We have no idea how Jurassic World is going to turn out come summer, but we do know that it's getting Lego-fied for Lego Jurassic World. The game follows all three Jurassic Park stories in addition to this June's blockbuster, and it'll be available for basically every platform you can think of. Short on imagination? Well then, here's a list: 3DS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Windows PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Phew. The dino-centric series has always had a bit of a mixed showing when it came to solid video game adaptations (the Sega Genesis movie tie-in and the Xbox's Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis were great, though), but the folks at Traveller's Tale have a pretty good track record with their Lego games.
Toshiba has undertaken many attempts to reshape its TV segment over the years with "Cloud Portal" and Cell TV, but none have hit the mark and now it's getting out of the business entirely in North America. Following other Japanese manufacturers that have axed (Pioneer), scaled back (Panasonic), or reorganized (Sony) their TV operations, Toshiba will license its name to Taiwan's Compal. New TVs from the venture will be on shelves in March, so don't be surprised if they're a bit different. It already switched to more outsourcing after axing jobs in 2013, so the shift may turn out to be subtle. Toshiba has always been willing to bring some unique -- if not always appreciated -- aspects to the game, and we'll be sad to see them go. The plan now is to "develop new technologies and services" while it works on securing a stable profit.
Actually, it's not about ethics in games journalism. NBC's Law & Order: SVU will air an episode titled "Intimidation Game" on February 11th, and unless you've been living under a rock the circumstances will be pretty familiar. In a plotline following "GamerGate" and the women many of its participants targeted for harassment, the show will feature a video game developer (played by Mouzam Makkar) preparing for a launch "amid a stream of online insults, intimidation and death threats." Inevitably Detective Olivia Benson and Ice-T are called in and... you've seen Law & Order, right?
Hopefully, unlike in real life the cops know how to deal with online intimidation and threats, but we also hope that the dramatization doesn't downplay the all-too-real events that are still occurring. As far as the real lives of some of the women the episode appears to be basing its main character on, Zoe Quinn has an online support network for those dealing with internet abuse called Crash Override, while Brianna Wu is working on "Women in Tech: The Book!". Similarly, Anita Sarkeesian laid out 2015 plans for her organization, Feminist Frequency, and is working with "major social media and gaming platforms" to work on ending harassment.
With networks announcing new streaming options on the regular, Nickelodeon is set to reveal a standalone service of its own. During an investor call this morning, Viacom chief Philippe Dauman said the kid-friendly channel will announce its subscription plans in February, targeting mobile devices. Details are scarce for now, but we should hear more soon, as the first of the month is imminent. HBO and CBS have already revealed their plans for cord cutters, and both AMC and ESPN are rumored to be mulling similar models, too. Of course, Nickelodeon will have to compete with the likes of Amazon and Netflix who already offer dedicated streams for younger viewers, included with subscriptions that parents are already paying for.
[Photo credit: Shearer/Invision/AP]
Are we tired of making puns based around the silly name for the Kickstarter-funded, Android-powered, miniature game console, OUYA? No, friends. No we are not. Clearly.
That aside, there's a whole nation of people who are just now hearing of OUYA for the first time: China. That's because Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba reportedly dropped $10 million into OUYA's coffers within the last month, according to The Wall Street Journal -- an investment in trade for bringing OUYA's platform to Alibaba's set-top box. That's quite an investment considering OUYA's poor-to-tepid response in the United States: "The system is rough around the edges in many ways, quite literally when regarding the controller, but the interface and menus also could use work," is what we wrote in our review from 2013. Much of those early edges were eventually smoothed, and OUYA branched out as a software platform known as "OUYA Everywhere." Xiaomi added OUYA everywhere to its set-top boxes last year, and now apparently Alibaba is looking to do something similar.
The Nissan GT-R and Chevy's Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo are about to get some fresh company thanks to French automaker Renault. The Alpine Vision Gran Turismo is the latest Gran Turismo 6 ride turned concept vehicle, and weighing in at around 1,984 pounds (900 kilograms) it's lighter than a 2015 Dodge Dart by over 1,200 pounds. Let that sink in for a minute. Okay, still with us? It's rocking a 450 horsepower engine mid-rear, a 199MPH top speed and a rad set of air brakes you can see in the video below. Renault teases that some of the tech from the concept will make it to Alpine's 2016 production model -- which, as Autoblog notes, would be its first since 1995. Should you want a peek at the car in person, it's stationed throughout France until early next month. After that, it's doing laps in Gran Turismo 6 as a free download in March.
