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Updated: 5 weeks 3 days ago

JXE Streams: 'Mortal Kombat X' pits Engadget against College Humor

April 14, 2015 - 11:30am

Mortal Kombat is funny. NetherRealm's decades-old fighting series has never been Old Boy by way of Hostel. Its brand of dumb, outsized action is Shogun Assassin crossed with Evil Dead 2. When you pull off fatalities in Mortal Kombat 2, people explode and multiple ribcages fall from the sky. Where did the extra ribcage come from? Who cares! To celebrate the arrival of Mortal Kombat X's abject silliness, we have decided to indulge in a little friendly competition with College Humor on today's stream. Don't worry; everyone's ribcage will likely be fine.

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Dish makes it easy to watch Netflix in every room

April 14, 2015 - 11:18am

Netflix became available on Dish set-top boxes back in December of last year. Now, as a way to make the experience better for subscribers, the satellite provider is improving the integration between its platform and the video-streaming service. As of today, Dish customers who have a Joey receiver in their home can start watching Netflix content across different rooms. So, say you start an episode of the award-winning House of Cards on your living room's Hopper DVR, you can pause it and continue enjoying it in your bedroom, seamlessly -- so long as there's Wireless Joey in there. In addition to that, Dish added Vevo, which lets people check out on-demand music videos, to the growing list of Hopper apps.

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Source: Dish

'Mortal Kombat X' and the comedy of violence

April 14, 2015 - 8:30am

Mortal Kombat is synonymous with violence -- hell, it's baked into the franchise's name. But despite how increasingly gruesome the series has become with each successive release throughout its 23-year history, it hasn't lost sight of keeping the tone light as a counterbalance. Whether that's a head popping up saying, "Toasty!" in falsetto after a particularly brutal uppercut, or turning an opponent into a crying baby that slips on a puddle of frozen urine at the end of a match, humor is just as intrinsic to the game as its bloodshed. What the series delivers is cartoony, over-the-top violence akin to the B-movie horror of something like Peter Jackson's Dead Alive. Fatalities, Mortal Kombat's signature, end-of-match moves, are shockingly gory, for sure, but somehow developer NetherRealm keeps the game from feeling like torture porn.

"We're not out trying to make Saw or a horror film," says NetherRealm Lead Designer John Edwards. "We don't take ourselves too seriously."

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Engadget giveaway: win a Jamstik and SOL Republic speaker courtesy of Zivix!

April 14, 2015 - 8:00am

There's a new generation of MIDI-connected interface tools to help your creative juices flow without being tethered to a computer or lugging around a full kit. The Jamstik smartguitar is a mobile instrument for the digital age, whether you're a seasoned guitar player or just looking to learn a few chords. It's a lightweight, 16-inch guitar interface that uses WiFi to connect to Macs, PCs and iOS 7+ devices. The Jamstik works with hundreds of apps including GarageBand and Ableton Live, letting you play guitar, synth, drums or anything else simply by plucking the strings. There's also a Kickstarter for the new Jamstik+, which adds Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity and a focus on musical education. What's more, for every 15 Jamstik+ devices that are backed, Zivix will give one to a non-profit educational organization, opening up the world of music to tomorrow's musicians. To help give you a taste, the company has given us two Jamstiks, along with a set of SOL Republic Deck Bluetooth speakers for a pair of lucky Engadget readers this week. Just head down to the Rafflecopter widget for up to three chances at winning.

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'Guitar Hero' gets born again with a new look and a new controller

April 14, 2015 - 7:00am

Guitar Hero has no business being relevant in 2015. Ten years is an eternity for video games, especially so for games tied so closely to specific technology like Harmonix's revolutionary PlayStation 2 game was to its inner-rock-star-summoning controller when it came out. A decade on from that original, and five years on from the last release in the series, Guitar Hero is an icon, but it also feels like a relic, a work hopelessly locked in its era. A 10-year anniversary reissue, maybe with some bonus tracks thrown in, seems like the best-case scenario for Guitar Hero coming back to life in 2015, a dignified archive for the nostalgic. FreeStyleGames has done so much more with its new game Guitar Hero Live. The studio has made a game that feels deeply modern, relevant, wholly distinct from Rock Band and somehow still rooted in tradition. It's all thanks to a new controller and a wildly different look for the series' debut on PS4, Xbox One and Wii U.

