Back at Gamescom 2013, Sony made it known that select cross-generational games, like Call of Duty: Ghosts, purchased for the PlayStation 3 would be upgradeable for its forthcoming PS4. At the time, Sony kept general pricing details for the program under wraps, although Activision did announce its qualifying CoD title would set PS4 users back $10 bucks for the next-gen upgrade privilege. Now, Sony's coming clean with the full spate of its limited run upgrade program, adding Assassin's Creed: Black Flag, Battlefield 4 and Watch Dogs to the list -- all for $10.
So how does it work? Well, for those gamers that insist on purchasing a physical copy of any of the above games, they'll receive a redeemable pack-in code which they can enter into the PlayStation Network for a digital copy of the PS4 version. That's not all though. In order to unlock that next-gen copy, the physical disc has to be in the console to activate it. The process is much simpler for those that opt for the all-digital route, as a PS3 purchase made on PSN will automatically qualify gamers for the discount, at which point the game will be available for download. You have to hand it Sony: with news of this expanded upgrade program and the PS4's Gaikai-powered PS3 backwards compatibility, it seems the company's well learned from the lessons of the previous gen's past.
Source: PlayStation Blog
The phrase "virtual book club" may not conjure romantic visions of low-lit rooms and vintage wines, but you don't necessarily need those things to throw fancy words around. Amazon-owned Goodreads hosts user-created online clubs, but a Google patent application that's surfaced today imagines a different way of bringing bookworms together. It describes a system that automatically prompts the buyer of a new title, presumably acquired through Google Books, to join a club. To make this virtual version a little more like the real thing, it'll suggest specific groups based on your age, location, interests, preferred club size, reading speed and literary tastes. Furthermore, you'll only be coupled with those who've bought the work recently, so your new-found chums aren't on page 400 before you've even started.
It'll all be managed through a social network, of course (we hear Google has one of those), and members will be able to fill specific roles within the club hierarchy. They'll also be able to schedule "activities," which we assume is patentese for Hangouts and the like to foster discussion. The patent filing also talks of financial rewards to tempt participation, which sounds like the perfect strategy for building millions of inactive G+ pages.
Need more clarification on how YouTube's offline video feature for mobile will work? Well, All Things D has shed a little light on the process via a memo Google sent to its YouTube partners. Turns out, offline video will be enabled by default in the YouTube app when it goes live in November, but wary partners do have the option to opt-out and can make that change right now. On the viewer end, all cached videos, accessible through the YouTube app's "on device" section, will be available for a 48-hour offline window that refreshes whenever the app reconnects to the internet. And, yes, there will be ads, but they'll be of the in-stream variety only. The new functionality doesn't apply to any movies or TV shows that Google offers for rent or sale and it's also still unclear if music videos will be whitelisted. But, hey, at least now you'll have one more way to watch this glorious weirdness when you're out of signal range.
Source: All Things D
Until now, ASUS hasn't had much competition in dockable Android tablets. Sure, we've seen the odd model from Lenovo and other companies, but for the most part, "Transformer" has become one of those words like "Kleenex" -- you know, the kind that refers just as much to a category as a specific brand. Nonetheless, HP is throwing its hat in the ring. The SlateBook x2, only the company's second Android tablet, is a 10-inch slate that competes on price as much as performance. For $480, the keyboard dock comes included, and the tablet itself boasts some top-notch specs, including a 1,920 x 1,080 screen and a Tegra 4 processor. And, of course, in addition to being a keyboard, that dock has a built-in battery of its own, promising to extend the total runtime to up to 12.5 hours. So is it good enough that you'll remember not to call it a Transformer?%Gallery-slideshow88713%
At the Tokyo Game Show today, Shuhei Yoshida announced that Sony will soon launch a library of PlayStation 3 titles via its Gaikai cloud-gaming service. Yoshida also confirmed that the games will be available to play on the PS4 -- as previously rumored -- as well as on the PS Vita and Vita TV. Given that the PlayStation 4 won't natively support PS3 titles when it launches stateside later this year, the cloud-based options should come as a huge relief to those looking to pick up the company's latest console and, you know, have something compelling to play. Look for this service to hit the US in 2014 -- no word yet on when it will launch in Europe.
If you don't fancy buying a wearable or investing in a phone with a fancy motion chip, then Moves might be for you. The activity tracking app sits in the background and learns your daily routine, presenting your movements as a timeline for later study. While it's already been downloaded 2.5 million times on iOS, it's launching on Android devices running 4.0 or above from today. It's available for the princely sum of nothing from Google Play, so there's really very little excuse not to at least give it a go.
