How the Model T convinced Nvidia to build a gaming-focused tablet

The rumors are true: Nvidia is building a tablet for gamers, and you can blame Henry Ford. The Shield Tablet will be available July 29, and pre-orders open today for the 8-inch tablet ($299 for 16 GB and Wi-Fi, $399 for 32 GB and LTE), Nvidia's wireless controller ($59) and its kickstand cover ($39). Today's announcement turns the Shield brand into a family of devices, which began last year with the hardware now known as the Shield Portable, a handheld with a built-in controller. "We've always been thinking about what's next," said Matt Webling, General Manager for Tegra and Nvidia's Mobile Business Unit in a press briefing. "What makes sense to actually bring out next. Shield has actually given us a great device for us to focus on, [as] a company." Must Read Why Nvidia...

Polygon goes to Poland

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Endless Legend seeks the perfect imbalance to keep players exploring and exterminating

Most game designers strive for a state of perfect balance, a happy occlusion in which all parts of a game come together in a tight fit.But for Amplitude Studios, the opposite is true, at least for its turn-based strategy game Endless Legend. The Paris-based outfit wants to make sure that its game is in a constant state of imbalance, so that its players inhabit a universe that is constantly surprising. "I can guarantee you that the game will never be 100 percent balanced," said lead designer Romain de Waubert, in an interview with Polygon. "That is the nature of true asynchronous gameplay. It is always fascinating to see people playing a new way, a new strategy, to beat the game or another player." Endless Legend is a hex-based top-down 4X game (explore, expand, exploit, exterminate)...
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Invisible, Inc. is more interested in quiet observation than murder

For Invisible, Inc. players, failure is sometimes an option. Don't Starve developer Klei Entertainment's new game doesn't expect players to succeed all the time, and it's not about to punish the occasional slip-up. Invisible, Inc. is a game about information: what you know, what you don't and the uncertain shades in-between. Players control a team of spies as they creep through procedurally generated levels. As spies progress, peeking around doors and disabling guards and cameras as they go, the level's layout gradually becomes clearer. But like navigating an individual level itself, Invisible, Inc. is about the larger picture — gathering enough resources to complete the game's final mission. Invisible, Inc. requires thinking on your feet. Still, if you trip just before the finish...

Your first look at Agent Locke in Ridley Scott's Halo: Nightfall

The first image from the upcoming Ridley Scott-produced Halo: Nightfall was released this week, introducing the new Spartan Agent Locke. The picture, which was leaked in an accidental post by Variety that has since been taken down, features actor Mike Colter, whose previous work includes roles in The Good Wife and The Following. Colter was previously confirmed as part of the cast; however, while initially the actor was believed to be playing a character called Marlow, sources confirm he's in fact set to play the new Spartan assigned a role in Halo 5: Guardians. Locke will play "a key role in Halo 5: Guardians," general manager and 343 Industries studio head Bonnie Ross said during a Halo-themed meeting at E3 2014. "We're using Halo Nightfall to basically tell his backstory and tell...

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles soundtrack has a rap single and it's as tacky as you'd hope

I used to dance in my underwear to soundtracks, but let me work my way to that.See, I could opine on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles soundtrack single, Shell Shocked ft. Kill The Noise & Madsonik by Juicy J, Wiz Khalifa, Ty Dolla $ign. But a song this profoundly commercial and blunt is, I feel, better enjoyed first hand. It's like someone reviewing a Big Mac. Here's a buck. Try it for yourself. Your queasiness may vary. I'd rather talk about my weird relationship with soundtracks as a child. I loved them. I loved soundtracks almost as much as I loved Weird Al and this one tape I found of Jeff Foxworthy Live. We've come a long way. Huey Lewis, he was my hero. Puff Daddy and I belted about Godzilla like it was the only thing keeping Godzilla at bay. But my heart belonged to MC...
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Tetris Ultimate is also coming to Nintendo 3DS

Tetris Ultimate, this generation's hi-fi answer to the classic block-stacking puzzle game of yore, is coming to Nintendo 3DS this fall with a handful of exclusive modes, publisher Ubisoft announced. In addition to a single-player challenge mode, the 3DS version will feature seven different modes for between one and four players: Marathon: Complete up to level 15 racking up as many points as possible. Endless: Quickly clear lines until the stamina bar runs out. Ultra: Players have three minutes to complete as many lines as possible. Sprint: Clear 40 lines as fast as possible. Battle: A one- to four-player brawl. Battle Ultimate: The above, but with power-ups that allow players to shift opponents' screens in different directions, dump garbage on their lines and rapidly clear...

Nostalgia is a powerful drug: How is growing beyond a back catalog

Let’s say that you’re trying to play Dungeon Keeper, a game that came out in 1997. That piece of software was designed to work with a version of Windows that is seven generations old. There’s no earthly reason it should play on a modern computer. And yet there are people out there who can make it work. Scattered across the internet, devoted fan bases secret that kind of information away. One team in Poland is constantly reaching out to these communities and soliciting their rarified knowledge, collecting and digesting their expertise so that other gamers don’t have to. All in the quest to automate the process, so that older games can be played just like new ones; with a single click. "If someone is in the community for a game that was released 15 years ago," says Magda Oracz-Chomiuk,...

