The heart of Nintendo's new console isn't the Switch

about X hours ago from
The heart of Nintendo's new console isn't the Switch

I spent half of last Friday tearing my way through games at Nintendo's big Switch launch event. More than any particular title, the highlight was the hardware itself: a $300 console-handheld hybrid that's harder to describe than the latest Xbox or PlayStation. The Switch console is actually a tablet: It's the piece that does all the processing and acts as screen when it's away from your housebound dock and TV. But if the tablet is the brains of Nintendo's strange new 2-in-1, the heart is split between the two included Joy-Con controllers.

'Halo' developer hints it could revive a scrapped Mega Bloks game

about X hours ago from
'Halo' developer hints it could revive a scrapped Mega Bloks game

Lately, there's been a lot of buzz around footage PtoPOnline posted of a scrapped, Mega Bloks-themed Halo action game. Why did it get the axe when its mix of shooting and construction looks like a blast to play? You're not about to get that exact title, but you might see something like it in the future. In a news update acknowledging the leaked game (known internally as Project Haggar), current Halo developer 343 Industries has said that there may be a game "along these lines" as a result of all the "positive support and feedback" from fans watching the Mega Bloks clip.

NVIDIA's original Shield TV gets the new model's smarts

about X hours ago from
NVIDIA's original Shield TV gets the new model's smarts

Nvidia unveiled a new Shield TV box at CES, but the list of upgrades was pretty slim. It has a funky new controller, with a mesh of triangles peppering the grips, but otherwise it's the same hardware with some extra software bells and whistles. If you have the older model, good news -- today, you're getting all those non-hardware additions too. They include a new foundation -- Android 7.0 Nougat -- and a bunch of new apps including Amazon Video, Twitter, the NFL, Comedy Central and Vimeo.

Nintendo's Switch doesn't come with a charging Joy-Con grip

about X hours ago from
Nintendo's Switch doesn't come with a charging Joy-Con grip

If you're dead-set on owning a Nintendo Switch, you should probably start thinking about your charging setup. In addition to the main unit, you'll need to keep the detachable "Joy-Con" controllers topped up, which could prove tricky if you're playing the console exclusively at home. That's because the Joy-Con Grip bundled with the Switch (shown above) doesn't have any charging capabilities of its own. As Eurogamer reports, it's basically just a plastic shell designed to keep the two Joy-Cons in place.

PBS' new kids' channel lets you flip between streams and games

about X hours ago from
PBS' new kids' channel lets you flip between streams and games

When you give kids digital educational content, you're frequently forced to choose between passive viewing and games. Why can't you offer both? PBS wants to give it a try. It just launched a free 24/7 national channel, PBS Kids, where a live internet stream is just the start of the strategy. At a later point in the year, you'll have the option of switching between the stream and an activity that builds on what the show offers. Your young one will have an easy way of putting what they've learned into practice.

Ben Heck's Xbox One S laptop

about X hours ago from
Ben Heck's Xbox One S laptop

Since the teardown of the Xbox One S, Ben has been designing a laptop using the console's innards. Building a hardware enclosure can be tricky, as Ben has to make sure the specifications are exact. He gets precise measurements with the help of a document scanner, later bringing in a laser cutter and CNC router. Naturally, though, it's not just the aesthetics that are important: Ben also has to reduce the size of the hardware and ensure it's cooled properly. To do so, Ben finds an appropriate fan that can be speed-controlled to ensure the laptop stays cool. What would you change about the Xbox One S notebook? Let the Ben Heck Show team know over on the element14 Community.

Next 'Titanfall 2' update mostly ignores the robots

about X hours ago from
Next 'Titanfall 2' update mostly ignores the robots

You'd think that any big Titanfall 2 update would revolve around the game's namesake robots, but no -- Respawn wants on-foot action to be the focus next time around. It's preparing a free upgrade whose centerpiece is Live Fire, a six-on-six pilot-only mode. You have just one minute to either eliminate the entire enemy team or hold a neutral flag when time is up. The mode is important enough that there are even two new maps created just for the purpose.

Nintendo Switch ditches StreetPass and Miiverse

about X hours ago from
Nintendo Switch ditches StreetPass and Miiverse

You'll have to say goodbye to your StreetPass collection if you decide to completely abandon the 3DS in favor of Nintendo's hybrid console. David Young, assistant manager of PR at Nintendo of America, told VentureBeat that the Switch won't have access to the StreetPass feature and the gaming giant's social network Miiverse. He said that it "plays into the idea of the Switch as a home console." It's likely to establish the Switch as a gaming device for your home -- a replacement for the Wii U -- even though you can take it out of its dock for on-the-go gaming. That's in line with the company's earlier revelation that it's still considering a separate successor to the 3DS. If the absence of both StreetPass and Miiverse doesn't bother you, the Switch is arriving on March 3rd and will set you back $300.

Windows 10 is about to get a high-performance Game Mode

about X hours ago from
Windows 10 is about to get a high-performance Game Mode

Microsoft made a big fuss out of the Windows 10 Creators Update's gaming features, and it's nearly ready to start delivering on them... including some that have remained mysterious. The company has revealed that it'll start trotting out a largely unknown Windows 10 Game Mode as part of Insider previews "this week." The improvement won't be fully functional until later releases, but Microsoft has at last shed some light on what it is: it'll fine-tune your PC to speed up gaming performance. This mode should help both legacy Windows games (Win32) and modern titles (UWP), so you won't have to be picky about what you're playing to notice a difference. You should "soon" hear a lot more about how it works, Microsoft says.