Electronic Arts has announced that its upcoming MOBA Dawngate has entered open beta, allowing anyone to try out the Battlefield publisher's competitor to massively popular free-to-play games League of Legends and DOTA 2.
Dawngate will also be playable this week at PAX East on the show floor April 11-13. Developer Waystone Games will also hold a special panel at the show and all attendees will receive an exclusive bonus skin.
Dawngate aims to separate itself from the growing pack of MOBAs by allowing you to choose a role that isn't specifically dependent on the character you select. This is all in the way of "celebrating personal play styles," EA says.
Finally, EA has announced that on Friday it will release a new interactive online graphic novel called The Dawngate Chronicles. EA says that with every game played, the Dawngate player community will actually shape how the story unfolds and ultimately dictate "the fate of everything."
Sony had a tiny surprise to share just ahead of the Tokyo Games Show: the PS Vita TV, appearing from inside SCE President Andrew House's jacket pocket. Having already announced a new, slender PS Vita handheld less than an hour earlier, Sony showed off this minute console -- roughly the same footprint as a smartphone -- that plays Vita games, PlayStation games and streams video content, as well as music and video from Sony's own store. It can also connect with multiple PS3 DualShock controllers, allowing for proper, responsive gaming -- something we're not quite used to getting from something so tiny.
You could see it as a brutal counterstrike from the PlayStation team against the cheap, mini-console likes of OUYA and GameStick, even Huawei. Aside from contemporary Vita titles and indie games, you can also tap into an ever-increasing catalog of hits from yesteryear -- something that the Android and iOS platforms also dip their feet into, but with the peace of mind (read: stability) of PlayStation hardware, and the ability to steer the action with a DualShock controller. Sound like something you'd like to try out? Well, unfortunately, unlike the new PS Vita, this is currently a Japan-only deal. What's more, availability in Nihon is directly tied to compatibility there, too; you'll need a Japanese PSN account to even use it. We're still getting a vague line from SCE on whether it will eventually arrive outside of Japan. (It would be a convenient bit of hardware to sell alongside Sony's PlayStation Now streaming-game service, set to launch in the US later this year, right?)
So, is this just a tenuous experiment or a whole new console line for PlayStation? Or, given that it's practically got all the same internals, would you be better off just buying a Vita?
To many photographers -- amateurs and professionals alike -- digital SLRs represent quality. The fact that you can remove the lens and swap it for another is inconsequential to those who never buy a second optic, and it's that segment of the market that Sony's targeting with its Cyber-shot RX10. Everything about the RX10 is DSLR-like -- its form factor, built-in EVF, focusing performance and image quality are all on par with many higher-end SLRs -- but its mighty 24-200mm lens is permanently attached. By opting for this comparatively inflexible design, Sony's able to deliver a constant f/2.8 aperture and very high-quality optics in a comfortable package, with a price tag far below what a similar removable lens would command, were it to exist in the first place. The result, put simply, is spectacular, but as $1,300 is at the high end of even deep-pocketed consumers' budgets, you'll want to catch our full review before making a purchase.
It's already March, dear readers, which means with the exception of this post right here, you're not going to find many laptop reviews on this site. Why? Because Intel's just three months away from launching its next-generation chips and besides, we've reviewed most of the current-gen models anyway. But not HP's. We haven't reviewed a Hewlett-Packard Ultrabook in more than a year. So here we are, picking up where we left off. The company's newest flagship, the Spectre 13, has a metal-clad body, much like the older models we've tested, except it steps up to an optional 2,560 x 1,440 display and an extra-wide touchpad designed to make all those Windows 8 gestures easier to pull off. It also starts at $1,000, making it a good deal cheaper than most of the other models we'll be name-checking throughout the review. So does that make it a good deal?
Here's the thing about Amazon: We can't figure the company out half the time. Few things embody that quite as well as the Fire TV. The company is adamant that the set-top box is not a gaming console, but it's invested heavily in original game development for it and even produced a shockingly good gamepad accessory. Still, video games are just a "bonus." One of the pillars of the streaming-media box is supposed to be openness, but there's no denying that other services like Netflix are treated like second-class citizens here. They're invited to the party; they just better not outshine the host.
The Fire TV may be the next step for Amazon as it tries to build its own ecosystem, but it's also yet another entry in the crowded streaming-media market. And the big question is: Do we need another? We've got TV set-tops for cable, satellite and fiber (at one time joined by a disc player for movies and maybe a game system or two). The next-gen game consoles do double duty as entertainment hubs, and there's no shortage of cheap boxes designed specifically to stream Netflix, HBO Go and Pandora. Add in smart TVs and the rise of pint-sized dongles, and the question of what to watch becomes how to watch. The Fire TV is trying to muscle out competitors with its $99 price and a strong focus on performance, search and openness. Now that we've spent a few days living with one, we can judge whether it's just another option among many, or truly a standout that finally fixes problems the others have so far ignored.
How do you fit 12.2 inches of tablet into your life? That's a question I'm sure Samsung must have pondered at some point before greenlighting its Galaxy Note Pro 12.2, a device that stretches the upper limits of what we can easily call a tablet. It's also something I've wondered myself, given that its size puts it within uncomfortably close competition with 11- and 13-inch laptops. That increase in screen real estate comes at a high price, too: $750 for a 32GB model and $850 for 64GB, both WiFi-only. LTE-capable models are coming soon, but Samsung hasn't announced pricing yet. As you might imagine, then, the Note Pro 12.2 isn't intended for your average consumer. No, the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 is aimed at the prosumer niche of the market -- whoever and whatever that actually means.
The Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 isn't a complete departure for Samsung, though. Cosmetically, it's near- identical to the Note 10.1 2014 Edition, except larger. There's that same faux-leather back replete with "stitching," and 2,560 x 1,600 display. What, then, aside from a massive screen, makes the Note Pro 12.2 different enough to justify the price? On paper, the answer to that would center on the version of Android it ships with (4.4.2 KitKat) and its ability to connect remotely to your PC, as well as Samsung's Flipboard-like Magazine interface. Let's be real, though. When it comes to the Note Pro 12.2, size clearly matters most. But that begs the question: Can you and your prosumptive tendencies handle it?