Roku 3 player

Roku frequently comes across as the little media player company that could: its streaming box business is growing in spite of much larger competition. As healthy as it is, though, this upstart now appears eager to join the big leagues. Tipsters for both the Wall Street Journal and New York Times claim that Roku is planning to file an initial public stock offering (IPO) that could net as much as $150 million, roughly doubling what it raised through private investments. The details of just how and when this would happen are still murky, but the company said earlier this month that it's near turning a profit. It may wait until it's in the black and can put its best foot forward. If the IPO does happen, though, you should expect Roku to grow quickly. It's already striking deals with TV makers and has the support of major broadcasters -- the extra cash could both put more big-name services on your existing Roku box and improve the range of devices you can buy at the store.

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Even the most well respected filmmakers have been known to bend the truth a bit when it comes to depicting science on the silver screen, throwing accuracy to the wind in favor of trivialities like "plot" and "drama." We kid, of course. But how does this fall's sci-fi epic Interstellar from director Christopher Nolan hold up under a microscope (no pun intended)? The folks at Popular Science have taken the Dark Knight helmsman's latest to task, exploring the feasibility of traveling through wormholes, the type of spaceship we'd need for humanity to travel 'round the stars and a few other concepts explored in the film.

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When next Tuesday's 2.0 update hits for the PlayStation 4, Sony will finally turn one of the most ambitious promises it made when the console was first announced a reality. We're talking about Share Play, of course. We know: the ability to virtually hand a controller off to a pal via the internet and have them work through a game's tricky section for you sounds kinda like magic -- the type that only Disney is capable of. But, in theory it sounds pretty simple, and the catch-up king has recently released a video that walks through the process step by step. From the looks of it, the new feature is added as an option from the DualShock 4's Share button. Naturally. How well it all works in the wild, however, remains to be seen.

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Concerned there's not enough to watch on Netflix, or that the big studios and networks might hold stuff back for their own streaming services? Rest easy, the video streamer has plans for a slew of exclusive content over the next few years, and this week it revealed details about two more shows to go along with its latest Canadian project. First up is the new show we'd heard about from Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler and Daniel Zelman, who were the creators of Damages. That show has a name now -- Bloodline -- and an appropriately creepy teaser trailer (embedded after the break).

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The developers at Harmonix Music Systems know a thing or two about music. And we'd hope so, it is in the company name, after all. The studio's latest Kinect game, Fantasia: Music Evolved, is quite a bit different than anything they've done previously, though: it puts players under Mickey's wizard cap from the classic animated movie of the same name and has them remixing pop songs and classical tracks from the likes of Beethoven and Dvorak with rhythmic gesture controls. Sounds pretty neat on paper, right? But, it's natural to be skeptical of the title considering the general hit-or-miss nature of Microsoft's motion sensor. Well, you can come back here at 7 p.m. Eastern / 4 p.m. Pacific and see for yourself as we broadcast live gameplay from the Xbox One. We even have a download code to give away during the stream, too!

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The developers at Harmonix aren't afraid to hit the reset button if something isn't working correctly. Chances are, strumming a plastic Stratocaster changed quite a bit before you ever even started playing "Creep" by Radiohead in Rock Band. Same goes for stepping to the beat of Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" in Dance Central, too. That willingness to start from square one time and again? Well, it's carried through to the developer's latest Kinect title, Fantasia: Music Evolved, out now for Xbox 360 and Xbox One, as well. The team's aim, seemingly regardless of project, is for whatever you're doing in one of their titles to seem perfectly obvious and natural.

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Nintendo was dropping Smash Brothers info-bombs left and right last night, but the company also felt compelled to dive a little deeper into how the Wii U version of the game will play with those curious little Amiibos. You know, the Nintendo character-themed figurines that both look adorable and store game information via NFC? Now, thanks to the marketing wizards in Redmond, we've got a four-minute chronicle of young love, combat and tiny figures that explains just about everything. Key takeaways? You're not actually playing as your Amiibo character -- instead, the little avatar springs to life as a support character, getting in people's faces and generally having a grand ol' time once you tap the figure to your Wii U's gamepad.

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3rd Annual Reel Stories, Real Lives Benefiting The Motion Picture & Television Fund

In an effort to make a push for its recently unveiled Samsung NX1, the South Korean company is now recruiting celebrities to help along the way. As part of this, Samsung has revealed that Joseph Gordon-Levitt, known for roles in movies like 10 Things I hate About You and The Dark Knight Rises, is set to shoot a 4K UHD film entirely on the NX1 flagship camera. The production, titled In a City, will see Gordon-Levitt travel across the world to explore the daily lives of people and capture what makes every place unique. Samsung's partnership with the actor is also going to include working with the community from hitRECord, a production company founded by Gordon-Levitt which focuses on creating different categories of online videos. In a City is expected to be released on December 11th, and it'll be available to watch on the Samsung Camera Facebook and YouTube pages.