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Resurrecting 'Guitar Hero' through live rock and robots

April 14, 2015 - 7:00am

Guitar Hero Live is trying to pull off one of the most difficult acts in rock and roll: the return to relevance. Not just a reunion tour feeding off nostalgic fans looking to recapture the good, old days of 2005, but a bona fide resurrection. After a five-year hiatus for the series, FreeStyleGames has taken over. It hopes to bring the rock star simulator back to the prominence that made Guitar Hero 3 the first game to break $1 billion in sales. Its first step: redesigning the iconic guitar, trading its five primary-colored buttons for six black and white keys that mimic actual chord fingerings, but that's not its primary gambit. Chasing the rock star fantasy that the old games sold even further, this fall's Guitar Hero Live places you on a real stage with a real band and audience, all filmed from a first-person perspective.

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Play 'Minecraft' wherever you go with this kid-friendly wearable

April 14, 2015 - 6:00am

If you're the type to recreate Westeros in Minecraft, the blocky construction game that's practically ubiquitous, keeping it on you at all times might be pretty attractive. The Gameband + Minecraft gives gives you the chance to do just that. The first-gen Nike Fuelband lookalike has Mojang's cash cow built in (you can play directly from the device by plugging its USB 3.0 end into your Linux, Mac or Windows machine), sports a customizable LED display and automatic cloud uploads for your game files. The basic gist is that you can take all of your work with you wherever you go because everything you need to play in Notch's garden is dangling from your wrist. Oh, and it's aimed squarely at kids so if you have a redstone-obsessed youngster in your life, this might be a solid fit for them. The unit prices out at $80 and it's available at Best Buy, GameStop and Target this very instant.

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Source: Gameband

What's on your HDTV: 'Mortal Kombat X', 'Justified', 'Orphan Black'

April 13, 2015 - 4:54pm

Mortal Kombat is back on consoles for its tenth iteration this week, as a slightly less violent companion to the new season of Game of Thrones. We're also saying goodbye to Justified, as one of the Engadget HD Podcast's favorite shows wraps up its run for good. Yahoo Screen is premiering the Paul Feig creation Other Space later this week an, unlike community, the entire season will be ready for bingeing at launch. Fans of Orphan Black can check out the new season on BBC America, while Turn premieres season two tonight on AMC. But the best this week may be on Blu-ray. That's where Jean-Luc Goodard's remarkably strange Goodbye to Language 3D and Australian horror flick The Babadook will finally be available. Look after the break to check out each day's highlights, including trailers and let us know what you think (or what we missed).

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A look at Vizio's affordable M-Series 4K TVs

April 13, 2015 - 4:04pm

Earlier today, Vizio introduced its latest 4K TVs, the M-Series. In similar fashion to the P-Series from last year, which started at $1,000, this year's models also come with an affordable price tag. But the M-Series ranges from $600 for a 43-inch model to $4,000 for the largest of the bunch, an 80-incher. Vizio says that with the M-Series, it was all about making refinements and not compromising in order to bring the price down even further. As such, most of the tech found on the P-Series has made its way into the new M-Series, like the LED panel and low-latency HDMI port (a feature loved by gamers, according to the company), among other things. Better yet, these UHD TV sets look great in person; they're relatively thin, sport a solid industrial design and, most importantly, have a picture quality that's not far behind its more expensive competitors. If you like what you see, some online retailers in the US are selling them as we speak. %Gallery-slideshow280618%

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GoPro transmitter puts action cameras on live TV

April 13, 2015 - 1:27pm

Your favorite extreme sports events are about to get a little more interesting... or at least, the camera angles will. As promised, GoPro has launched the HEROCast, a wireless transmitter that sends footage from the company's action cameras to broadcast TV. The relatively tiny add-on hooks on to existing mounts and delivers a 1080p, 60 frames per second live feed with a minimum of lag and bulk -- that death-defying jump will hopefully come across without a hitch. You probably won't be buying one yourself when it costs $7,500 before you factor in the necessary Hero3+ Black or Hero4 camera, but it's nice to know that you don't have to settle for distant, uninvolved shots in the future.

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Source: GoPro (1), (2)

The 'Grand Theft Auto V' Rockstar Editor is exclusive to PC

April 13, 2015 - 11:52am

Anyone who plays Grand Theft Auto V on PC will get a special treat when the game launches tomorrow, April 14. The Rockstar Editor is exclusive to the PC version of GTAV, offering tools that allow players to cut up in-game shots, create unique scenes with hand-selected characters, animals and physics, and basically mess around even more in sunny Los Santos. We're talking about a movie editor here, not a level editor, meaning players will be able to really rev up their creative engines. Imagine re-creating Furious 7, for example -- or maybe even Furious 8 (Now with 150 percent more bald dudes!). Take a look at the sweet editing suite coming to GTAV on PC in the new trailer below.

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Source: Rockstar Newswire

TWC boosts its internet speeds to counter Google Fiber

April 13, 2015 - 10:49am

It's amazing what the addition of a little competition into a natural monopoly can do. Google announced in January that it would be bringing high-speed Fiber to Charlotte, North Carolina. It didn't take long for Time Warner Cable, the (only) local cable/internet provider in that city, to increase its own broadband internet speed by up to 600 percent. The program, called "TWC Maxx" will be a 100 percent digital network meaning that every television channel will be in HD. Since each analog channel takes up three to four times as much bandwidth as a digital one, eliminating them will free up a significant amount of space. TWC plans to use that space to increase its broadband internet speeds at no additional charge to its customers.

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Via: Ars Technica

Source: Time Warner Cable

The second 'Destiny' expansion lands on May 19th (Updated)

April 13, 2015 - 8:52am

"House of Wolves," the second batch of downloadable content for open-world shooter Destiny, will hit on Tuesday, May 19th. House of Wolves should offer a slew of fixes to Destiny's shared economy, making the climb to level 32 easier and offering more incentives for players to customize their gear with unique upgrades. Destiny's first expansion, "The Dark Below," landed on December 9th, bringing a new cooperative Strike mission, a six-player Raid and loot that allowed players to reach level 32. Some information about both expansions leaked back in September, when players discovered an in-game glitch listing the packs' names and some mission details. Check out the trailer for House of Wolves below.

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Vizio's latest 4K TVs start at $600

April 13, 2015 - 8:29am

Vizio has already developed a reputation for offering decent 4K TVs on the cheap, and it's cementing that image now that it's rolling out its 2015 line of Ultra HD screens. The company's new M-Series sets (above) tout full LED backlighting, speedy 802.11ac WiFi and a six-core processor starting at $600 for a 43-inch model -- not bad considering that even stripped-down TVs cost more just a couple of years ago. The M range scales up to an 80-inch set at $4,000, which is still a steal considering that many 4K panels that size will cost you a five-digit sum.

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Source: Vizio (PR Newswire 1), (2)

Red's latest 'Weapon' is an 8K full-frame camera

April 13, 2015 - 7:21am

Red launched the first mainstream 4K camera when 1080p seemed like overkill, and now that this whole 4K thing might work out, it's got an 8K RAW model. The Weapon 'Vista Vision' features a mind-boggling 8,192 x 4,320, 35-megapixel sensor that can do up to 75 fps, widescreen 8K. The chip is also 40.96 x 21.6mm or Vista Vision-sized, considerably larger than the full-frame sensor on a camera like the Nikon D810. Video can be recorded in RAW and scaled-down ProRes formats simultaneously, just as with the company's 6K Weapon models.

