Recommended Reading: Is 'Stranger Things' really that popular?

about X hours ago from
Recommended Reading: Is 'Stranger Things' really that popular?

The excitement around Stranger Things season 2 has been building for months. We've seen soundtracks, merchandise and all kinds of promo tie-ins with other companies along the way. As the show returns this week, the buzz is already so high that reviews probably won't even matter -- people will binge it anyway. It also helps that the first season was both really good and seemed to be really popular, despite the company not releasing any numbers. The Ringer takes a look at how Netflix creates the feeling of must-see TV even though we might not ever find out how popular its shows really are.

Kinect: Seven years of strange experiments

about X hours ago from
Kinect: Seven years of strange experiments

The Kinect debuted in 2010 with the Xbox 360, and it had a good run, overall: Microsoft sold roughly 35 million devices in total. However, across its iterations and upgrades, the Kinect never quite found its market -- the one application that would turn the hardware into an essential piece of home technology. It wasn't a conversational, connected, voice-activated system like Google Home or Amazon Alexa, and game developers lost interest in the device as virtual and mixed reality rose to the fore. The Kinect was a product out of time.

Kinect's value to artists overshadowed its gaming roots

about X hours ago from
Kinect's value to artists overshadowed its gaming roots

The Kinect is officially dead. But the reality is that Microsoft signed the do-all sensor's fate years ago. Faced with slumping hardware sales in 2014, then-new Xbox chief Phil Spencer had a decision to make. Either Microsoft would drop the price of the Xbox One, or continue letting Sony and the $400 PlayStation 4 eat its lunch. So it stopped bundling the Kinect with the console and cut $100 off the asking price.

Amazon's 'Breakaway' game is on hold while developers make changes

about X hours ago from
Amazon's 'Breakaway' game is on hold while developers make changes

Breakaway, a competitive battle game under development Double Helix and published by Amazon Game Studios, is going on a bit of a break. Following a report from Kotaku claiming that the game was being put on "indefinite hiatus," the team working on the game said it was "taking some time to iterate and evolve Breakaway's core gameplay." That work is being done based on feedback the team received from players during an Alpha period that ran from June though September. In the meantime, however, there won't be any more Alpha matches hosted, and there's no timeframe given for how long the Breakaway team will spend retooling things here.

‘Mass Effect: Andromeda’ fans will have to read a book for closure

about X hours ago from
‘Mass Effect: Andromeda’ fans will have to read a book for closure

Fans of Mass Effect who have been waiting for the conclusion of the Quarian ark storyline in Andromeda, we have a good news/bad news situation for you. The good news is that we'll finally find out what happened aboard the ark, called the Keelah Si'yah, and get some closure for that storyline. The bad news is that it's happening in novel form, rather than as a playable DLC. The plot point will be resolved in the book Mass Effect: Annihilation, which will be written by sci-fi author Catherynne M. Valente. It releases in the US, UK and Canada on June 26, 2018, and in Australia on August 28, 2018.

Steam's curator update tackles shady review key requests

about X hours ago from
Steam's curator update tackles shady review key requests

Steam's curator program will be getting a makeover this fall as Valve takes steps to make the system more effective for both gamers and developers. Under the banner "Curator Connect", players will now see their favorite curators' recommendations show up in other parts of the Steam Store, as well as their home page. Curators will also be able to embed videos in their reviews, create lists from reviews they've already written, have more control over their home page and get their hands on more data showing the impact their reviews have on their followers' buying habits.