Archives For Gaming

By Curtis Skinner

SEATTLE (Reuters) – Teams of video gamers playing characters ranging from wizards to monsters exchanged virtual punches, fireballs and lightning strikes over the past six days, battling at the main event of the Dota 2 International 2015 tournament in Seattle. And by the end of Saturday’s finals, five players, including a 16-year-old, became more than a million dollars richer.

Members of Evil Geniuses compete in the Grand Finals of The International Dota 2 Championships at Key Arena in Seattle, Washington August 8, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Redmond

Members of Evil Geniuses compete in the Grand Finals of The International Dota 2 Championships at Key Arena in Seattle, Washington August 8, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Redmond

Now in its fifth year and playing to a sold-out crowd in the 17,000-seat Key Arena, the International has grown every year in size, popularity and possible winnings for players. The tournament launched in 2011 with a then-groundbreaking grand prize of $1 million and now offers an $18 million prize pool. Continue Reading…

(Reuters) – Nvidia Corp said it was recalling some of its Shield 8-inch tablets in the United States as the battery in these devices can overheat, posing a fire hazard. The chipmaker has received four reports of batteries overheating due to thermal runaway, including reports of damage to flooring.

The Android-based tablet, which has a price tag of $300-$400, is targeted at gaming enthusiasts and comes equipped with batteries that are made to last longer. Nvidia, better known for its graphics chips, said it would replace Shield tablets with battery types that test Y01 it sold in the United States since the product’s launch in July 2014. Nvidia has asked owners to use the tablet only to initiate a replacement process on the company’s website and to back up data. Continue Reading…

Ps4-headset

A former colleague shipped me his company’s highly regarded Playstation 4 Afterglow wireless headset to check out. Unfortunately, as an owner of the far superior Xbox One (heh heh), I’m unable to partake – and we decided to share the love.

From the (after)glowing review on KSTP:

PDP’s Afterglow wireless headset for the PS4 is awesome. I liked everything about it. […] The first thing I noticed when I put on the headset was that it was very comfortable. […] At the end of the left speaker is a flexible noise cancelling microphone. I used this a lot when I was playing with my friends and they said that they could hear me perfectly and there wasn’t any distortion. […] The audio sounds amazing.

So if you’re in need of a PS4 headset upgrade, this giveaway is for you. Simply leave a comment declaring your interest and we’ll pick a winner at random in the next couple days. US residents only, please.

Amongst the predictable onslaught of rehashed new games out of E3, comes word that the Xbox One is set to receive a significant makeover – courtesy new Windows 10 underpinnings. And it really can’t arrive soon enough as I find the current interface unwieldy and disorienting. Granted, I am middle-aged and perhaps my synapses don’t fire as fast as they once did. But we’re often the ones bankrolling these initiatives. So I’m happy to see Microsoft throw this old dog a bone. In fact, I give them credit – when it comes to Xbox, they’ve never been afraid to blow up the UI and try something new. It may not always resonate, but I salute their risk-taking in support of bettering the experience.

Some highlights: Beyond a much simplified, though still visually rich, presentation, with a heavy emphasis on “community,” clicking left from the new Home screen or double clicking the Xbox button while in a game brings up a narrow overlay of common settings, features, and messages we’d quickly want to get at. Microsoft is also promising a generally smoother, quicker experience. Further improving usability in a highly significant way is an always-present Cortana for voice control. However, it’s not clear to me if Cortana can be accessed via the gaming headset with mic or if I’m going to once again plug in my dust-collecting Kinect. Sadly, while you can still “pin” your favorite apps, games, and the like … they’re now banished to the very bottom of the Home area and, at least for the moment, I pine for higher priority presentation.

No additional word on background music or DVR capabilities, but we expect both are on the docket … even if they don’t launch with this already massive update, scheduled for late Fall.

A massive influx of new Christmas gamers coupled with a denial of service attack brought both the Playstation Network and Xbox Live to their knees yesterday. While Microsoft appears to have partially recovered, Sony is still sucking wind – with no ETA on restoring service. And, beyond the consoles, many games themselves are down with back-end problems.

For real-time updates on your specific console and game, hit these links: Continue Reading…

playstationtv

Amongst the various E3 gaming convention announcements is news that Sony intends to bring PlayStation TV to US shores this fall. Introduced in 2013 as PlayStation Vita TV (review), Sony appropriately drops “Vita” branding given its generally poor mobile market reception and the PSTV’s broader capabilities. Part TV streamer, that will surely replace Sony’s unsuccessful line of Roku competitors, and gaming system, PSTV will be priced at Fire TV equivalency: $100 for the base system, add $40 if you’d prefer the gaming controller upsell. Continue Reading…

Digital Media Bytes

Dave Zatz —  April 24, 2014

A periodic roundup of relevant news… that we may have missed due to database issues