The future?

You can finally buy a virtual reality headset and use it in your home. Right now -- today -- that is possible. It doesn't cost $10,000 and it doesn't come with caveats like, "This is made for developers." Samsung is officially the first to market with an accessible, impressive virtual reality headset, all powered by software from Facebook's recently acquired Oculus VR team. That alone is very exciting: We are standing at the precipice of a new medium, finally technologically possible. Wireless, consumer-grade virtual reality! In your home! Today!

Samsung's Gear VR is both an astounding feat and an illuminating vision into our near future; it's the closest anyone's come to making virtual reality into a palatable consumer experience, and a stark example of how far we still have to go before that dream is completely realized.

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US-ENTERTAINMENT-SONY-CYBER-ATTACK

This has been a wretched year for big corporations in the US: Target, Home Depot, JPMorgan and, most recently, Sony Pictures have all had to deal with unauthorized security breaches over the past few months. As far as Sony Pictures is concerned, the problems began on November 24th, when various reports pointed to a high-profile, studio-wide cyberattack at the hands of a group calling itself "#GOP," aka the Guardians of Peace. Since then, the startling situation has turned into a colossal headache for the company. The hackers, who are believed to be from North Korea, have leaked some of its unreleased films online; revealed highly sensitive information, like passwords and executives' salaries; and gone as far as threatening employees and their families. As it stands, Sony Pictures is in a deep, downward spiral with no end in sight.

[This piece was heavily updated on December 18th to reflect ongoing events; head to the bottom for that.]

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Nostalgia is a powerful tool and Sony knows exactly how to wield it. You need only glimpse the 20th Anniversary Edition PlayStation 4 in real life to fully comprehend that. The limited edition console, which comes with an "original gray" paint job, patterned faceplate and colorful PS logo that hearkens back to the original PlayStation from 1994, is a rare issue -- only 12,300 exist in the world. And, not to rub it in, but we have one of our very own (no. 8,262 to be exact).

What's more, if you didn't lock in a pre-order for one this past Saturday, December 6th, your chances of getting it now are pretty much slim to none. That's it. Game over. Suck it up and move on. After all, it's only a fancy paint job, right? (Yeah, keep telling yourself that.)

Oh sure, you could probably find one up for re-sale online for the simple price of your soul, your unborn child's soul and several of your nearest and dearests' souls... and then maybe toss in the souls of a few innocent bystanders and your mailman's for good measure. But the point is, unless you're an obsessive collector that regularly swan dives into a money bin and has three anthropomorphic ducks as nephews, you'll just have to make due with a plain white or black PS4. Them's the breaks, folks. So why not deal with the disappointment by watching us unwrap the golden ticket that is this 20th Anniversary Edition console? It'll ease the pain. Promise.

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When JetBlue took flight in 2000, the company aimed to "bring humanity back to air travel." The team started by ordering a bunch of new Airbus A320 aircraft, filling them with comfy leather seats (and enough legroom), serving unlimited free snacks and, best of all, offering a TV at every seat with 20 channels of live satellite TV. Part of this exercise in "humanity" involved keeping ticket prices affordable for everyone. Fast-forward 14 years later, and the airline is bringing this approach to first class travel with the introduction of "Mint."

Until now, first class and even business class weren't accessible to everyone. Maybe you've been lucky to sit in a premium cabin because you're a frequent flier with status on an airline like Delta. Even then, the upgrades aren't always guaranteed. Or maybe you're rich and have stacks of cash to buy first class tickets at full price. Good on you, then! But, even if you've flown first class elsewhere, JetBlue's new Mint cabin is unique. That's partly because it uses some innovative technology, but also because it's actually affordable.

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Earlier this year, Amazon entered the crowded field of streaming set-top boxes. But while the Fire TV sounded like a real winner on paper, in practice it was more of a mixed bag. For round two, the internet retail giant scaled back its ambitions and the price. The Fire TV Stick is a streaming dongle similar to the Chromecast or Roku Streaming Stick that's focused mainly on serving up video and less on gaming. Plus, the $39 price tag dramatically lowers the bar for entry. But, even at less than half the price, the Fire TV Stick would be a hard pill to swallow if Amazon didn't iron out some of the kinks from its first-generation device. So has a few more months of polish addressed our concerns about Fire OS on the big screen? Without giving too much away, the answer is mostly yes.

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Black Friday shopping in 2013

Yes, it's once more time for Black Friday -- that beloved (and sometimes dreaded) day when you can brave crowded stores in hopes of scoring deals on gadgets that would otherwise be out of your reach. But who's offering the sweetest bargains? Never fear: we've rounded up some of the better sales you'll find on or around November 28th, including some pretty hefty discounts on 4K TVs, game consoles and phones. Check out the gallery bellow to browse by store and see which shops are worth visiting, and let your fellow shoppers know if you've spotted any other great offers in the comments.

[Image credit: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images]

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Allow me to begin with my very best Andy Rooney impersonation: When I was growing up, there was no such thing as a "day one patch." I went to Video Station on Saturday with my parents -- if I was lucky -- and came home with a single rented game for the weekend. James Pond or Bubsy the Bobcat or Blast Corps or whatever. Maybe I'd have to blow out the cart, or erase the last renter's save file before playing whatever game I rented.

Let's imagine a similar scenario today: You go to a Redbox kiosk or GameFly mails you a disc for your Modern GameBox™. Upon inserting said disc, your GameBox turns on and begins installing the game. The wait begins. It's now several percentage points in and ready to start running. You hit the button. "An update is required to play this game." This is when you take a moment to swear under your breath. This is "the future"?

Now imagine your next step is finding out that multiplayer is broken, or that the game won't load, or that it barely runs. You've got our current situation.

