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Updated: 2 hours 13 min ago

Sony to refund some customers after misleading PS Vita ads

November 25, 2014 - 1:37pm

According to the Federal Trade Commission, Sony deceived consumers by falsely advertising the PlayStation Vita's "game-changing" features when the console launched in the US. And, perhaps in an effort to stay out of court, the electronics company has agreed and, more importantly, settled with the FTC. As a result, Sony will be providing a partial refund of $25 cash or credit, or a $50 voucher for select, as-of-yet-unnamed games and/or services, to people who bought its handheld console prior to June 1st, 2012. The FTC cites Sony's Cross-Platform Gaming, Cross-Save, Remote Play and 3G connectivity as the features used to mislead consumers, noting that some of these a) didn't work as advertised or b) were nowhere to be found.

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Source: FTC

Comcast wants customers to track and rate its technicians

November 25, 2014 - 11:27am

When it comes to offering great customer service, Comcast's reputation on the matter is far from being healthy. Every now and then, the company gets put on the map for making its subscribers go through rather tedious experiences -- to get an idea, just listen to the recording of this call. But Comcast knows it can do better, so it's taking some necessary steps to get to where it wants to be. As such, it is now testing a feature that lets its customers track and rate technicians whenever they have a scheduled appointment.

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Via: BGR

Source: Comcast

Comedy Central bringing 'Key and Peele' and 'South Park' to Chromecast (update)

November 25, 2014 - 8:00am

Sure, there are plenty of hilarious videos on YouTube, but even the best parkour-fail clip can't compare to a bang-on episode of South Park or Key and Peele. In that case, your Chromecast is about to get a a few more laughs thanks to the Comedy Central mobile app getting support for Google's streaming stick. There's some kid-friendly fare en route too -- Sesame Street Go and Nickelodeon will soon be castable to your flat-screen as well. You'll almost positively need a cable subscription (or know someone with one) to access the respective TV-network content, and to pay a separate fee to beam Big Bird to your big-screen. Don't have those? Well, until then, there's always Scrabble to help pass the time.

Update: Today's news also includes the addition of TuneIn, Encore Play, EPIX, and YuppTV joining the ranks of the Broad City, Spongebob and Cookie Monster outfits.

[Image credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP]

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Source: Chrome blog

Sony Pictures hack takes computers down studio-wide

November 24, 2014 - 7:04pm

As a whole, Sony isn't a stranger to being hacked, but the most recent effort targeted its movie division -- not PlayStation. Computers in Sony Pictures offices have been compromised, as Deadline, The Hollywood Reporter and Variety report. Studio-wide, computers were breached by a group named "#GOP" that threatened the following:

"We already warned you, and this is just a beginning. We continue till our request be met. We've obtained all of your internal data including your secrets and top secrets. If you don't obey us, we'll release the data shown below to the world."

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Source: Deadline, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Sony Rumors

Why are so many video games broken at launch?

November 24, 2014 - 12:40pm

Allow me to begin with my very best Andy Rooney impersonation: When I was growing up, there was no such thing as a "day one patch." I went to Video Station on Saturday with my parents -- if I was lucky -- and came home with a single rented game for the weekend. James Pond or Bubsy the Bobcat or Blast Corps or whatever. Maybe I'd have to blow out the cart, or erase the last renter's save file before playing whatever game I rented.

Let's imagine a similar scenario today: You go to a Redbox kiosk or GameFly mails you a disc for your Modern GameBox[TM]. Upon inserting said disc, your GameBox turns on and begins installing the game. The wait begins. It's now several percentage points in and ready to start running. You hit the button. "An update is required to play this game." This is when you take a moment to swear under your breath. This is "the future"?

Now imagine your next step is finding out that multiplayer is broken, or that the game won't load, or that it barely runs. You've got our current situation.

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Redbox rentals will get a price hike on December 2nd

November 24, 2014 - 8:24am

If you're looking to snag a DVD or Blu-ray from Redbox while out gathering holiday supplies, you'll soon be paying a bit more for the rental. On December 2nd, the red kiosks will increase rates from $1.20 to $1.50 for DVDs and from $1.50 to $2 for Blu-ray selections. While the allure of Redbox lies in its low prices, even after the increase, its rates will still hit the wallet for sums significantly lower than on-demand or streaming rentals from the likes of Amazon, iTunes and others. In addition to the cost increase, Redbox will launch a recommendation engine -- similar to Netflix -- that will serve up suggestions for your next rental based on previous titles that you enjoyed. Games aren't exempt either, as that nightly fee will increase from $2 to $3 in January.

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Via: The Verge

Source: Redbox, Outerwall

Plex is making media streaming among multiple users a lot easier

November 23, 2014 - 11:47pm

Living alone is pretty great: everything stays put when you leave and (perhaps, best of all) no one has to know about the guiltiest pleasures hiding in your Plex-bound digital media collection. Except, not everyone has that luxury and has to share their MKV library in addition to their living space. To make sure no one finds out about your secret stash of schlocky horror flicks, Plex is introducing Home, a home sharing system that separates content by user. Apparently switching between them is pretty fast too. And what's more, everyone has access to the respective apps on a given device. You can take care of server management within the web app as well, and Plex is promising super granular control over who sees what -- even down to a photo-by-photo basis. Naturally this is limited to Plex Pass holders, but free users will also get multi-user support. Now, if you'll excuse us, we have some media sorting to do.