Amazon's GameCircle framework has just gone cross-platform -- as of today, iOS developers can integrate the cloud service into their apps. The iOS programming interface mirrors its Android counterpart's ability to sync achievements, leader boards and saved games across devices, even if the player switches operating systems. Developers can also post any achievements and scores to Apple's Game Center. The tools are free to use, so those who want to build GameCircle into their next iPhone title just need to visit the source link to get started.
Don't feel blue if you've missed one of the first HTC One units in, well, blue when they started trickling out -- it's officially launching as a Best Buy exclusive on September 15th. What's more, the oceanic phone will be available on Sprint, AT&T and Verizon. On-contract pricing details have yet to be revealed by the carriers, but its full retail price was pegged at $700 when it first showed up on our radar. We guess those who prefer cool blue to glamour red will find out soon enough when the phones pop up at the retailer's stores, its mobile shops and website.
Source: Best Buy
Just over a month after its iOS debut, video support for "Play on Roku" is now available for the streaming box's Android app. You'll need a second gen or newer Roku running at least software version 5.1 to push hand-crafted video from your Google gizmo, and then it only works with "select" Ice Cream Sandwich or later devices. Which ones? The company's blog lists the Samsung Galaxy S III and S4, HTC One, Nexus 4 and 2012's Nexus 7 tablet. You have one of those, right?
Source: Roku Blog
Video producers that sell through Vimeo On Demand now have much more flexibility in marketing their wares. Starting today, Vimeo Pro members can offer both purchases and rentals at separate prices. They can also supply pre-orders and promo codes, while stat hounds will see more advanced viewership data, such as trailer play counts. It's up to content creators to use the new features, but we've already spotted at least a few titles that take advantage of the upgrades; head over to Vimeo if you'd like to give them a try.
Via: The Next Web
Source: Vimeo On Demand
We've all heard of wireless charging before, but most solutions still require your phone to come in touch with a base station. Well, Cota is a technology that aims to power your mobile device completely wirelessly -- without any physical contact at all. Hatem Zeine, a physicist and CEO of Ossia Inc, demonstrated the technology on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt when he successfully charged his iPhone when plugged with a Cota prototype, seen above, while holding it several feet away from a charging station.
It all seems like voodoo, but the secret lies in sending a magnetic charge over the same 2.4GHz spectrum that WiFi and Bluetooth already use. If you're concerned about safety, Zeine assures us that only one watt of power is transmitted -- that's a third of what cell phones already transmit. Line of sight isn't required, and Zeine claims that one station can power multiple devices at once. Just like a WiFi hotspot, you can set it so that it only works with certain devices or simply open it up so that power is available to all Cota-enabled handsets within range, which is around 30 feet.
Source: Cota by Ossia
Monday Night Football is back and there's a massive Texas A&M vs. Alabama college football game, but that's far from the only thing on TV this week. Star Trek Into Darkness highlights the Blu-ray releases but Trek fans beware: The Digital Bits warns Paramount has spread the extras as exclusives across retailers, meaning things like a commentary might not be on your version. We'd advise skipping it entirely until a proper release arrives with all the extras in tow.
One other show we're keeping an eye out for tonight is NBC's The Million Second Quiz. It's a 24/7 trivia show that ties in with mobile apps on Android and iOS to let viewers at home play along with the live broadcast and perhaps even get on the show. This week we also have the series finale for Burn Notice, season finale for The Newsroom, the premiere of Ricky Gervais' Derek on Netflix and the season premiere of Sons of Anarchy. Look after the break for our weekly listing of what to look out for in TV, Blu-ray and videogames.
You might say the day is never really done in consumer technology news. Your workday, however, hopefully draws to a close at some point. This is the Daily Roundup on Engadget, a quick peek back at the top headlines for the past 24 hours -- all handpicked by the editors here at the site. Click on through the break, and enjoy.
Sure, you've heard of virtualized computing environments before, but a start-up here at TechCrunch Disrupt called PPL Connect is a platform that virtualizes your phone's capabilities in real-time. That means you can make and receive calls and texts and access the photos and videos on your phone from any device with a web browser. It's kind of like AirDroid, only you don't need to have your phone with you or even have it turned on to make calls or receive texts once you've signed up. It's a platform agnostic solution for a fragmented mobile world.
The magic happens via a localized app on your phone and Amazon cloud service to dish out your data where you need it. That cloud component both serves as cloud storage for your data and as a back-end VoIP relay station for calls and texts. Currently, photos, videos, contacts, calls and texts are what's handled by the service, but the plan is to eventually fully replicate your phone's capabilities. For folks who are concerned about putting your digital life in the hands of PPL connect, all transmissions to and from its servers are encrypted. And, the company is currently devising a fully encrypted system whereby the data's only accessible with a single, user-owned key.