The future of football broadcasts in the UK might be up in the air at the moment, but one important piece of TV rights has already been secured. The BBC announced today it has extended its deal to deliver Premier League highlights until the end of the 2018/19 season. That means you'll continue to see Match Of The Day on a Saturday night (and other select matchdays), Football Focus and a new midweek magazine show that's due to air on BBC Two late on a Wednesday. Oh, and don't forget replays on BBC iPlayer. If you're fan of Lineker and co. or prefer your football highlights without ad breaks, you can rest easy -- you've got another four seasons until that possibility arises again.
Just how lucrative could it be to create and sell virtual items for free games like Valve's Team Fortress 2? Very, it turns out. Valve's recently announced that, since 2011, it's paid out over $57 million to folks participating in its Steam Workshop program -- the service that facilitates the creation and sale of user-generated items (think: virtual hats).
That tally encompasses some 1,500 content makers 3D modeling items for Counterstrike: Global Offensive, DOTA 2 and Team Fortress 2 across 75 countries -- roughly $38,000 per person. If what held you back from making and selling your own custom gear is a white-hot burning hatred for first-person shooters and MOBAs, well, Gabe Newell and Co. have news for you, too: curated workshops are opening for Dungeon Defenders: Eternity and first-person slasher Chivalry: Medieval Warfare.
LG is still trailing Samsung and Apple in total smartphone sales (and profits from them), but the company just revealed its financial data for the last year and has plenty to be happy about. It sold 59.1 million smartphones last year, up nearly a quarter from what it moved in 2013. The report didn't explain when we can expect the G Flex 2 in the US or leak what's in the next big G series phone, but said the company will "concentrate on improving its brand power, operating more efficiently, and focusing on selective key markets." Its TV business is doing well too, where profits grew 31 percent from last year to $482 million. Still, the company had a net loss in the last quarter of 2014 because of write-offs related to shutting down its plasma TV business as it ramps up Ultra HD and OLED.
Samsung's profits have been on an upward swing driven by several popular versions of its Galaxy smartphones, but 2014 is going into the books as an off year. It still posted a $4.88 billion profit in Q4, but for the year it was down 32 percent from 2013 and had the lowest profit since 2011, which can be traced to a drop in smartphone shipments. So what's the plan for 2015? Other than shipping more of those curved SUHD TVs we saw, it's focusing on phone sales in India and China, planning a "diversified portfolio with unique designs" of wearable devices and launching more new phones like the Galaxy A series. It's also focusing on its processor building business, and it seems more likely than ever that the next round of Galaxy phones will have Samsung CPUs inside instead of Qualcomm. That might not be enough to keep up with the
Joneses Apple for the coming year, but it will have to do.
When Sony unveiled its PlayStation Vue streaming service, it painted a rosy picture of what you'll get: tons of channels! You'll never look at TV the same way again! But what's it like to use in the real world? You won't have to wait until the formal launch to find out, apparently. One early user has shared impressions with GigaOM, and the early signs suggest that it might just beat Dish's Sling TV... in certain circumstances, anyway. The interface is polished and speedy, and your viewing rights are much more consistent than what Sling TV delivers. As a rule, you can assume that you'll have the promised 28-day window to watch saved shows from a cloud DVR.
Sony today revealed PlayStation Music, a new Spotify-powered music service coming to PlayStation 3, 4 and "Xperia smartphones and tablets" this spring. The service will outright replace Music Unlimited, the service that Sony previously implemented across devices, powered by its own enormous music catalog. The news marks the first time Spotify has come to any game console, and is a major coup for Sony's PlayStation group in the battle for major home entertainment apps on game consoles (Xbox One notoriously got HBO Go first).
PlayStation Music will require a Spotify paid subscription (the "Premium" membership), and enables both playback on the aforementioned devices and the ability to listen to music in the background during games. When the service launches at some point in Spring 2015, it'll be available in "41 markets around the world."
Update: The PlayStation Music service will support the "ad-supported free tier" of Spotify as well, a Sony rep told Engadget.
Okay, so at last count World of Warcraft had a Pokémon clone built into it, an in-game web browser of sorts and even a tribute to the late Robin Williams. Now it has another way to distract you as the epic battle between the Horde and Alliance rages on in the background: selfies. Naturally. As our sister site WoW Insider reports, the camera is part of a rare late-game quest in the forthcoming update (6.1 if you're keeping track at home), and there's a follow-up mission that rewards virtual narcissists with a trio of camera filters for the self-aggrandizing new feature. Your toon'll even mug for the camera with duckface or perhaps something a little more charming and less 2009 as you show off that sweet new bit of armor.