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Source: Plex

Alienware's Alpha game console is ready to invade your living room

November 22, 2014 - 8:58pm

Eager to get a truly TV-oriented gaming PC without waiting until the official Steam Machine launch in 2015? Alienware is more than happy to oblige: at long last, it's shipping the Alpha console. You can now shell out $549 or more to get a living room-friendly Windows PC with a custom interface designed to work with an included Xbox 360 gamepad. Don't expect an ideal Far Cry 4 machine out of the box, however. Every system can play some modern titles thanks to GeForce GTX 860M graphics, but that base system comes with a modest Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive; you'll have to pay $699 if you want more memory and storage, and at least $799 if you want a faster CPU. This doesn't include a mouse and keyboard, either. Nonetheless, the Alpha could be a solid pick if a PS4 or Xbox One just won't cut it.

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Source: Dell (1), (2)

One year in, here's what our readers think of the Xbox One

November 22, 2014 - 10:00am

Since the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One launched in North America last year, our readers have had plenty of time to get to know both systems. Last week, we took a look at what you had to say about the PlayStation 4 one year in. Now, we're shining a light on what you think of the Xbox One on its first anniversary. What works and what doesn't? And what still needs improvement?

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Chromecast works better with Chromebooks, looks better with NASA

November 22, 2014 - 12:33am

After a few months of testing, the feature that allows Chrome OS users to stream videos from Google Drive storage -- like the free 1TB allotted to new owners -- to a Chromecast is now available to (almost) everyone. An update on the stable channel this week pushed it to most people, with the exception of a few devices: the Dell Chromebook 11, HP Chromebook 14, Acer C720 and the Toshiba Chromebook. One thing everyone with the Chromecast dongle can appreciate are additional backgrounds, this time provided by NASA. To access them, pop open the Chromecast app on your mobile device, select "Backdrop", go to settings and choose NASA.

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Source: Chrome Releases, Google Chrome (G+)

You can finally watch Microsoft's 'E.T.' documentary on Xbox

November 21, 2014 - 8:02pm

What a long, strange trip it's been. Microsoft's effort to document the excavation of all those fabled E.T. The Extraterrestrial game cartridges from a New Mexico landfill -- and Atari's downfall -- is finally watchable on Xbox Video. As Variety reports, you can check out Atari: Game Over on your Xbox One, Xbox 360 or even on the web and see where those carts came from before they hit eBay. Perhaps most notable is that it's one of Xbox Entertainment Studios' scant few projects to actually see the light of day, getting a release a few months removed from Redmond shuttering its original-TV-programming experiment. So there's that, too. Need a refresher on Atari's Spielberg-infused saga before turning on your flatscreen? We've got you covered.

[Image credit: John Thien for Engadget]

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Via: AV Club

Source: Variety, Xbox Video

Tina Fey's new show 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' moves from NBC to Netflix

November 21, 2014 - 3:38pm

Last year, NBC announced it would be home to a new show written and produced by Tina Fey (30 Rock, SNL) and starring Ellie Kemper (The Office), but now that show's going straight to Netflix. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt will premiere across all of Netflix's territories in March with its 13-episode first season, and Netflix has already signed it up for a second. According to NBC exec Rob Greenblatt, the move is a result of the network's "very drama-heavy mid-season schedule", and he calls Netflix's two-season pickup an "instant win-win for everyone." Coincidentally, it comes days after Hulu announced it ordered the series Difficult People, produced by Amy Poehler. The comedy series is about a woman who starts over in New York after leaving the cult where she's lived for the last 15 years, armed with "a backpack, light-up sneakers, and a couple of way-past-due library books." In case 30 Rock fans needed any more reason to tune in, Jane Krakowski and Titus Burgess will be appearing as well. That should help fill the gap until Judd Apatow's Love in 2016, and will arrive around the same time as Netflix's new drama series Bloodline.

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Playdate: We're livestreaming 'Super Smash Bros. for Wii U'! (update: game over!)

November 21, 2014 - 10:30am

What is Super Smash Bros.? It is Nintendo at its most referential, its most detail-oriented. We already said all this once before, actually. Right here. Anyway, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (that's seriously the full title) has finally arrived on Nintendo's home console. You can play it right now! So that's just what we're going to do. Today! For about two hours!

The stream starts at 2PM ET/11AM PT sharp, and can be found below. Follow Engadget on Twitch to be notified when we go live!

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Source: Twitch

'Super Smash Bros. for Wii U': The Joystiq Review

November 21, 2014 - 7:00am

"Who would win in a fight?" is the lighthearted crux of the Super Smash Bros. series, and it's impressive how extensive that conversation has become. Pitting beloved video game characters in unlikely rivalries seems as amusing as it did during the series' 1999 debut, especially when it involves a mix of iconic faces and left-field picks. With fresh contenders, several new competition types and a lite resemblance of Pokémon training in the form of Amiibos, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is a meaty talking point that proves the "Who's the best?" debate is still well worth having.