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Source: Red (forum)

Amazon adds IMDb-fueled X-Ray for Movies to Fire TV

April 13, 2015 - 6:00am

Amazon's X-Ray for Movies and TV Shows feature is great when you're trying to figure out the name of the actor on your screen. Today that feature is hitting Amazon Instant Video on the Fire TV, which is frankly where it should have been since the set-top box's launch. The IMDb-powered X-Ray feature brings many of the same attributes found on the Fire tablet to your television. To activate it, viewers can either pause what they are watching or press up on the remote's directional button to see the names of the actors and music playing in the current scene. Pressing up a second time drops the viewer into the full X-Ray environment with access to information about the actors, characters, music and IMDb's user-submitted trivia.

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Xbox Live members get the 'Game of Thrones' premiere for free

April 13, 2015 - 5:01am

If you've resisted piracy's siren call, you now have another way to catch the season premiere of Game of Thrones. Xbox Live members with an Xbox One or 360 can now stream the Season 5 premiere gratis until April 16th, including extra content like trailers, on-set tours and blooper reels. The episode debuted on HBO -- available to many with cable or satellite thanks to a conveniently timed weekend preview event -- and its just-launched $15/month streaming HBO Now service, to largely solid reviews (spoilers at that link). It looks like the extra is only available in the US due to HBO's complex foreign syndication deals, but it's good news if you didn't want to sign up with HBO just for GoT.

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Source: Xbox Wire

'The Simpsons' seasons won't be available on disc from now on

April 12, 2015 - 3:36pm

If you've been diligently building a collection of Simpsons episodes on disc, you're in for a rude surprise. Show runner Al Jean has revealed that Fox is discontinuing disc releases of the long-running cartoon. As sources confirmed to us and The Hollywood Reporter, the studio doesn't believe there's a point to hard copies at this stage -- now that you can watch The Simpsons online, it "made more sense" to focus on internet services. With the show constantly airing around the world and in heavy rotation on FXX, it's a bit more accessible than other series even though DVD and Blu-ray are still big business.

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Via: SlashGear

Source: Al Jean (Twitter), Hollywood Reporter

Four 'Game of Thrones' episodes leak, good luck avoiding spoilers

April 12, 2015 - 5:39am

Just a day before season five premiered on HBO, copies of the next four episodes of Game of Thrones leaked onto the internet. According to TorrentFreak, the leaks are in standard definition and may originate from a review screener given to the press. The Daily Dot points out that their low resolution has fans pausing more than ever before seeking out links and torrents, but the sheer amount of content included in four episodes being out there makes it hard for some to resist. While GoT is typically among the most-pirated shows, HBO has made some changes to make it more accessible to fans who said they want to pay. The premiere will air simultaneously in many countries and, for the first time, HBO is available in the US widely without a cable subscription, whether through HBO Now with Apple and Cablevision, or live and on-demand with Sling TV. We'll be watching in HD through legit means tonight (even if it's just to see if those internet streams can hold up to the strain), but for the most dedicated, staying spoiler-free could mean taking a month-long internet detox.

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Source: TorrentFreak, Reddit

'No Pineapple Left Behind' skewers the American education system

April 12, 2015 - 4:02am

As Rockstar Games' Bully proved, grade school makes for a pretty interesting (if painfully underused) setting for video games, which is why I'm intrigued by No PIneapple Left Behind. In it, you're a principal lording over pineapples, making sure they do amazingly well on standardized tests because that's what begets more funding for your school. Problem is, a number of factors run the risk of turning your pineapples back into children -- and you can't have that because pineapples excel at taking tests and things like rote memorization rather than actually learning.

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Via: Motherboard

Source: Subaltern Games