Arguably, one of the best things about Valve's Steam Controller is its software component -- an interface that allows user to assign any button of their controller to a myriad of keyboard functions. Its a feature that lets gamers make any PC game playable by controller -- even if it was only designed to be used with a mouse and keyboard. The interface is so good, Valve enabled it for PlayStation 4 controllers earlier this year. Now they're enabling it for pretty much everything else: the latest version of Steam's beta channel will let you fully customize the Xbox 360 gamepad, the Xbox One controller and any other input device that uses the Xinput standard.
Game streaming is about to get a lot simpler for NVIDIA GeForce video card owners with the company's new integration with Facebook Live. We got a chance to see the feature in action at CES, and it works as advertised. NVIDIA reps were able to quickly shoot some footage from the much-anticipated Mass Effect Andromeda right to their Facebook timeline from their GeForce Experience app.
Apple's MacBook Air is known for being sleek and portable -- but not so much for being a hardware powerhouse. Even the latest Airs still rely on weak integrated graphics, so they're not exactly the sort of machines that you'd expect to run a modern title like The Witcher 3. And yet, that's exactly what I managed to do with NVIDIA's GeForce Now, its game streaming service (recently expanded from the Shield devices) that lets you rent a virtual gaming PC in the cloud.
First, let's cover the basics: LiquidSky promises to let anyone play any PC game on Mac, Windows, Android or Linux devices via the magic of cloud streaming. It's a promise we've heard before from companies like OnLive, a service that racked up $40 million in debt by 2012 and finally folded in 2015. Cloud gaming services like PlayStation Now exist today, but they're still not exactly mainstream.
Most of our editors eschewed the typical New Year's Eve celebrations and arrived in Las Vegas on New Year's Day. One of us even arrived on December 31st and spent the last few hours of 2016 in bed. All of that just to give our all to the annual tradition that is CES. We spent the past few days walking the show floor, attending evening events and covering press conferences just to bring you the very best from CES 2017. And now, we're ready to bring to you the finalists for our annual Best of CES awards.
Sony's big CES booth is built around one product in particular: its first 4K OLED TV. Beautiful, bright (and highly anticipated), the television's slender OLED panel also doubles as a speaker, with some subwoofer support from behind. Unfortunately, that's about it, as far as the booth is concerned, anyway. Sony boss Kaz Hirai used his keynote earlier this week to recap all the products the company unveiled over the past year. Which would have been fine at CES 2016, just not this week.
Conan O'Brien's Clueless Gamer segment, where the talk show host struggles through (and pokes fun at) the latest video games, has become increasingly popular -- so much so that some studios pay for their games blasted in these skits (yep, they're advertisements). And TBS is keen to capitalize on that success. Hollywood Reporter understands that the network is developing a stand-alone Clueless Gamer TV series that will go into production in February. Most of the details have yet to be hashed out, but Conan would only executive produce the show, not host it.
Sometimes, the madness of CES builds to a fever pitch and only one thing can save Engadget editors from a complete mental breakdown: Just Dance 2017. Specifically, dancing a duet to the most popular song from Frozen, "Let it Go." This year's Video Game Challenge kicked off with a bang, featuring Engadget Senior Editor Mat Smith as host, and Senior Editor Andrew Tarantola and Senior Reporter Jessica Conditt (that's me!) as the performers. Note that none of those titles include the word "dancer" -- and don't judge. We could all use a little fun in our lives every now and then, and doubly so at CES.