Believe it or not, the PlayStation 4 is almost two years old already. I know, I'm surprised too. To celebrate, Sony is rolling out its dashboard preview program... and from the looks of it, firmware version 3.0 is positively massive and rife with some huge changes for the console. Let's start at the top: online storage has been increased from a paltry 1GB to 10GB, which should make it a ton easier to access all of your game saves wherever you are. With the advent of YouTube Gaming comes the ability to livestream from Sony's latest game console to Google's video wing, much like you could already do via the system's built-in Twitch functionality. And on top of the existing screenshot sharing, you can now share video clips to Twitter. Sadly, they're limited to 10 seconds apiece.
In Japan, Sony's PlayStation Vita console has come in a host of colors for years now, but other countries haven't been so lucky. For the most part, US buyers have been limited to only black or white options, but Sony just announced that'll be changing soon. An "aqua blue" version of the second-generation PS Vita is coming to GameStop on November 2nd, and you can pre-order it now for $199.99. Other than the color, the console is identical to the version out in the market now, but it does appear to be a striking piece of hardware. (We'll have to withhold full judgement until we see it in person, though.) The timing is a little odd, as the Vita isn't getting any younger and developer support is definitely starting to wane. But if the blue color is enough to push you over the edge, you should probably pre-order soon -- Sony says this model won't be around for too long.
You won't have to wait until November to find out whether Star Wars Battlefront's large-scale online conflicts are all they're cracked up to be. EA and DICE have announced that Battlefront's multiplayer beta will launch in early October for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PCs. This test run will include an epic 40-player Hoth battle, a two-versus-many fight on Tatooine and an as-yet-unexplained Drop Zone mode. At the same time, you should get a Companion Experience mobile app that includes both a card game as well as helper tools for Battlefront itself. It sounds like exciting stuff, although here's hoping that EA has learned its lessons from past betas -- you don't want to have your childhood dreams crushed by server connection problems.
When we first took a look at GE's Neuro VR project -- which sends you on a journey into a musician's mind -- it wasn't available to the public. Now, all Oculus owners can enjoy the experience that blends data visualization from a real MRI (of Ladytron musician Reuben Wu, no less) with immersive entertainment. Virtual reality is easy to pitch as a tool for nobel causes like education and rehabilitation, but it's also just pretty darn cool to experience -- and it's fusion projects like Neuro VR that will increase the format's broad appeal. If our early report whetted your appetite for the slick 90fps experience, you'll likely appreciate the video trailer too, which we've kindly snuck in for you below. Neuro VR is also available via Gear VR and MilkVR.
Today on In Case You Missed It: A new X-ray pill to check for colon cancer is about to enter human trials in the EU and colons everywhere are probably grateful. The European Space Agency is going to control a rover on earth via astronaut on the International Space Station. And a hobbyist crafted a drone that can lift a human for a good 10 minutes.
Steam has revealed that along with the new Mad Max game you'll be able to buy all four films, from the 1979 Mel Gibson original to this year's Fury Road. Valve does very little promotion for movies on Steam, but said in a press release that it has 100 titles to date, which sent me scurrying to check that fact. And yes! Sort of. There are titles for sale, but all are either documentaries (including its own) or straight-to-video fare like Let's Ruin it with Babies and Kung Fury.
US Amazon users can now buy Nintendo titles like Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U through a digital download space on Amazon. According to the page, you can purchase one of the 61 titles listed, including Mario Kart 8, Splatoon and Yoshi's Island, then just click the Nintendo Network link on the 'thank you' page. From there, the content code will be automatically redeemed and the game sent directly to your Wii U or 3DS console. The new store means there's now another way to purchase downloadable games other than through Nintendo's eShop -- even though it still comes directly from Nintendo.
If you were hoping to see more of Spartan 117 ahead of Halo 5: Guardians release this October, today isn't your day. Sure, there's a new trailer embedded below, but it isn't gameplay. Nor does it tell us much about what's going on with the game's story (Dr. Halsey working alongside Covenant Elites is intriguing, though). It's bombastic, pretty, and stars Nightfall protagonist Jameson Locke, but the clip ultimately rings a bit hollow. If you want to see what Nathan FIllion looks like after spending some time in the uncanny valley, however, you're in for a treat. Everyone else that's expecting some hot new footage of Master Chief on the battlefield will almost assuredly be disappointed, though.
Now that we know how the graphics worked on the Nintendo Entertainment System and Commodore 64, The iBookGuy wants to tell us all about how the Apple II and Atari 2600 got their groove on. In the latest video he says that the Apple II actually used two different techniques for producing visuals depending on whether you had a monochrome or color monitor unit. And the reason white text on a black background appears almost rainbow-like in nature on color machines has to do with pixel placement. For example, blue and green being next to each other on screen requires perfect alignment lest you want white mages to have spots of the former bleeding into them.
Activision announced on Monday that Nuk3town, the single most popular map in the Call of Duty franchise's entire history, will be available on CoD: Black Ops 3. Anybody that pre-orders BO3 for the PS4, XBone or PC will receive a download code that unlocks the legendary map when the game hits store shelves on November 6th. Nuk3town made its debut back in the first Black Ops game and returned as Nuk3town 2025 for BO2.