OnLive has been around for a little while now, but it's no less improbable than it was when it was announced (at which time some gaming blogs called it a technically impossible scam): a service that streams full games, from major publishers, right to your TV or computer, no console necessary. This week, the company will release mobile apps for smartphones and tablets.
In November 2010, Microsoft released Kinect, a motion-sensing accessory for its Xbox 360 gaming console. Kinect could measure depth by sending out thousands of small infrared dots to create a 3-D map of a room, and its microphones could pinpoint sound in space. Such hardware would not be confined to gesture-based videogames. Within a few days, engineers strapped the $150 device onto a robot vacuum and wired the machines together to allow the robot to see and hear. For developers and hackers, Kinect's promise proved irresistible (and affordable): It could give machines sense.
Earlier this morning, Netflix sent out an apologetic email informing Netflix subscribers about a new development: Henceforth, decreed CEO Reed Hastings, the word "Netflix" will now refer to only the streaming video service. DVDs (and now video games) will be banished to another site, which will look identical to the old Netflix but which will be called "Qwikster" and be, for all intents and purposes, totally separate from Netflix.
This is dumb.
We caught a preview of Sony's odd, space-agey head-mounted viewer (appealingly named the HMZ-T1) back at CES in January, but we were pretty surprised to learn that not only is it not a mere demo, Sony's actually planning on, like, putting the thing in stores, where you can exchange currency for it and then take it home. Sony claims it offers an incredibly immersive 3-D experience, better than any TV. We've now played with it twice, and in some ways, that's true.
Check out today's featured Invention Award winner, the KOR-fx, a device that makes you feel physically immersed in a videogame.
Shahriar S. Afshar has spent the past five years perfecting a device that pumps sound vibrations directly to your ribcage, intensifying videogame and movie experiences. But when we meet near his office, the 38-year-old first spends an hour talking physics. “The Higgs boson, the so-called God particle?” he says excitedly. “It does not exist!”
PopSci talks to the designer behind the game's dynamic AI and sandbox galaxies
By John Scott LewinskiPosted 01.29.2010 at 12:01 pm 10 Comments
Mass Effect 2
Bioware's Mass Effect 2 is amongst the handful of video games that generate the same buzz for hardcore players as a major feature film would for genre fans. As it rolls into stores around the world this week, the sequel to the popular blend of action shooter and role-playing game packs new features expanding the capabilities of the title, the genre and the game industry.
When most companies promote a new product, they follow a pretty standard formula. Write a press release, tape a demonstration of the device, and maybe send out some schwag. Yawn. To promote its new line of video projectors, Epson kicked it up to the next level, creating a PS3 gaming rig that let's the user play anywhere there's a flat surface.
After hearing about preparations for the 40th anniversary of the moon landing at Kennedy Space Center last year, British engineer Iain Sharp decided to develop a tribute of his own. His offering, a remake of the 1979 Atari game Lunar Lander, in which players try to settle a module onto the moon’s surface, is a complex mix of scrapped PCs, fishing line, inkjet printer motors and miniature space vehicles.
Every little boy lives in a world that is as much fiction as reality. For a kid sitting in the back seat of a car during a long road trip, that Batman action figure isn't a plastic doll, it's actually the Dark Knight himself. And that arm rest with the drink holder? The towering precipice of a Gotham high rise. And its exactly that imaginary world that Frantz Lasorne looks to make a bit more concrete with his augmented reality toys.