With AMD's new sixth-generation A-series processors, laptops in the $400 to $700 range could soon become far more capable. Formerly code-named "Carizzo," the new chips offer twice the gaming performance of Intel's Core i7, thanks to discrete Radeon graphics. They're the first mainstream processors with hardware decoding for H.265/HEVC video, the successor to the current H.264 standard which includes far better compression and support for 4K resolutions. And they'll also pack in up to 12 compute cores (four CPU and eight GPU), which basically means they'll be able to handle whatever you throw at them. Why focus on mainstream laptops? AMD notes that it's the largest segment of the PC market by revenue and volume sold, so it makes sense for a company that's traditionally focused on value to show it some love.
Gravity Ghost is currently in development for PlayStation 4, but it's already a success. It launched on Steam in January, offering physics-based platforming tucked inside of soothing, spiraling gameplay and wrapped in a touching story. Ivy Games founder Erin Robinson Swink of course hoped that people would enjoy Gravity Ghost, but reception to the game still surprises her five months after its release. She's mostly touched by the emotional reaction many players describe on the game's Steam forums. Gravity Ghost helps people deal with loss in a visceral way.
"It's not a forum where I usually see people sharing personal details from their lives, but there are multiple posts like this," Robinson Swink says. "One reviewer said the game changed how he felt about his reaction to losing his grandfather.... Another ended their review with this: 'My mom died last year, and in some weird way, this helped me deal with that? I can't explain it, but it... well, did.' My jaw just dropped when I read those."
The PlayStation 4 is a lot of (mostly great) things, but easy to control without its DualShock 4 paddle isn't one of them. That changes today so long as you have a Logitech Harmony remote sitting on your couch or coffee table. The company announced that the latest update to its hub-based wands, or the app, grants the ability to control not just the console's system menus and Blu-rays via Bluetooth, but streaming apps like Amazon Instant Video and Netflix too. Pretty handy! There's a caveat though, and it's a relatively big one: You can't use the remotes to turn your PS4 on. So, just remember to hit the power button (it's the top one) on your system before investigating why everyone's gaga for Daredevil.
Magic Leap's vision for the future of augmented reality is mind-blowing. However, the mysterious startup, which Google backed with a hefty cash investment, knows this won't be possible without support from third-party developers. That's why it plans to open up its AR platform to content creators, including those who make games, films and more. Today's announcement took place at MIT's EmTech Digital conference, where CEO Rony Abovitz and other members of Magic Leap's team took the stage to reveal their intentions. The SDK is expected to support both the Unreal and Unity gaming engines, which signals a good start. If you're a developer interested in gaining access to these tools, you can register now via the company's website.
Can love bloom on the battlefield? Metal Gear elicits more questions like these -- from both players and its characters -- than it ever answers. In the wake of Konami's recent public relations meltdown and Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain's impending release at the end of summer, Hideo Kojima's bizarre war drama is looming large our world. Next week, Engadget will bring you some early impressions of The Phantom Pain. Today at 3:30PM ET/12:30PM PT, though, we're going to the very beginning to stream the original Metal Gear.
Taiwan's big tech trade show isn't just about CEOs shouting about their newest laptops and tablets. It's also the place for execs to shake hands, make deals and do ole' fashioned business. One deal is putting Tobii's eye-tracking tech inside high-end MSI gaming hardware. Yep, it's a concept, but it's underscored by a deal to work together on developing eye tracking in gaming hardware in the future. But we're not really about doing deals and shaking hands; we're about stabbing enemy soldiers and hiding in haystacks, which is where the Assassins' Creed demo came in. The trio of short-range infrared sensors monitors your eye movement, which (at least how they're utilized in this particular game) allow you to adjust your field of vision to where you want to in the game. Instead of rotating the camera with a mouse or buttons, you simply look to where you want to, and the detection software kicks in and sweeps the camera to where you (more often than not) want it to.
Oculus' big push into cinema began at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, where it introduced its VR filmmaking endeavor, Story Studio. Back then, the company debuted Lost and revealed a list of other shorts it had plans for -- though it didn't go into much detail about them. Today, however, we're getting to know Henry, the second film from the virtual reality studio. Directed by Ramiro Lopes Dau, who previously worked on animation for Pixar's Brave and Monster University, Henry tells the story of a cute hedgehog that has trouble making friends because of his appearance. Oculus Story Studio describes it as a heartwarming comedy.
Amazon's Fire TV devices may be focused primarily on Android games, but they can now do some PC gaming in a pinch. The media hubs have just scored an exclusive GameFly app that streams a mix of PC titles (such as the Batman series and Dirt 3) in subscription-based game packs starting at $7 a month. Suffice it to say you'll want to snag a gamepad if you're going to use this feature at all. No, this probably won't make you forget about dedicated consoles or NVIDIA's Shield, but it's a big deal if the Fire TV is your only living room game machine.
If you've ever followed the Electronic Entertainment Expo (aka E3) closely, you know that there are a lot of events taking place in a short space of time: press conferences, live booth presentations and legions of game premieres. How in the world are you supposed to watch it all? We'll be on the ground, of course, but YouTube wants to help as well. It's launching an E3 2015 hub that will stream "all" the big press conferences (such as Microsoft, Sony, EA and Ubisoft), the Nintendo World Championships, loads of booth events and first-time "let's play" sessions. YouTube might not have the same lock on live game steaming that Twitch does, but it could get a lot of your attention when E3 kicks off in mid-June.
[Image credit: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong]