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.
If you've been hoping for YouTube to drop the notoriously buggy Flash video format as its default player, well, good news. Nearly five years after the streaming giant started supporting the HTML5 standard for its videos, it's finally now its player of choice. That means from now on, YouTube will use the HTML5 <video> format by default in most modern browsers -- that includes Chrome, IE 11, Safari 8 and beta versions of Firefox. Why the wait? Well, YouTube says in a blog post that it was waiting for HTML5 to mature and improve -- it was still fairly experimental back then. Now, however, the standard is widely adopted and has plenty going for it, like the support for live broadcasts and a more immersive fullscreen view. Seeing as HTML5 is not just in browsers but smart TVs and other streaming boxes too, this news has been a long time coming. Which makes us wonder how long Flash has left before it's gone altogether.
Louis CK has made it a habit of releasing comedy specials online, bypassing the industry gatekeepers that jack up prices and delay releases. Well, he's at it again. The laugh-maker has just posted his first nightclub special, Live at the Comedy Store, on his own website. Pay his customary $5 price and you'll get three unprotected video downloads (finally in 1080p!), three audio downloads and three streams. You'll know the drill if you've watched one of Louis' digital shows before, but this show could be just the relief you need if the weather has you cooped up at home.
[Image credit: Monica Schipper/Getty Images for New York Comedy Festival]
Sonos' big controller app update from last year was a case of two steps forward and one step back. It was slicker and made it easier to find music, but playing music got harder -- among other issues, it required extra effort to send tunes to speakers around your home. Kinda defeats the point of multi-room audio, don't you think? At last, though, it looks like Sonos is ready to tackle some of those biggest hiccups. An upcoming version 5.3 update (not shown here) will put an always available room menu at the top of every screen, so it should take less time to deliver a radio stream to the living room or a podcast to your kitchen.
With the backing of Sports Illustrated, MLB, NHL, the PGA tour and more, 120 Sports started streaming free live sports news and analysis on the web and mobile devices last June. Now, the digital network is making the leap to set-top boxes, starting with Apple TV. The channel delivers 8 hours of live coverage every day, with the "120 Morning Run" from 8-10 AM ET during the week. Football fans can take a long lunch for "120 Football Fix" from 12-2 PM ET, and if you miss a live broadcast, there's a library of videos for on-demand viewing, too.
Once you've won the hearts of a planet as the dashing lead in a science fantasy show, you're faced with the lingering specter of typecasting. One actor who has managed to avoid such perils is David Tennant, who has thrown himself into any - and every - role imaginable to avoid being known as just The 10th Doctor. Now, however, the Scotsman is returning to the genre that made his name, after taking a role as the villain in Marvel and Netflix's forthcoming A.K.A. Jessica Jones. There's some more detail after the break, but be warned: there might be some spoilers.
Right now is an exciting time for VR, and this year's Sundance Film Festival is full proof of that. Over the past few days, we've experienced new virtual reality horizons and got to know some of the visionaries who have jump-started the technology. VR, arguably in its second life, has opened up a novel medium for storytelling and a way to create deeply immersive experiences for most any audience -- be it with films, video games or, why not, a full-body flight simulator. Here's the best part: This is only the beginning.
If there's one thing that America loves more than Netflix, it's movies where Adam Sandler sits around in loungewear cracking wise with Kevin James. It was back in October that the streaming company decided to give the public what it needed, teaming up with the actor's production company to knock out four original movies. Now, just a few months later, The Wrap has learned the details about the first to roll off the production line.
If you've been experiencing random disconnection with your Xbox One's controller, there may be relief in sight, according to a Major Nelson blog post. The latest preview features another (number three, if we're counting it right) controller update that's supposed to fix "(stability) issues submitted by customers and preview participants." We're not sure if that means it specifically addresses the disconnection problem, but we've asked Microsoft for more info. Meanwhile, the controller will also connect to the Xbox in around two seconds now instead of five, a boon only to the truly impatient. Preview members can get the fix by downloading the console update, then connecting their controller to the console with a USB cable and following the instructions here.
Along with game developer Zoe Quinn, Anita Sarkeesian is likely one of the most knowledgeable people when it comes to online harassment. Both have been targets of intense cyber-abuse campaigns stemming from the GamerGate movement, and like Quinn, Sarkeesian is tackling the problem head on. She's going to continue giving speeches and making videos examining media (what she calls public efforts), but the digital abuse she's receiving has changed her long-term goal:
"There is also work being done behind the scenes in private meetings and consultations with major social media and gaming platforms, and by partnering with other organizations to form a task force with the goal of ending online harassment."
Look out, Hollywood, because Oculus VR is coming for you. Earlier today, the Facebook-owned company introduced its new film division Story Studio, as it looks to broaden its horizons and experiment with narrative through virtual reality. The first short film to come out of Oculus VR's in-house movie lab is Lost, which is making its debut at Sundance. In addition to that, Story Studio has revealed that it's already working on more shorts with a VR twist to them, all expected to appeal to different audiences. Along with Lost, there's also going to be Dear Angelica, Bullfighter and Henry, plus two other films that haven't been announced yet.
Rumors broke over the weekend that Google might bring its gigabit internet Fiber connection to Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, NC next, but it's not stopping there. The Tennesseean reports Nashville has an announcement planned, while the Wall Street Journal lists all of those metro area plus Atlanta, based on anonymous sources. Atlanta would represent the biggest metro area for Google Fiber yet, and the WSJ mentions that media in the area have been invited to a launch event tomorrow. All four cities were already on Google's "Future of Fiber" list so there's no shockers here, but still -- pretend like you're surprised (and not jealous) when the announcement is made, it's only polite.
Update: Surprise! Google has confirmed that 18 cities in the previously mentioned metro areas are next up to get its Fiber service. The Google Fiber website is freshly updated (Thanks Daniel!) with more information, and nearby residents can input their address for a heads up when the new lines are coming their way. Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Antonio and San Jose are still on deck too, and should expect an update later this year.
This week it's all about the big game. We will not mention the footballs and how much air is or is in them, we will only wish for a contest that's not already over by halftime. Other than the Super Bowl matchup of the Seahawks and Patriots, we're also looking forward to Anderson Silva's return to UFC fighting, and the release of Grim Fandango Remastered on PlayStation and PC platforms. Finally, don't miss D'Angelo as a musical guest on Saturday Night Live. Look after the break to check out each day's highlights, including trailers and let us know what you think (or what we missed).