PayPal's offered its Here service since last year to simplify buying items in brick-and-mortar shops, and today they've just unveiled their latest crack at in-person shopping: a USB stick dubbed Beacon. Business owners running a compatible Point of Sale system (Booker, Erply, Leaf, Leapset, Micros, NCR, PayPal Here, Revel, ShopKeep, TouchBistro and Vend as of now) just plug the dongle into a power source and they'll be ready to offer hands-free payments. By using Bluetooth LE, the hardware detects when a customer wielding the PayPal app walks in, but won't go so far as tracking their location within the establishment. A person's photo will appear on the PoS setup when they mosey inside, and they'll only have to give a verbal confirmation for payments to go through.
Naturally, waltzing into a store that can charge you so easily raises some concerns, but the outfit's application will allow for levels of trust. Users will have control over what retail locations can register their presence, if they want to be prompted with on-screen alerts to confirm payments and which businesses can charge them automatically. The setup will be put through its paces in Q4, and is expected to roll it out early next year, but 100 lucky developers will get the dongle and accompanying API early. PayPal hopes Beacon and its API will lead to new checkout experiences, such as having your usual meal ordered as soon as you walk in. If you're a dev or shop owner yearning to give the contraption a shot, click the link below for more.
Via: PayPal Forward
Back in July Google promised a version of its Nexus 7 (2013) with LTE would be available soon, and today is the day. Those interested can pick up the 32GB tablet with a T-Mobile SIM (and 2GB of data service for one month) for $349 on the Google Play Store right now, and in T-Mobile stores next month. It's also compatible with other carriers, featuring LTE service on Verizon, and GSM / HSPA / LTE ready for AT&T and T-Mobile (check the bands after the break).
Following in the footsteps of Twitter and Facebook, Google announced today the introduction of embedded posts for Google+. As you can see in the picture above, the drop down menu at the top of each G+ post now offers the option to embed; clicking the "Embed post" link summons a pop-up screen with an easy-to-use code. Text, photo and media posts are fully supported, and embedded content comes with the full range of Google+ functions, so you can +1, follow and comment with relative ease. Additionally, the company is integrating Google+ with its authorship program, starting with Wordpress and Typepad. So, the content you create for either platform will be linked to your G+ account if you sign in with Google, and your profile will be linked to in search results. To read more about today's update, head on over to the source link below.
Source: Google+ Developer's Blog
Following its recent auto-notification announcement, Foursquare is serving up yet another feature to make finding a spot to nosh even easier while you're out and about. With its latest update, the social check-in software has added menu search. That's right, all you have to do is type in a dish, select your current locale and boom: the app dishes out a list of restaurants where that item you're crazing is on the menu. This works for dietary restrictions too for those who prefer to stick to veggies or follow the gluten-free lifestyle. No word on when you'll be able to order directly from the app, so stay tuned.
Filed under: Software
When Microsoft delivered Windows 8.1 to manufacturers, some developers were more annoyed than overjoyed -- unlike in years past, they weren't getting advance copies to help optimize their apps. The company has heard their complaints, however, and it's now offering the Release To Manufacturing builds of Windows 8.1, 8.1 Professional and Windows Server 2012 R2 to both MSDN and TechNet members. The enterprise edition of Windows 8.1 will be available later in September, Microsoft says. Regular users will still have to wait until the mid-October launch to get their turn, but the early developer release should lead to a healthier stock of Windows 8.1-ready apps in the weeks ahead.
Update: In case you'd forgotten, 8.1 also arrives with a "fully built-in Skype app." The Skype blog details new features like the ability to answer calls from the lock screen, a window that automatically adjusts when you open up links and click to call from Internet Explorer.
Via: Blogging Windows
Glass still isn't quite ready for the consumer, but Google's wearable platform just keeps getting better and more powerful thanks to frequent software updates. Today's version bump brings YouTube to your search results and also grants access to those with Google Apps accounts. It also brings the Shazam-like Sound Search from Android to your head-mounted display. Most interesting though, is Vignettes, which allows you to lay your current Glass display over a photo to produce an image like the one you see above. Think of it like a screenshot tool for your real, very nerdy life. One can only imagine that eventually Vignettes will get a video mode, but for now its still photos only. If you're one of the lucky Explorers you can download the update now. The rest of you will have to live vicariously through the photos at the source.