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Halo Spinoff

The game industry is capable of building incredible worlds, engrossing us with believable characters, and empowering us to destroy (or create!) both. The unfortunate side of all that enchantment is the shaky business models that much of the industry are built on, which leads to cyclical, annualized layoffs that affect even the most successful franchises. Just look at the recent history of Joystiq's layoffs tag: it's ridiculous. Why is this the case? Kotaku's Jason Schreier did an excellent job reporting that last year, right here, so we're not going to duplicate efforts. This piece is about what you can do, should you find yourself being put through the wringer this holiday.

Oh, and yes, the annualized layoffs tend to happen around the holidays (which coincides with many companies' financial quarters ending). Sucks, right?

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The BBC's extensively redesigned iPlayer has been gradually lumbering its way onto different compatible devices since it was first launched earlier this year. YouView's hybrid Freeview/IPTV set-top boxes have, until now, been sorely neglected, which is somewhat strange given the BBC is one of YouView's principal investors. Well, better late than never, the new iPlayer has finally started rolling out to YouView set-top boxes, alongside the addition of the BBC's Connected Red Button features. If you're in possession of a YouView- or BT-issued box made by Humax (Huawei's also built a few), then these goodies will show up shortly, if not today. TalkTalk customers, however, are still playing the waiting game, though they can expect to receive the updates "in due course."

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If you'd rather that your non-game Oculus Rift experiences be nonfiction, it looks like that wish is coming your way rather soon. Next week, Zero Point hits Steam and it offers full 360 degree views of a Department of Defense military training camp, a beach scene and even the extremely crowded LA Convention Center during E3 2013. The rub of the video is that it's the first of its kind -- a documentary about virtual reality, filmed in VR and made for the platform. It's very meta. Each scene is explorable, with either head tracking, a game controller or a mouse running the action. It's apparently compatible with all past-and-future Oculus dev kits, and will cost $15 come its October 28th release. However, IGN notes that if you purchase before November 4th it'll only run you $12. Want a preview before you buy? Of course you do; just head past the break for that.

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The internet's been blamed for making a lot of things redundant, and you'd be justified in assuming that that extended to America's Funniest Home Videos too. Except, surprisingly, the wealth of cat videos and stripper-pole-fail clips online hasn't had a fatal effect on the long-running show, according to Bloomberg. How the series has managed to survive is apparently been by embracing the internet and creating a trio of YouTube channels, a Facebook page that, according to AFV's Vin Di Bona, gets an average 5,000 to 10,000 shares per post and a partnership with online video giant Maker Studios. Di Bona also says that the wealth of AFV digital content is driving viewers back to its traditional broadcasts too.

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The early '90s were a simpler time: Mullets were acceptable, everyone was wearing Zubaz pants and rocking your dad's flannel didn't make you a hipster. In an effort to bring us back to the era when grunge ruled the earth, the folks at formerly-defunct 3D Realms has bundled 32 of its classic games into one package and is selling 'em DRM-free over at its website. What's in the collection of almost everything the company produced? A killaton of games (and a remastered soundtrack, apparently), that's what; including, but not limited to: Duke Nukem 3D, Commander Keen: Goodbye Galaxy, Wolfenstein 3D and Wacky Wheels. The anthology will set you back $40, but if you act within the next two days you can get it for half of that. There's a video after the break if you need a refresher course on who the company is, too. 3D Realms also promises that in the coming months it'll have much more to talk about including its in-development games. Come get some, indeed.

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Think you know everything there is to about Super Smash Bros for Wii U? Think again: during today's Smash-centric Nintendo Direct event, the gaming giant announced an eight-player mode for absolutely bananas action. How will you even keep track of all that madness on the Wii U? We're willing to find out. There are sure to be some more announcements from the broadcast, and we've embedded the video just after the break.

Update: Remember the create-a-stage feature from Super Smash Bros. Brawl? Well it's back in the Wii U version and it's gotten a pretty big upgrade thanks to the console's touchscreen-based Gamepad. You can now draw out your custom levels using the stylus (sorta like Mario Maker) and even share them online with others. Pretty neat!

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Can you smell that? It's the aroma of game lovers' tears everywhere as they realize their bank accounts likely can't sustain buying every title coming out in the annual deluge of fall video game releases. That's to say nothing of the amount of time you'd need to play absolutely everything that's come out since September. Or even on November 18th alone! But what is each console offering exclusively this holiday? That's a bit more manageable, and we compare them below.

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