NVIDIA's new Shield TV is more of the same, with a better gamepad

about X hours ago from
NVIDIA's new Shield TV is more of the same, with a better gamepad

We expected NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang to introduce a revamped Shield TV at CES; what we didn't expect was for the new device to practically be a carbon copy of the original. Sure, it's a lot smaller, but inside it's running all of the same hardware we saw in 2015. And yet, NVIDIA claims it's still much more powerful than any other set-top box. That's a testament to how robust the company's X1 chip is, but it's disappointment new for anyone who was hoping for something fresh. On the bright side, the new $200 Shield comes with a new controller that's light years ahead of the last one. It's not revolutionary, but you can think of it as a refined spin on NVIDIA's original set-top box concept.

'Dear Angelica' from Oculus shows the power of VR illustration

about X hours ago from
'Dear Angelica' from Oculus shows the power of VR illustration

Illustration is an unusual choice for a virtual reality experience. After all, when you can build and render fully-realized 3D worlds, relying on drawings alone almost feels like a step back. But that didn't stop Oculus from pursuing a bold new animated style for its next short, Dear Angelica. In fact, the company had to build a new VR tool (Quill, its VR drawing software) to make the film. The end result is a truly unique short -- one that shows that virtual reality can be immersive even when you're basically looking at static images. It's premiering at the Sundance Film Festival and will be made freely available to Rift owners today.

PlayStation VR now supports 360-degree YouTube videos

about X hours ago from
PlayStation VR now supports 360-degree YouTube videos

PSVR is still a young whippersnapper in the virtual reality world, striving for parity -- and in games, superiority -- with the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Today it's taken another step forward with support for 360-degree videos on YouTube. That means you can boot up anything on the platform, including a New York Times 'Daily 360' video, and move your head to change the perspective. You're stuck in one place, of course, but the experience is still fairly immersive, especially in comparison to the desktop YouTube experience (dragging around with your cursor isn't much fun).

Nintendo's Switch won't have video streaming apps at launch

about X hours ago from
Nintendo's Switch won't have video streaming apps at launch

We've been up close with the Nintendo Switch, tried some of its games and heard the company's pitch for the system. But still, questions remain. Thankfully, the folks at Kotaku have managed to prise some new information out of the house of Mario. Namely that the system does support multiple users -- up to eight accounts can be registered on a single system -- and that Nintendo's colorful Miis will be making a return. "There is a Mii Maker on Nintendo Switch," a spokesperson confirmed. "Mii characters can be used to represent a user profile, but are not required. [They] can still be used in games if developers choose to include them."

NPD estimates video game industry raked in $30.4 billion in 2016

about X hours ago from
NPD estimates video game industry raked in $30.4 billion in 2016

The video game industry tracker NPD Group has occasional releases throughout the year, tallying up things from the month's top-selling games to console vs. console sales to how many NES Classic Editions flew off the shelves back in November. But it's the annual revenue generation that draws real attention as a loose report card for the industry, and last year's has just come out. In 2016, NPD estimates that consumers spent $30.4 billion on games and accessories, which is a modest $200 million more than in 2015.

A single image of the Nintendo Switch tells us three things

about X hours ago from
A single image of the Nintendo Switch tells us three things

Nintendo has shown precious little of the Switch's user interface so far -- just a few seconds teasing the console's menu during last week's live stream and a fleeting glance during a Treehouse livestream. Apart from showing off the general layout and confirming the presence of the Nintendo eShop, Nintendo's tease didn't tell us much. Now, an image Tweeted out by indie developer Nicalis tell us a lot more: The Switch my have multiple users, menu themes and a couple of unannounced games.