Among the many improvements of moving to a new console generation, the Xbox One left a few features from the Xbox 360 behind. Now, Microsoft is testing a preview for its April update that brings back one of the most requested features: voice messages. As annoying as voicemail can be on a phone, simply saying a quick message while trying to coordinate a raid in Destiny can often be faster than typing it with a controller or even the SmartGlass app. One more bonus? The voice messages will work across Xbox One and Xbox 360. The software update with the feature is already available to preview members, check after the break for more details and a demo video.
Source: Xbox Wire
Ten years ago, multiplayer-only games went through a severe identity crisis. More people than ever were gaming together, but they were increasingly playing online only. The small-stakes joy of twitchy experiences like Street Fighter II and Super Off Road, games meant to be played in short sessions preferably in the same room, weren't feasible anymore. Video games have always been expensive to make, so multiplayer modes had to either come packaged with other content -- consider Halo's famed multiplayer tucked alongside its single-player story -- to flesh them out or be custom built to serve hardcore players meeting up on the internet, a la Team Fortress 2, Valve's modern-day equivalent to the easy-access multiplayer of yore. %Gallery-slideshow272257%
Google and its video game studio, Niantic Labs, are adding another layer to their augmented reality app, Ingress, by bringing it to TV, The Information reports. In Ingress, players travel -- in physical reality -- to marked locations called "portals," and they hack and defend those positions using iOS and Andriod devices, including Android Wear. It's a lot of mystery, stealth and geolocation wrapped in a sci-fi vibe, and players are meant to feel like operatives in world-changing missions. Plus, the app has been downloaded more than 10 million times since launching in 2012. Yeah, that sounds like it could make for a fairly entertaining TV show.
Source: The Information
Being an enormous fan of From Software, the truly insane studio behind PS4's new gothic role-playing game Bloodborne, I imported Demon's Souls from Honk Kong back in 2009. No one knew anything about it at that point, but I learned quick: the game is vicious, cruel and devoid of altruistic design. It punished me repeatedly, so when Dark Souls and Dark Souls II cemented the series as a deep, dark well of mystery that will never help you, I gave up. Now that successor Bloodborne has arrived, I'm ready to try again. Join me as I blindly embrace its brutality for the first time on today's stream.
"The Commodore 64 is like my Bible; that's when [game] music began because that's when they put an analog chip into a computer," composer Jesper Kyd says of the nearly 33-year-old home computer. "Before that it was PC or Atari and everything was like 'beep, beep, beep, beep-beep beep' and who the fuck wants to listen to that?"
If you read through Ready Player One and thought its virtual gaming world deserved a first-class movie adaptation, you may just get your wish. Deadline has revealed that Steven Spielberg will direct the big screen version of Ernest Cline's novel for Warner Bros., with both the author and The Avengers writer Zak Penn producing the most recent script. That's promising stuff, although there are quite a few challenges if it's going to be faithful to the book -- it may need a lot of visual effects wizardry to make people suspend their disbelief, and the pop culture references could make for some problematic rights issues. Provided everything goes according to plan, though, the book is going to get much, much more than just a quick cash-in.
[Image credit: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images]
Get ready for the curtain call: The second and final act in Double Fine's Kickstarted adventure series Broken Age launches for PC in North America on April 28th (29th in Europe), IGN reports. Plus, the full game -- Acts One and Two -- will hit PlayStation 4 and Vita on those same regional dates. Broken Age Act 1 launched January 28, 2014, and we found it to be a sincere, optimistic adventure that had us yearning for more.
Halo is making a triumphant, if border-blocked, return to PC with Halo Online, a free multiplayer-only game set to launch in Russia this spring. The Russian launch is a closed beta, as Microsoft figures out the best way "to welcome new fans to the Halo universe," according to a post on Halo Waypoint. Halo Online is built on a modified version of the Halo 3 engine, and it should run smoothly on lower-end PCs, Microsoft says. Halo Online comes from Halo: The Master Chief Collection collaborator Saber Interactive and software developer Innova Systems, who have partnered with Halo 4 and 5 studio 343 Industries and, of course, Microsoft.
Source: Halo Waypoint
Hotline Miami makes you feel things that you don't want to feel. It shows you a veritable smorgasbord of ugly -- from its jagged artwork to its stomach churning cartoon violence -- and somehow makes you love it. Which is precisely the point. Dennis Wedin and Jonatan Söderström, the duo comprising Hotline Miami studio Dennaton Games, returned to their signature world of psychosis, brutality, and '80s flash this March with Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number. The sequel puts even more emphasis on story and character, which makes its ugliness even more affecting. We'll discuss that and more with the studio during today's two-hour stream of the game.
A visit to the cinema can be something of an extravagant outing, especially since the unfortunate demise of Orange Wednesdays. With the UK premiere of the so-called "SuperTicket," though, cinema attendees will leave with a lasting souvenir of their experience, and we're not talking about a stomach ache thanks to a bucket-full of overpriced popcorn. On April 3rd, thriller Kidnapping Freddy Heineken, starring everyone's favourite on-screen serial killer Anthony Hopkins, will debut in UK cinemas. And, provided you go see it at an Empire Cinemas venue (for no more than the cost of a regular screening ticket), you'll walk out with a digital copy of the film, redeemable through Wuaki.tv. You won't be able to download it immediately, of course, but you can preorder it ahead of the retail release date, which online rental and sales channels are typically bound by.
