You'd be forgiven for thinking Zune died a long time ago. Microsoft stopped making new hardware years ago. And in 2012 it officially pivoted from the "Zune" branding and launched Xbox Music. And that has since become Groove. But Zune services have quietly continued to be available to those stubbornly clinging to their Microsoft music players and their Music Pass. Sadly, with Zune services shutting down on November 15th, those last vestiges of the brand will disappear for good. So it seemed as good a time as any for the Engadget staff to reflect on their memories of the Zune.

Fractured FX American Horror Story

The body in the brown box looks cold at first glance. The blue-green web of veins in her pale white legs can be traced down to her feet. Her flaming red hair looks like it hasn't been brushed for weeks and her torso is split wide open. Justin Raleigh reaches in and plucks out her intestines and liver. He knows her anatomy all too well. It's been built from scratch for an upcoming TV series in his workshop in Monrovia, California.

Metal Gear Online takes The Phantom Pain, well, online. We've just got to go a few rounds in Bounty Hunter, one of two play-modes -- the other is Cloak and Dagger and focuses on stealthier things. Controls will be familiar to anyone that's played MGS5, but because everyone can't be Solid Snake (ugh), in MGO there's a range of roles and abilities from stealthier builds with non-lethal or silenced weapons, to a half-mech suit (the Walker Gear) that lets you blast the hell out of your opponents. While the mech seems like the easy choice for a whole lot of kills, but that doesn't necessary mean it's the funnest way to play.


Suck reunion from L to R: Joey Anuff, Ana Marie Cox, Carl Steadman, Heather Havrilesky, Tim Cavanaugh.

"A fish, a barrel and a smoking gun." If you recognize that phrase, it's likely you're old enough -- or at least, been on the web long enough -- to remember, one of the earliest ad-supported content sites on the internet. Started in 1995, Suck offered daily doses of satirical editorial that skewered all manner of topics -- from the state of the early web to politics and pop culture. It ran its course in 2001, and while there were efforts to at least keep its archives online, even the last remnants of disappeared from the web unceremoniously earlier this year. In celebration of Suck's 20th anniversary (which passed a few weeks ago), several of the publication's original crew gathered at the XOXO Festival last weekend to reminisce and reflect on its legacy.


Hellblade, a third-person game seen through the lens of a mentally ill protagonist, is a multimillion-dollar risk for developer Ninja Theory. Its strong focus on building a unique world and narrative represents a huge shift in creative direction from the company's last AAA effort, the melee combat-heavy DmC: Devil May Cry. Rather than working with a big publisher, the Cambridge, England-based studio is self-funding Hellblade as an "independent AAA" title. It's a decision that's freed Ninja Theory from creative constraints, allowing it to tackle difficult topics and simply make the games it wants to make.

Playing video games and enjoying the outdoors don't have to be mutually exclusive. Various creative minds have come up with ways to take gaming into real-world environments. Why chill at the crib when you could be out driving a real-life Mario Kart or letting hadoukens fly at Burning Man? We've highlighted just a few of these pioneering projects this week, so head to the gallery for a look at the gaming experiences you've missed by staying home.


Apple's big iPad Pro came with a big surprise -- an optional stylus. It's easy to dismiss the accessory -- named Apple Pencil -- as a reaction to Microsoft's Surface and Samsung's Galaxy Note series. Whatever the motive, though, the Pencil pushes the iPad and iOS in a new direction, away from regular consumers and toward Apple's bread and butter: designers and creatives. We spoke with over a dozen professional artists, illustrators and designers to gauge the reaction to the accessory. Many use styli in their everyday workflows through options including dedicated Wacom graphic tablets, all-in-one solutions like the Surface series or capacitive options like FiftyThree's Pencil for iPad -- and they've got a lot to say about Apple's entry into the market.

Coffee, pens, non-existent free WiFi, and USB sticks are the four spirit animals of any tech show. But what if a company wants you to be happy before you've got your cup of morning sunshine? That's DigitalSTROM's gambit, using its sensors and Intel's RealSense 3D camera to detect when you're smiling before delivering your daily caffeine hit. Sensing a grimace could prove more practical.

Get ready to be entertained

Almost as soon as TVs started to get flatter, they slowly added intelligence too. But compared to the progress of phones, tablets and laptops, our HDTVs are still lagging far behind. If all of the rumors are true, tomorrow Apple will make its fourth attempt at filling the gap with a new TV box. Apple's TV ambitions predate Engadget and even the iPod -- the Apple Interactive Television Box had a cloud DVR vision back in 1994 -- and accordingly, over the last decade, rumors of what the company might do have taken on a life of their own.

This week we're expecting to see the natural evolution of a "hobby" the company has slowly cultivated since Apple TV launched in 2007, but what if it went the other way? Even with millions of squared-off hockey pucks on shelves around the world, pivoting to an iSight-equipped, Intel-powered plasma straight out of a Gene Munster/Mary Shelley bedtime story could be just what we need. A 180-degree turn into the high end that's crazy instead of boring: Meet the Apple TV that never was.


The Engadget team has been in Berlin, Germany for over a week, but now it's time to go home. This year's IFA, Europe's biggest tech show, didn't leave many surprises behind. That said, we did come across some fancy new wearables (mostly smartwatches), 4K TVs and an avalanche of Windows 10 PCs. Not surprisingly, though, a few smartphones also made their debut here -- including Sony's Xperia Z5 family and Huawei's answer to the iPhone 6 Plus, the Mate S. Beyond these announcements, the IFA 2015 show floor was filled with high-tech home appliances, sub-par food and attendees from all over the world trying to get a glimpse at the latest technologies. Here are some of the things we saw during our time at the event.

While most of us have yet to morph into a gadget-laden "gargoyle" (like the one in Snow Crash) the wearable market has still lavished an endless assortment of devices to scatter about our person. The majority of offerings fall into the fitness tracker and smartwatch categories, all with a relatively predictable set of features. There's an oft-missed underbelly to the wearable category, however, one that's rife with devices bearing more unique qualities. Some are valiant and useful products, while others treasure entertainment value and extreme fashion above all else. We've collected a few samples of the weird and wild side to the wearable world that may finally help you pull your new look together.

Hey guys, remember paracord bracelets? Those were cool for a hot second, right? I mean, strapping 20 feet of intricately woven, high-tensile rope to your wrist "just in case" seemed like such a good idea at the time. The trouble is that for an overwhelming majority of their wearers, those "just in case" moments never actually materialized and the bracelets simply became man jewelry for the Eddie Bauer crowd. Leatherman's new Tread tool-bracelet is just as bad, except instead of a length of rope you've convinced yourself you need, it's a ring of tiny, useless tools.