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Xbox One to play catch up with Plus7

Xbox One to play catch up with Plus7

Xbox and Yahoo7 are partnering up to give Xbox One users a custom Plus7 app with catch-up TV content from Channel 7 starting September 3.

Currently, the Plus7 app can be accessed through web, mobile and tablet (iOS and Android), providing content from Yahoo!7 channels Seven, 7mate and 7TWO, as well as from other content partners.

Interestingly, Plus7 has so far only turned up on the PlayStation 3 while the Xbox 360 got a miss. There's also no word yet if the app will turn up on the PS4.

Content, everywhere

With the launch of FreeviewPlus set for tomorrow, the availability of catch-up TV services through a number of devices has only been increasing.

Yahoo7's Director of Product and Audience, Caroline Casey, said that the company is focused on making its "available wherever and whenever users want".

For Xbox, the inclusion of the service will allow it to help the Xbox One deliver more than just games.

"With Xbox One, we set out to create an all-in-one solution built for the future that not only has the best games, but the best entertainment and TV experiences together in one place," said Jeremy Hinton, Xbox Lead for Microsoft Australia.

"We are excited to welcome Plus7 into our great line-up of local and international content available on Xbox One."


Week in Gaming: New 3DS models, Super Smash Bros fever, and Super Meat Boy Forever

Week in Gaming: New 3DS models, Super Smash Bros fever, and Super Meat Boy Forever

Rumour has it that Nintendo president Satoru Iwata is a big Week in Gaming fan. There's nothing he likes to do more on a Saturday morning than chow down on some lovely big bananas and read through TechRadar's pick of the gaming crop.

And rumour has it that, having realised how humdrum the gaming news had been this week, he decided to reveal two new designs for the 3DS and 3DS XL on Friday - just for us. Thanks Iwata!

And what do these new handhelds add? A faster processor, new trigger buttons, a better screen, and most importantly, a new directional nubbin. The only downside is that some new games, such as the upcoming Xenoblade Chronicles, will be incompatible with the existing versions.

3DS

Other than that we're pretty damn pleased with Nintendo's new handhelds, but we'll be waiting a while to get our hands on them: the new designs will launch in Japan on October 11, but won't reach here until 2015.

Oh, and while we're on the subject, Nintendo's American president (and TechRadar hero) Reggie Fils-Aime did the ALS ice bucket challenge - and didn't nominate anyone after. Which means the ice bucket challenge is now over for everyone. That's it, done.

YouTube : www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSK3u23pz4Q

Son of a twitch

Ok, we lied, there was some other important gaming news this week. Amazon announced it had bought Twitch, which is kind of a big deal - and a bit of a shock too: following numerous reports, we were led to believe that Google was in the final stages of making a deal with the streaming giant.

Why this is good news for gamers

The justin.tv spin-off has rocketed over the years thanks to a thriving fanbase, a lot of which has been aggravated by the Amazon buyout. But Amazon is no longer just an e-tailer, and while selling stuff might still be its bread and butter, the company is betting big on home entertainment and gaming right now. Twitch.tv falls into that plan quite perfectly.

Or is it bad news? Arrrgggh!

Twitch

The cynic inside us worries that Amazon recommendations might start creeping into the service, but the optimist sees an opportunity to build its presence in gaming alongside its own studio (announced earlier this year), as well as building a serious YouTube rival. And Twitch, in turn, gets access to the Amazon bank vault.

So yes, while it's a shame to see another growing swooped up by one of the big dogs, we'll remain hopeful that Twitch will only be all the better for it.

Incidentally, these 'Twitch plays' are getting really out of hand.

YouTube : www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcoJYZuuzO4

Smash and grab

Super Smash Bros fever is sweeping the office as Nintendo continues to drip-feed us like the hype hamsters we are. This week the treat was a medley of music tracks from the upcoming brawler, including the one below. TUNE.

YouTube : www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORXonp2lc0g

Nintendo also revealed the next character in the lineup of fighters, Shulk of Xenoblade Chronicles fame. This adds more credence to an earlier character roster "leak". We won't spoil anything here, but if you really want to know who else might be joining the party, CVG has the skinny.

Nice to meat you

Team Meat, creators of Super Meat Boy, has been teasing a new project - and it's just revealed that project is an endless runner called A Voyeur for September.

All was announced at PAX this week, where attendees were able to play a demo of the endless platformer. The game is actually based on Super Meat Boy, maintaining the same art style and gameplay, but will be available on phones and tablets as well as Steam.

Unfortunately the name isn't an indicator of its release date. A Voyeur for September is just an anagram of Super Meat Boy. The game will be out "when it's done". [CVG]








PAX Prime 2014: Alienware unveils Area-51, newly reimagined gaming PC

PAX Prime 2014: Alienware unveils Area-51, newly reimagined gaming PC

Alienware is no stranger to designs that are "out there", but this is perhaps the most functional and unique one yet.

Announced today during PAX Prime, the Alienware Area-51 is a reimagination of previous Alienware designs, and will serve as the company's latest flagship gaming PC.

The triangular Triad chassis is designed to provide a controlled thermal exit environment ideal for when the system is placed directly against a wall.

The panels are also built to be as easy as possible to remove, with the interior promising to provide simple removal and the addition of parts.

Speaking of guts ...

You'll be able to customize the Area-51, but it will ship with the latest Intel Haswell-E Core i7 6 and 8-core processors with up to 16 processing threads and support for up to 32 GB's of 2133 DDR4 memory. Each system also ships factory overclocked and liquid-cooled.

The latest Area-51 will also have a brand new update to Alienware Command Center with the introduction of version 4.0.

Alienware Area-51

With 4.0, you'll be able to personalize nine lighting zones on the chassis with 20 colors that can generate up to 512 trillion lighting combinations using AlienFX. The Command Center will also let you monitor your hardware performance and configure profiles for individual games and apps.

There will also be more options when it comes to overclocking the system, adjust CPU clocks, voltages, memory timings and more with better precision than the previous software.

Pricing hasn't been announced yet, but you can expect US shipping to begin in October of this year and globally this holiday season.








Meet the new Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL

Meet the new Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL

Well here's a nice surprise: Nintendo has just revealed two newly refreshed 3DS designs, which will squeeze in an improved screen, NFC support, better battery life, and - wait for it - a second directional button.

In a Nintendo 3DS Direct presentation, the updated handhelds, dubbed the "New 3DS" and the "New 3DS LL" (which will be XL over here), were announced for a Japanese launch, though we suspect it won't be long until they voyage to our shores.

Nintendo's upped the screen size of the standard unit from 3.53 inches to 3.88 inches but is keeping the XL the same at 4.88 inches.

The new hardware also adds in additional shoulder buttons and a better CPU, which means some future games won't be compatible with the current model.

3DS

And for anyone out there who's actually switched on the 3D effect in the last year, the new screen will offer improved viewing angles for better stereoscopic pop.

3DS

Additionally, Nintendo's ditching the SD cards in favour of MicroSD, and has moved the cartridge slot to the bottom - probably just for the sake of messing with us.

But yes, it's the second circular pad (named the C-Stick, after the GameCube) that we're most pleased to see. Remember when Nintendo tried to solve the problem with this?

3DS

Both handhelds will go on sale in Japan on October 11. We're chasing up with our Nintendo contacts now to see if there's any word yet on a global release.








Valve to face legal action from ACCC over Steam refunds

Valve to face legal action from ACCC over Steam refunds

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced that it has begun proceedings against Valve over the company's refund policy for games sold through its online game distribution platform, Steam.

"The ACCC alleges that Valve made false or misleading representations to Australian customers of Steam that: consumers were not entitled to a refund for any games sold by Valve via Steam in any circumstances," it wrote on its website.

The ACCC is also alleging that Valve made false or misleading representations about excluding, restricting or modifying "statutory guarantees and/or warranties that goods would be of acceptable quality", that Valve would not be under any obligation to repair, replace or refund games if the consumer hadn't contacted the game developer, and that "statutory consumer guarantees did not apply to games sold by Valve".

"The Australian Consumer Law applies to any business providing goods or services within Australia. Valve may be an American based company with no physical presence in Australia, but it is carrying on business in Australia by selling to Australian consumers, who are protected by the Australian Consumer Law," ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

He said that because Valve states that they don't give refunds under any circumstances, it was in breach of the Australian Consumer Law, which allows consumers to "insist on a refund or replacement at their option if a product has a major fault".

Courting Valve

As a result of the proceedings filed by the ACCC, a directions hearing will take place at the Federal Court of Sydney on 7 October.

Speaking to Kotaku, Valve has responded to the ACCC's announcement, saying that it will seek fully cooperate with the Australian consumer watchdog.

"We are making every effort to cooperate with the Australian officials on this matter, while continuing to provide Steam services to our customers across the world, including Australian gamers," said Valve's Vice President of Marketing, Doug Lombardi.

"The ACCC is seeking declarations, injunctions, pecuniary penalties, disclosure orders, adverse publicity orders, non-party consumer redress, a compliance program order and costs," the ACCC wrote on its website.