After Google's failed attempt to acquire the live game streaming company Twitch (which went to Amazon instead), it's now aiming to relaunch YouTube's streaming feature with a focus on games and eSports, reports The Daily Dot. YouTube's been in the live streaming market since 2010, and it's scored some major events like the State of the Union and the League of Legends Championship Series, but it's not nearly as robust and easy to use as Twitch. That site has basically has become the de facto way to share gaming experiences over the past four years. In fact, it's grown so large that even the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One include Twitch integration and apps (and it's also powering all of Engadget's game streams). Sources say Google has already built up a team of 50 engineers to revamp YouTube's live component, and it could make an official announcement during the E3 gaming convention in June.
Source: The Daily Dot
Am I "good" at games? I don't know.
I'm 30 years old: I've been playing video games for 25 of those years, give or take, and covering games professionally for just over six years. I spent two weeks this year completing Mega Man 1 through 4. I've sunk hundreds of hours into Spelunky. Whether I'm "good" at games is up for debate; I love challenging games. Despite this, I've never loved the divisive, feverishly adored/hated Souls games (Demon's Souls, Dark Souls 1 and 2). Their challenges felt too great to overcome, their systems too inscrutable, their technical issues too great in number. They felt frustrating instead of challenging.
Bloodborne -- the latest entry in the series and the first without a "Souls" moniker attached -- changes that. This is a game I love to hate. But I mostly just love it.
Sony has just announced its latest PlayStation 4 update will arrive tomorrow. The headline item of the "Yukimura" update is Suspend/Resume. It's something that Sony has been promising since before the PS4 even launched, and means you'll be able jump straight from rest mode into a paused game. Sure, it took 16 months, but better late than never.
Source: PlayStation Blog
Epix is now on Xbox One. That sounds simple enough, but now try saying it five times in a row, as fast as you can. Yeah, that's what we thought. It might be difficult to say, but it's definitely true: Epix, the movie and TV streaming app from Paramount, Lionsgate, MGM and Viacom, is out today on Xbox One. Epix specializes in movies, concerts and comedy specials, and it's available from most cable companies in the US. It's already out on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Roku, Android and iOS devices, among others. Epix promised its app would show up on Microsoft's newest console all the way back in March 2014, and almost exactly one year later, here we are. It's sort of like HBO Go on the PS4, but not as many people were waiting for it.
Axiom Verge -- a grotesque and intoxicating new action game for PlayStation 4 due out next week -- wears its heart on its sleeve. From the aliens wandering its creepy interconnected halls to the variety of unusual tools you find exploring its twisted world, creator Tom Happ's game explicitly calls back to Nintendo's Metroid. Rather than lose its identity in an homage mishmash, Axiom Verge actually uses that inspiration to build a demanding game that feels as new as it does eerie. We'll dig into its deep parts and interview Happ himself on today's stream!
For as long as we can remember, BBC Three has been home to the animated comedy shows Family Guy and American Dad. The channel is being taken off the airwaves later this year, morphing into an online-only brand to save the Beeb some dough, and leaving a question mark over where the popular programmes would end up. And now we know the answer. Come autumn this year -- around the time BBC Three as we know it will cease to exist -- the 15th series of Family Guy will start airing exclusively on ITV2. As part of a multi-year deal with Twentieth Century Fox, ITV has also picked up the rights to new and existing seasons of American Dad, all four series of Family Guy spin-off The Cleveland Show, and Seth McFarlane's upcoming animated sitcom, Bordertown.
You no longer have to head to Provo if you want Google Fiber in Utah -- Google has revealed that it's bringing its gigabit internet access to the state's capital, Salt Lake City. The company is short on details, but it won't have a ready-made fiber network to use this time around. SLC's fiber network is still in the design phase, much like those in Atlanta, Nashville and North Carolina, so you could be waiting a while before you have a chance to sign up. Nonetheless, this is a good sign. Even if you don't live in the area, it suggests that Google is picking up the pace on its once-cautious Fiber rollouts and is more likely to bring extra-fast data to your city.
Source: Google Fiber Blog
Yep, it's happening -- if not quite in the way you might expect. After a flurry of rumors, Fox has confirmed that it's bringing The X-Files back to TV as a six-episode "event series" arriving this summer. It won't be the full-on relaunch some fans were hoping for, then. However, show creator Chris Carter will once again take the reins, and both David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson will reprise their signature roles as paranormal investigators Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. It's not clear what prompted the return to TV after a 13-year hiatus, although it wouldn't be shocking if actor Kumail Nanjiani's X-Files Files podcast helped rekindle interest in the show. For us, the real question is whether or not it'll be as good as the original run. Carter thrived while X-Files and Millennium were on the air, but his 21st-century projects haven't had as much success.
Source: Fox Flash
If you like the idea of watching thought-provoking presentations from the comfort of your couch, you're in for a good time. The Apple TV now has a dedicated TED Talks app, so you can watch discussions of public shaming or the future of image recognition on the big screen without streaming from another device or digging through other services. And don't worry if you're in the mood for lighter fare -- Apple has also brought in apps for Tastemade's food and travel network as well as Young Hollywood's eclectic cultural mix. All of the newly available services are free, so you'll have plenty to check out while you're waiting for Apple's long-fabled TV service.
Amazon's Fire TV and Fire TV Stick will soon be much more useful, especially if you're outside of the US. Thanks to an impending update, both streaming media hubs will work in dorm rooms, hotels and other places where you have to sign in before you get online -- you can pack your device on that big vacation. The two also get support for Prime Music playlists, shortcuts for screen mirroring and hidden PIN codes when you make a purchase. You're in for the biggest treat if you have a full-fledged Fire TV box, since you'll get support for USB storage (to hold all your extra apps and games) and Bluetooth headphones (for those late-night movies).