Recommended Reading: The genetics of better beer

about X hours ago from
Recommended Reading: The genetics of better beer

The beer industry certainly isn't hurting for money these days, but a group of scientists are trying to figure out how to make the beverage even better. They're doing so by breaking down the genome of barley, a key ingredient in the brewing process that that turns starch into sugar for yeast to transform into alcohol during fermentation. Wired has the story of how the geneticists could be on the way to improving suds for all of us to enjoy.

Xbox chief envisions a Netflix model for narrative games

about X hours ago from
Xbox chief envisions a Netflix model for narrative games

Microsoft has just tipped its hand for what the company will show off at E3 in June. In a wide-ranging interview with The Guardian, Xbox chief Phil Spencer laid out his plans for the future of Xbox software. Since (mostly) fixing a majority of the problems the Xbox One hardware and system software has suffered through since 2013 with the Xbox One S and the Creator's Update for Xbox firmware, Spencer is focusing on the other problem Microsoft faces: its dearth of unique and compelling reasons to buy into the improved Xbox platform.

'Pictionary' comes to phones five years after 'Draw Something'

about X hours ago from
'Pictionary' comes to phones five years after 'Draw Something'

It has taken its sweet time, but Pictionary (with all the appropriate copyright branding), has landed on iPhones, Android devices and, oh, even Amazon's app store. The game has two modes. For one, you're given plenty of time time to draw overelaborate masterpieces in a turn-based game, while in the other you're playing in a real-time, two-vs-two challenge, which is obviously why you downloaded the app, right? Categories cover people, places, animals, objects, actions and a spicy "Difficult" category, while you can pick and choose from pencils, crayons, paintbrushes and more to communicate that this is obviously an olive tree, why can't you see that? Stares and stern pen-tapping noises are currently are not supported.

'Mario Kart 8 Deluxe' on the Switch is basically perfect

about X hours ago from
'Mario Kart 8 Deluxe' on the Switch is basically perfect

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe looks set to be the Nintendo Switch's next must-have game. Regardless of the last Mario Kart title you played -- our experiences vary from Mario Kart 64 to DS iterations to the Wii U's original Mario Kart 8 -- Nintendo is aiming to make this the most definitive Mario racer yet. To start, there's 48 courses and 42 characters (including some Splatoon additions), as well as an upgraded 1080p mode when you're playing it docked from the Switch and some auto-steering help for younger gamers (or grown-ups who should know better). Those Joy-Con controllers double up as mini-controllers for two-player battles on the go, while a fully fleshed-out battle mode, with several arenas and play modes, form the biggest gameplay addition to the original that launched on the Wii U. Now, you probably knew most of that already, but how does it play? Four editors share their thoughts after a week of racing, while one colleague swears he won't buy the remake, regardless of how good it might be.

The next generation of VR enhancements coming to HTC Vive

about X hours ago from
The next generation of VR enhancements coming to HTC Vive

The first year of consumer virtual reality has been exciting, to be sure, but ask anybody in the industry, and they'll tell you that it's only the beginning. Engineers and developers are always chasing the next big thing in VR technology: wireless headsets, better walking simulation systems, eye-tracking and more. It's a long road to getting that better VR experience, but there's tons of room to grow -- and Vive's Virtual Reality Venture Capital Alliance is one group trying to help that happen. We stopped by the VRCA's fourth member meeting to see how the next generation of VR is coming along, and some of it is closer than you might think.

Nerdcore artist Mega Ran takes us on a Gameboy nostalgia trip

about X hours ago from
Nerdcore artist Mega Ran takes us on a Gameboy nostalgia trip

Nerdcore artist Mega Ran has a new video out today and it's full of Nintendo nostalgia. Church ft. KadeshFlow is a fun homage to the 8-bit visual style popularized by the GameBoy in the late 1980s. In the video, Mega Ran and KadeshFlow make their way through a green dot-matrix world full of retro gaming references to battle ghosts at Alex Trebek's house (Trebek has been a favored target of the nerdcore community ever since he called them "losers" on an episode of Jeopardy!).