Leap Motion mounts onto the Oculus Rift, lets you use your hands in VR

Leap Motion mounts onto the Oculus Rift, lets you use your hands in VR

Virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus are a big step towards making gaming experiences much more immersive. But one downside to VR is it leaves us incredibly disconnected when we can only interact with the world through a controller.

Now Leap Motion is stepping in to fix this problem with a new $20 (about £12, AU$21) mount that lets users attach their motion sensor bar to the front of a VR headset. Similar to using the motion tracking peripheral on a desk, the headset-mounted Leap Motion will sense users' hands and record their gestures when they reach out in front of them.

The motion tracking company announced the new peripheral with an accompanying video demo showing the Leap Motion will generate a wire frame of users hands.

On top of detecting where users' hands and individual finders are, users will be able to affect the virtual world using just their hands. A few examples in the video included pushing balls around and flying though virtual space with your hands out as if you were Superman.

The way forward

YouTube : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ATQG9mnm34

Along with the new head turning (literally) way of mounting your Leap Motion to a VR headset, the company also announced releasing a new beta SDK for developers to come up with new ways to use its peripheral from a head-mounted position.

Within time the company hopes programmers will come up with new ways to integrate VR and motion tracking closely together.

Leap Motion also teased it's working on a new prototype sensor, codenamed Dragonfly, which will be embedded in future headsets by VR headset makers. Dragonfly also purportedly features a number of upgrades including beyond HD image resolution, color as well as infrared imagery and a wider field of view.

With this pair up it seems VR will be the key to seeing the virtual world while Leap Motion sits in front to reconnect users with the real world around them.

What's virtual reality like beyond the Oculus Rift?








Xbox One SmartGlass updates enable gameplay recording and more

Xbox One SmartGlass updates enable gameplay recording and more

Does your preference of gaming console lean toward allegiance to Microsoft? If you also happen to own a smartphone or tablet, the folks in Redmond have just pushed out across the board updates to the SmartGlass app that deliver welcome improvements.

Microsoft (via Engadget) today released updates to the free Xbox One SmartGlass app for Windows Phone, iOS and Android which finally allow console owners to remotely record game clips and a whole lot more.

Now available on Windows Phone Store, App Store or Google Play marketplaces for each respective platform, the updates deliver the same set of improvements to the vast majority of smartphone and tablet owners.

The ability to control recording of gameplay from a mobile device is a particularly welcome addition now that Microsoft is shipping less expensive Xbox One systems without a Kinect to handle the voice and motion-sensing chores.

Smart(er)Glass

In addition to recording of game clips, Thursday's Xbox One SmartGlass app updates also enable the ability to share and post activity feed items, as well as post status updates to said activity feed.

Neither of those improvements would be worth much without the ability to actually see the activity feed on your profile, and the updates also unlock features for the new markets Xbox One has most recently launched in.

Last but certainly not least, SmartGlass now features in-app display of release and feature notes, as well as the ability to see messages in a revamped conversations view, rounding out a nice assembly of cross-platform enhancements.

Unfortunately, Microsoft has left owners of Kindle Fire, Amazon Fire Phone and BlackBerry 10 hardware out in the cold with today's updates, but there's no sense crying over spilt milk since those platforms never had these apps to begin with.

  • Check out the competition in our full Sony PS4 review!







You can buy and download Destiny for Xbox One right now

You can buy and download Destiny for Xbox One right now

Microsoft is finally getting a win when it comes to Destiny - sort of.

The company just announced that it will allow users to pre-buy and pre-download Bungie and Activision's Destiny on Xbox One, a feature Microsoft said during Gamescom 2014 would be coming to the console.

Ever since Halo developer Bungie broke off with Microsoft several years ago, the Seattle studio has been playing favorites with Sony, so this may seem initially like a win for the Xbox platform.

That is until you remember that Sony already announced earlier this year that PS4 owners will be able to pre-download Destiny as well, and Microsoft is still eating Sony's seconds.

It's your destiny to buy this game now

To pre-purchased Destiny on Xbox One head to either the Destiny Pre-Order Edition or Destiny Digital Guardian Edition listings in the Xbox store (but not the normal Destiny listing, which directs you to the other two).

Once the game is purchased you can download it by selecting "manage" in the Xbox One store's listings for either version of the game, if it doesn't start automatically.

It will unlock around the world just after midnight in local times on September 9, Destiny's release date, though for countries with multiple time zones the unlock will be aligned with one (sorry, east coasters).

