Palette's controller steering Photoshop

Palette crowdfunded its unique modular controller in the hopes of giving you customizable, hands-on control over your creative apps, and it's finally ready to make that technology available to everyone. As of today, you can pre-order Palette kits that scale up depending on just how much tactile fine-tuning you want. The base is a $199 kit with a dial, two buttons and a slider; the $299 Expert and $499 Professional kits throw in more gear, and you can even snag an $899 limited edition in cherry wood. Of course, you can also buy individual parts if you need more. The controller is mostly useful if you thrive in Adobe software like Photoshop and Premiere Pro, but it's also helpful in MIDI music, gaming and most any other program where keyboard shortcuts just don't feel right.

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PlayStation Now's all-you-can-play game subscription service launched back in January on PlayStation 4, but the method for actually playing those games has been kind of a nightmare. Today's news of a dedicated subscription app might change that. Before this, every time you wanted to stream a new game, you had to go through the PlayStation Store, sift through a handful of menus, pick something (much like you would to purchase a game) and then hope that it even launched the first try. A streaming app that minimizes menu fatigue and works along the lines of a Netflix or Hulu actually makes a lot of sense here.

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With stunning visuals and gameplay to match, Journey quickly became a platform favorite on the PlayStation 3. Now, Sony is bringing that adventurous experience over to the PlayStation 4, as was announced last year. Better yet, if you already own a digital copy of the title, designed by thatgamecompany, you'll be able to download and play the new version for free. Journey's scheduled to hit the PS4 a couple weeks from today, on July 21st, so you may want to start clearing some space on that hard drive of yours.

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You know that you need the latest game consoles (or a good PC) to get better graphics and special features, but it now looks like you'll need them if you want to see a game's extended storyline, too. BioWare has quietly posted word that "all future" downloadable content Dragon Age Inquisition will only be available for the PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. There's a save importer arriving this month that will transfer your progress if you buy both a new system and a fresh copy of Inquisition, but you're otherwise stuck if you've poured all your energy into the role-playing title on a PS3 or Xbox 360.

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Not long after our last intimate chat with Shuhei Yoshida, the President of Sony Computer Entertainment's Worldwide Studios at E3, a Redditor managed to dig up a prototype of the never-released "Nintendo PlayStation" that eventually led to the birth of Sony's very own gaming console. Naturally, when we caught up with Shuhei-san again at a Project Morpheus event in Hong Kong, we showed him our article on the priceless gem and asked for his thoughts. After some reminiscent giggles, the exec gave a brief account on the time he spent with a device with matching description, as you can see in our interview video after the break.

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Microsoft 343 Industries Halo 5

In the early 2000s, four-player, split-screen Halo was a revelation for my then-girlfriend Jenn (who would later become my wife), her two sisters and me. It was amazing, frantic, swear-filled fun. Controllers were thrown; tempers flared. But that's all sadly in the past. Last week, Halo's current custodian, 343 Industries, revealed that it's abandoning local split-screen multiplayer and native LAN support for this fall's Halo 5: Guardians. We knew from earlier reports that local campaign co-op was out of the question, at least at launch, but the Ars Technica report confirms we won't see any split-screen multiplayer modes or native LAN support. Allow me to repeat: No local multiplayer. None. In a Halo game. For me, and likely many other longtime Halo fans, the news is a bitter pill to swallow.

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A visual tour of the Pokémon Research Lab

There's no better way to inspire children into a career in animal taxonomy and species classification than Pokémon. Possibly. A temporary Pokémon Lab in Japan is opening its doors to wannabe researchers (and their parents), offering them a Poké ball and 12 different stations to test and identify the critter inside. Once you've derived the specific pocket monster (fortunately, at this junior research center, it's limited to a pool of around 30), there's also a healthy spoonful of real science and biology at the end -- oh yes, it's edu-tainment. This part of the exhibit tries to convey how important discoveries have occurred through observation and categorization of animals and creatures (the game's creator was famously fascinated by categorizing insects as a child). There was also a giant Pikachu in a lab coat to assist where needed -- although he didn't really help all that much.

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The Shenmue series represents a milestone in the gaming industry for many fans, a point where console experiences truly took off. The first Shenmue, released in 1999 for the Sega Dreamcast, was an immersive, emotional, cinematic role-playing game that expanded the definition of an action experience and pushed existing technology to its limits. A new documentary from filmmaker Adam Sipione and Fauxpop Media, A Gamer's Journey: The Definitive History of Shenmue, dives into the franchise's history and explores the recent announcement of Shenmue 3. Series creator Yu Suzuki revealed Shenmue 3 and its $2 million Kickstarter on-stage during Sony's E3 2015 press conference, and nine hours later, the project had cleanly smashed that goal. Check out the teaser for A Gamer's Journey, including footage direct from Sony's E3 showcase and accompanying fan reactions, below.

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Microsoft wowed me a few weeks ago with its internal HoloLens programs, but like we've seen with Kinect, the coolest uses aren't always the ones Redmond devised. To help make more applications a reality, the tech giant has opened up what it's calling the Academic Research Request for Proposals. Five awards -- each including $100,000 and two HoloLens development kits -- will go to accredited universities and be announced this October 6th. The official reasoning here is that Microsoft wants to "better understand the role and possible applications for holographic computing in society." So, to see what people outside of the Redmond campus think augmented reality is capable of. Got it. Other objectives include spurring research for mixed reality and generally getting more people to make holograms. A few examples the company lays out are data visualizations (similar to Epic Games) and creating 3D models for medical training.

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Last year around this time, word got out that Felix Kjellberg, a 24-year-old Swedish bro known online as PewDiePie, made $4 million a year by playing video games, recording his reactions and uploading the resulting videos to YouTube. At the time, he had 27 million YouTube subscribers. Today, Kjellberg has 37.7 million subscribers on YouTube and his company, PewDiePie Productions, pulled in roughly $7.4 million in revenue in 2014, according to Swedish newspaper Expressen. It looks like this whole "watch people play video games on the internet" craze is here to stay.

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Predator -- the Invisible Eviscerator; the Brutalizer in the Brush -- creeps into Mortal Kombat X tomorrow, July 7th, for anyone who owns the $30 Kombat Pack as well as the full game. For everyone else, the Dreadlocked Destroyer will be available to buy as a standalone character on July 14th. The Terror of the Trees enters Mortal Kombat X as part of the Predator Bundle, which includes three additional character skins: Commando Johnny, Infrared Scorpion and Carl Weathers as Jax. Predator joins fellow movie murderer Jason Voorhees as a DLC character in Mortal Kombat X -- and the two face off in the following trailer. Spoiler: It doesn't end well for Jason.

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Gotham, get ready. The first bit of DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight stars Batgirl, and it's due to hit PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on July 14th for $7 in North America (£5.80 in the UK). This is a story-based expansion called Batgirl: A Matter of Family, Gamespot reports, and it puts players in Batgirl's badass boots with new missions, side quests, a fresh hacking feature and Dual Play with Robin. A Matter of Family is the first installment in Arkham Knight's bulk-DLC season pass program, so anyone who purchased that will get the add-on at no additional charge.

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