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What is Super Smash Bros.? It is Nintendo at its most referential, its most detail-oriented. We already said all this once before, actually. Right here. Anyway, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (that's seriously the full title) has finally arrived on Nintendo's home console. You can play it right now! So that's just what we're going to do. Today! For about two hours!

The stream starts at 2PM ET/11AM PT sharp, and can be found below. Follow Engadget on Twitch to be notified when we go live!

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"Who would win in a fight?" is the lighthearted crux of the Super Smash Bros. series, and it's impressive how extensive that conversation has become. Pitting beloved video game characters in unlikely rivalries seems as amusing as it did during the series' 1999 debut, especially when it involves a mix of iconic faces and left-field picks. With fresh contenders, several new competition types and a lite resemblance of Pokémon training in the form of Amiibos, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is a meaty talking point that proves the "Who's the best?" debate is still well worth having.

Smash's bouts remain layered –- newcomers can focus on throwing basic attacks by combining button presses with tilts of the joystick, learning deep-cut mastery of evasions and timing in-air knockouts as they add matches to their career. Whatever nuances your play style adopts, everyone's victory involves launching opponents from shared platforms, heaping damage on them to make banishing them to the oblivion beyond the screen's edges more feasible.

Click here for the full review!

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Sony's PlayStation 4 may be off to a heady start in terms of sales, but the console's exclusive content this holiday is on the light side. Driveclub, which was plagued by connectivity issues, makes up 50 percent of the PlayStation 4's exclusive lineup this holiday. The other 50 percent is thankfully adorable and, as of yesterday, critically-acclaimed: LittleBigPlanet 3. This year's LBP is the first major console release not created by the team of Brits behind the first two (Media Molecule); rather, it was created by another team of Brits at Sumo Digital. We're taking a wild guess that LBP 3 retains the cheeky British humor from the first two games, but we're also checking for good measure with a stream just below the break. Join us at 2PM ET and we'll find out together!

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EE has evolved rapidly since it became a household name two years ago after switching on the UK's first 4G mobile network. Today, it's more than just a carrier, with a home broadband business and a selection of own-brand mobile devices, among other things. And now, EE's decided to turn its hand to home entertainment, having recently launched the EE TV set-top box. Free and available only to customers of EE's mobile and broadband services, it's essentially a Freeview DVR with a few tricks up its sleeve. Tying into EE's primary focus on mobile, one of the fancier features is the box's ability to stream live and recorded video to multiple smartphones and tablets simultaneously. But is a free DVR with a couple of advanced capabilities enough of an incentive to get you signed up for the required services (which is sort of the point)? Not really, no.

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In July 2014, Lindsay Lohan sued Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar Games, claiming that Grand Theft Auto V featured a character who is allegedly based on the Mean Girls actress. According to the suit, filed in the New York Supreme Court, the cover of the game depicts a bikini-clad woman who bears a striking resemblance to LiLo. And the game itself apparently consists of more similarities, including the fact that the character runs from paparazzi, takes cover in the Chateau Marmont and incorporates Lohan's "image, likeness, clothing, outfits, [Lohan's] clothing line products, ensemble in the form of hats, hair style, sunglasses [and] jean shorts."

Also in July, former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega filed suit in California Superior Court against Activision Blizzard Inc., the makers of Call of Duty: Black Ops II, for using his likeness without permission. According to the complaint, Activision depicted Noriega as "a kidnapper, murderer and enemy of the state," (the audacity!) and the makers implied that he was "the culprit of numerous fictional heinous crimes, creating the false impression that defendants are authorized to use [his] image and likeness."

Lohan's and Noriega's suits were filed in two different states, and because of this, the applicable laws vary a bit. Lohan's battle is ongoing while Noriega's has been dismissed. One involves a celebrity, and the other a political figure. On the face of it, these two suits don't have all that much in common. The thread that connects them both –- and most lawsuits involving the use of a person's likeness in a video game -– is the right of publicity.

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There's a moment in LittleBigPlanet 3 where Hugh Laurie's villainous Newton, an effete British lightbulb with an egg timer built into his bowler hat, faces down his conscience, berating him with his greatest fear: that nothing he creates will ever be good enough, has never been good enough. It's a fear that LittleBigPlanet players will be familiar with, given the creative possibilities presented by the series. The feeling is more pronounced this time around, and the overwhelming diabolical genius at work in LittleBigPlanet 3 is almost a cause for alarm.

The first and second games in the series felt like a toy box, with developer Media Molecule providing about 3 or 4 hours of examples of how it could be utilized. In contrast,LittleBigPlanet 3, now helmed by Sumo Digital, is the first to feel like the pre-formed game at its core is meant to be a showstopper, an abundant showcase of greatness, a dare to the player to push the envelope even further. Lucky for us, for those who decide to rise to the challenge, they have never made creation easier or more satisfying than it is now.

Click here for the full review!

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Dragon Age: Inquisition is an immense fantasy epic, a sprawling adventure across the many landscapes of Thedas, unapologetically mature in its exploration of politics and brazen in its combat. Inquisition is also developer BioWare's redemption song. It's everything that a sequel to Dragon Age: Origins should have been, and time will slip by as players enjoy the hundred hours of escapades it delivers.

The end of Inquisition's spectacular first act gave me chills. The last time I can recall that feeling is when the Normandy was reintroduced in Mass Effect 2. It's the chill of being at the beginning of a grand story and anticipation for what's to come.

Click here for more

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Grand Theft Auto V was clearly bound for current game consoles, regardless of its late-generation appearance on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The world of Los Santos is even more gorgeous in the latest iteration, and it comes with a mess of additions: new missions, new music, and even a new way to interact with the world (first-person mode). You've seen trailers and you read the reviews a full year ago -- what does it look like in action? We're here to answer that with a livestream for you just below.

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