The Pre-Order Edition naturally comes with the game's Vanguard Armory and Emblem pre-order bonuses, while the more expensive Digital Guardian Edition also has other in-game bonuses and a season pass for two upcoming Destiny expansions.

More games will be available for pre-download soon, Microsoft promised, so do a little dance if you really, really hate waiting.








Azure Striker: Gunvolt Review

In

Gunvolt comes from Inti Creates, a team with twelve years of Mega Man games under its belt, so it's not surprising that a gun is central to the action in Gunvolt. Thankfully, the flow of action deviates from your traditional run-and-gun side-scroller, which is a pleasant surprise given that you still, for the most part, run to the right while firing a pistol. Rather than firing bullets in the traditional sense, your sidearm shoots metallic tags that allow the lightning from Gunvolt's spherical Flashfield to arc across the screen and inflict damage. Since you'll drain your fuel reserves--known as EP--after a few seconds, you can't keep it activated indefinitely. Deplete your EP meter and you'll overheat, which delays the amount of time before the auto-recharge effect kicks in. You have the ability to recharge it on the fly by double tapping the directional pad, but only if the field is disabled and you haven't already overheated. During a frantic barrage of incoming fire, this is easier said than done.

Quickly and cleanly soaring through missions while managing your EP levels is a dance that takes time to master, but every little bit of progress pays off in the rankings and rewards you receive at the end of each mission. The ranking you receive, in addition to the number of collectible medallions you find during each mission, give you chances to reveal squares on a grid representing different materials at the end of a level, though you only get to walk away with one per mission. These materials are used to synthesize new equipment that alter Gunvolt's movement abilities and EP expenditure, and as you progress, taking advantage of these possibilities make Gunvolt a more adept soldier, and the hunt for higher rankings that much more enjoyable.

Quickly and cleanly soaring through missions while managing your EP levels is a dance that takes time to master...

Though you earn a new type of pistol for each boss you defeat, new weapons simply introduce new paths for your tag bullets or increase the number of tags that you can interact with at a given time. There's room to master the intricacies of each, but you're better off focusing on improving the speed of your game and the destructiveness of your Flashfield. By stringing together consecutive attacks on enemies without taking damage, the amount of experience you earn increases. The faster you level up, the sooner you unlock new offensive or recovery skills that become critical tools during more challenging boss battles. They're often powerful, with some capable of fully recharging your health or cutting a boss's health in half, but with only three, slowly recharging skill points to spend at any given time, it's impossible to abuse the more powerful skills that eat up two points at once. If you need some extra help, however, there's an optional roll-of-the-dice that you can initiate between levels that gives you the chance for a one time revival upon death during your next outing, which also gives Gunvolt an EP meter that never drains and a mid-air jump that never tires.

Gunvolt can be challenging at times, but these moments are limited to endgame boss battles and optional skill trials, the latter of which are necessary for obtaining some of the rarer synth materials. Some early trials are a walk in the park, but the challenges that follow are incredibly demanding, and one slip up can make the difference between a successful or failed attempt. Playing with the equipment and crafting system can make things easier, but you quickly find that completing challenges, more than the main mission path, is the ultimate sign of mastering Gunvolt's abilities.

It's enjoyable to be able to breeze through the main game while learning how to wield Gunvolt's abilities with newfound confidence, but considering that most levels can be completed in about ten minutes, and there are just over ten to explore, it's also a bit deflating when the game runs out of new things for you to see. The challenges and the hunt for hidden items are worthwhile endeavors that will encourage you to play for a few additional hours, but you're still repeatedly retracing your steps, and this is Gunvolt's only downfall. That's not to say you won't find yourself going back in for just one more run, but this take on the core Mega Man formula ultimately runs out of new scenarios quicker than it deserves to given how exciting and fun it is to play.

Blip: People are watching a lot of porn on the 3DS

Blip: People are watching a lot of porn on the 3DS

People watch porn. It's a fact of life. People watch porn and they watch it on things. But what things? And for how long? And why are we so interested?

Well, PornHub has crunched the data and spat out some unnecessarily detailed metrics about the tech people use for their, er, private time. And we've learned the following:

- People are watching porn on their Nintendo 3DS
- BlackBerry users "do it" for the longest (an average visit lasts 11 minutes, 53 seconds)
- Several thousand monthly visitors view porn on Windows 95 and 98 systems
- Windows Phone users really like cartoon porn
- There are people watching porn on the BlackBerry Playbook

We've quite a few other concerns too, the biggest being the number of people still using Windows NT. But come on, the 3DS? We actually feel a weird sort of respect for you, but are there honestly no better options?

More blips

When you enter the blips, you don't come out again