s somewhat hilarious then that we’re here to tell you today that Watch Dogs now has a release date — May 27th — after being delayed past the actual launch of the new consoles. It’s unclear if that means all versions (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PC and Wii U) will arrive on the same day, though the Wii U version was already given a release date sometime after the other versions. Sorry Wii U, owners!
Phones4u have unveiled their on-contract pricing for the Sony Xperia Z2 for the UK and state that it’s set to be available for pre-order on April 11, 2014.
The Sony Xperia Z2 will be available in black and white for free on a 24-month contract from Vodafone and EE at £47 per month. The purple version of the Z2 will be available exclusively at O2, with Phones4u getting the exclusive rights to the white model.
If you pre-order the Xperia Z2 you’ll also get a free Sony SRS-BTX300 wireless speaker, valued at £119, in addition to ”exclusive Sony content including games, music and six movies”, together with a 50% discount on Sony Smartband accessories. Not a bad deal if you’re considering picking up the Z2.
The Xperia Z2 run a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, and a 3,200mAh battery, as well as a 20.7-Megapixel camera.
Drop us a comment if you plan on picking up an Xperia Z2 on April 11th.
The post Sony Xperia Z2 available for UK pre-order April 11 appeared first on AndroidGuys.
It’s been a long time coming, but today the HBO Go app is finally available on PlayStation 3. Sadly, those of us who moved last-gen’s consoles out of the living room to make space for shiny new ones are still in the lurch — the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions are still missing release dates. But for the rest of us, still enjoying The Last of Us‘ DLC or soaking up those delicious free PS+ games, there are episodes of True Detective to watch! Starting today!
In a move that won’t surprise Batfanatics, a new Batman game is headed to Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC at some point this year. The latest caped crusader game entry is titled Batman: Arkham Knight, and it’s set to complete the trilogy that Rocksteady Games started back in 2009 (which includes Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, and doesn’t include Arkham Origins). We’ve dropped the first teaser video below the break, which heavily features both very serious sad talking and a totally sweet Batmobile. We’ll let you decide which is more exciting.
In our count, the first tease shows Penguin, Two-Face, Harley Quinn, and we can hear Scarecrow. That all makes sense given the video’s blurb:
“In the explosive finale to the Arkham series, Batman faces the ultimate threat against the city he is sworn to protect. The Scarecrow returns to unite an impressive roster of super villains, including Penguin, Two-Face and Harley Quinn, to destroy The Dark Knight forever.”
Source: Warner Bros.
Sony has a released a bunch of statistics covering the first four months of life of its new baby. Beyond regular sales figures (six million units so far, and nearly 14 million game sales), some of the more interesting numbers relate to how PlayStation gamers are engaging with the console’s online features. We’re told that half of all PS4 owners have been persuaded to cough up for a PS Plus subscription, which grants access to online multiplayer gaming as well as a number of discounted and free titles. Meanwhile, the ‘Share’ button on the DualShock 4 controller has apparently been used 100 million times to share recorded game highlights with the PS4 community, and 3.6 million gameplay broadcasts have been streamed over Twitch and Ustream — a feature that still hasn’t been enabled on the Xbox One. And who knows? The PS4′s Twitch numbers might have been even higher if people hadn’t gotten themselves banned for playing real-live strip poker.
You may have already followed the announcement of Sony’s Xperia Z2 and Xperia Z2 Tablet last week, but did you know that they are also the first mobile devices to feature MHL 3.0? For those who haven’t caught up, this standard allows 4K video output — over a bandwidth of 6 Gbps — from a micro-USB port, while giving back up to 10W of power to keep your phone or tablet juiced up. Better yet, you also get a dedicated 75 Mbps channel for data transfer, as opposed to just 1 Mbps in earlier versions, which is only enough for HID input (like keyboard, touchscreen, mouse and even gesture control). It’s still snail pace compared to the likes of USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt, but at least you can now transfer files to and from your mobile device over the same cable. Besides, it’s possible to achieve a higher transfer rate of up to 600 Mbps using special connectors, such as USB 3.0′s 10-pin configuration.
At MWC last week, Silicon Image demoed MHL 3.0 — powered by its SiI8620 transmitter chip — working between an Xperia Z2 and a Sony 4K TV, with the bonus capability of navigating through the phone using the TV’s remote. The company also showed off file transfer between a USB drive and a Snapdragon 800 development board over MHL 3.0, though products (likely monitors, set-top boxes and docks) that support this feature won’t be out until later this year. For now, you can check out our demo video after the break.