Smash's bouts remain layered -- newcomers can focus on throwing basic attacks by combining button presses with tilts of the joystick, learning deep-cut mastery of evasions and timing in-air knockouts as they add matches to their career. Whatever nuances your play style adopts, everyone's victory involves launching opponents from shared platforms, heaping damage on them to make banishing them to the oblivion beyond the screen's edges more feasible.

Click here for the full review!

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Source: Joystiq

Aereo's video streaming fairy tale ends at Chapter 11

November 21, 2014 - 4:39am

When a company files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, it means that it's mere moments away from being torn to pieces by its creditors. That particular regulation also provides room for a turnaround, but given that the Supreme Court has essentially made its business model illegal, it's not looking good for Aereo. In a letter posted to the TV-streaming service's website, CEO Chet Kanojia tells former users that the challenges the company faced were "too difficult to overcome." In what can only be described as a farewell note, the CEO adds that he's hired restructuring expert Lawton Bloom, presumably to help sell off everything that isn't nailed down to pay off debt. So, farewell then Aereo, you tried to make watching TV easier and for that, you'll always have a place in our hearts.

[Image Credit: Bebeto Matthews / AP Photo]

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Source: Aereo

Blinkbox brings offline movie and TV streaming to the iPad

November 21, 2014 - 2:52am

Unlike mobile books and games, video streaming is completely dependent on an internet connection. That's fine when you're at home, but if you're on your way to work or generally on the move, viewing your favourite movies and TV shows can be quite a hassle. Recognising that people might want to keep kids quiet in the back of the car or enjoy a quick episode on their way to work, Tesco's Blinkbox is now letting customers download films and TV episodes for offline use. Currently, you'll need an iPad to take advantage of the feature, and even then you'll still need to actually buy or rent the video you want to watch via a browser (instead of in the app). However, once you've done that, it's a simple case of hitting the little download arrow next to your chosen title before heading out of the door (assuming you're already connected to WiFi).

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Via: PC Advisor

Source: Blinkbox

​AMD's answer to NVIDIA G-Sync arrives on Samsung monitors in 2015

November 20, 2014 - 10:32pm

Looking for a new computer monitor? If you're rocking an AMD-sourced graphics card, you may want to wait a few months. Samsung just announced the UD590 and UE850, the first two monitors with support for FreeSync -- AMD's open-source answer to NVIDIA G-Sync. Both technologies sync GPU output to the monitor's refresh rate, a trick that eliminates visual stutters and tearing. Samsung hasn't announced pricing yet, but says the monitors will be available in 23.6, 27 and 31.5-inch variants.

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Source: AMD

Netflix picks up fourth season of popular A&E series 'Longmire'

November 20, 2014 - 5:38pm

Fans of A&E's Longmire were pretty vocal when the network announced it would part ways with the series after a massive cliffhanger at the end of season 3. Well, the show will live on at the hands of Netflix. The streaming service nabbed the rights to the fourth season that's set to include ten episodes arriving in 2015. As Deadline Hollywood reported back in August, the show's demographic is much older than most A&E shows, but Longmire had the highest viewership of any scripted series on the channel. If you aren't familiar, the plot centers around rural Wyoming sheriff Walt Longmire and his crime-fighting chronicles based on the novels of Craig Johnson -- including a series-spanning search for his wife's killer. The set of new episodes will air in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand when they stream next year.

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Source: Netflix

Playdate: We're livestreaming 'Dragon Age: Inquisition' on PS4! (update: game over!)

November 20, 2014 - 3:30pm
Who doesn't like fighting dragons? That's a serious question. If you excitedly answered "I do!" then this edition of Playdate is just for you. Today we're going to be streaming the first big role-playing game of this new set of consoles, and it's none other than Dragon Age: Inquisition from the folks at BioWare. You know, the studio behind the Mass Effect series and Baldur's Gate. It's a sort of choose-your-own adventure affair in a mature medieval world where decisions made in previous games affect how the story plays out in this third entry. It's also the first RPG running on publisher Electronic Arts' extremely impressive (and apparently pretty versatile) Frostbite toolset that's perhaps best known for powering the Battlefield franchise. And if you're wondering how it all looks, you've come to the right place. We'll be streaming gameplay from the PlayStation 4 starting at 7 p.m. Eastern / 4 p.m. Pacific on this very page.

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Source: Twitch

Humble Bundle teams with Joystiq on curated charity game sale

November 20, 2014 - 12:45pm

The Joystiq staff tried to package and send out boxes of love to everyone on the internet, but shipping costs were crazy. So we helped prepare this Humble Weekly Bundle instead!

The Humble Weekly Bundle Joystiq edition includes Beat Hazard Ultra (plus DLC), Intake, Dungeon of Elements and The Dream Machine chapters 1 - 4, all for whatever price you care to pay. For $6 or more, add on Slender: The Arrival and Primal Carnage. Pay at least $15 and also get Costume Quest 2.

Click here for more

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Source: Humble Bundle