Nintendo has officially adopted the Luigi Death Stare

No one is immune to the lure of the Luigi Death Stare, it seems, as Mario Kart 8's latest Japanese commercial capitalizes on the meme in a rather dramatic way. We're pretty sure the chorus chanting in the background is warbling some wordless version of ballad "Danny Boy" or the inspirational tune "You Raise Me Up," which makes complete sense in advertising the latest Mario-themed kart racer. You've got your gliders, your shells knocking people into the air, the feeling of mounting despair as your race progress is ground a halt and Luigi's cold, dead eyes punctuate your failure with a glare that could curdle milk. Luigi's Death Stare is everywhere. All of YouTube and the dedicated Mario Kart TV clip-sharing channel, fan conventions (this cosplay is pretty amazing) and Tumblr. If you're...

How to make a video game about drag queens

A California-based studio is developing the sequel to RuPaul's Drag Race: Dragopolis, an iOS and Android game that will feature seven drag queens from the World of Wonder reality TV show RuPaul's Drag Race. The ingredients? Queens, sass, glitter and glamor. Speaking to Polygon, So Much Drama Studios' founder Jeff Meador said the idea for the original Dragopolis came from the apparent lack of video games that targeted and spoke to the LGBT audience. "I think [drag] has such a celebratory element to it," Meador said. "Queens are such fun and they're such characters — it was a great opportunity to bring something like that that has such joy and passion to it, to bring it to life within a video game where we could really take it and make it very cartoony and over the top in a lot of...
Top Games
  • Watch Dogs
    • Platforms: Win, 360, PS3, Wii U, PS4, Xbox One
    • Publisher: Ubisoft
    • Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
    • Release Date: 2014-05-27
  • Destiny
    • Platforms: PS3, 360, PS4, Xbox One
    • Publisher: Activision
    • Developer: Bungie
    • Release Date: 2014-09-09
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
    • Platforms: Mac, Win, iOS, Android
    • Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
    • Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
    • Release Date: 2014-03-11
  • Dark Souls 2
    • Platforms: PS3, 360, Win
    • Publisher: Namco Bandai
    • Developer: From Software
    • Release Date: 2014-03-11
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How to build your own Game Boy with a Raspberry Pi and a hot glue gun

Buying a Game Boy from Goodwill is something of a risky proposition. It's not so much the $5 it might cost you, but the unknown condition of the 25-year-old handheld. That didn't stop a blogger who goes by "microbyter," who overcame the damage caused by an exploded battery in a secondhand Nintendo product. He took the handheld's iconic shell and inserted his own hardware to create the "Super Mega Ultra Pi Boy 64 Thingy," a process he documented on his website. Using the Raspberry Pi, a credit card-sized computer on a single chip, hardware like a 3.5-inch LED screen and some emulation software, he created a modern take on a gaming classic. Check out the videos below to watch him document his progress and read an in-depth walkthrough on the blog. For more on the $35 computer at its...

College football players want the NCAA Football video game back as much as you do

If you're bummed that EA Sports killed its NCAA Football series, know that the college football players it featured are bummed out, too. A few said they don't want money from any legal settlement — they just want the game back. EA Sports ended its long-running college series last September to settle lawsuits brought by former players — which became a class action involving current players — over the uncompensated use of their likenesses in the series. This particular case highlights the debate over the NCAA's amateurism rules, in that even if EA Sports was willing to pay for their likenesses (it even lobbied the NCAA for such permission) to do so would render any player appearing under his own name ineligible. Virginia Tech player Luther Maddy told CBS Sports' Jon Solomon that he...

Dota 2 team Newbee just won The International 4 — along with the largest eSports prize pool in history

At this morning's Dota 2 International world championships, Newbee won the gold, and a winner's purse of more than $5 million. Chinese team Newbee fought back from a 7-8 record in single-match play earlier this month to win five consecutive sets, securing their place in the winners bracket for the final. Fellow Chinese team ViCi Gaming sat at the top of the single-match stage with a 12-3 record, though they lost their match against Newbee last Friday afternoon. As a result, they had to fight through the entirety of the main event brackets, beating US team Evil Geniuses Sunday night. The Grand Final started this morning with a commanding win by ViCi as they gave Newbee a rare shellacking. But Newbee turned the tables on ViCi entirely, routing them in three straight games to become...

League of Legends new cinematic trailer could be its best yet

Riot Games released its latest League of Legends cinematic trailer to its official YouTube page today, featuring a lineup of familiar champions, with a cast ranging from Ahri to Zyra. Coming in at just over six minutes long, "A New Dawn" sees "day [breaking] over a landscape consecrated by blood and steel," according to the official video blurb. In other words, it's a lot of combat. "I think we wanted players to come away with this feeling a stronger connection to the characters they play as," said Riot animator Rylan Davies in a behind-the-scenes talk. "I play Jax a lot and seeing him in cinematic form gives you a lot more of an attachment to the character." "I think it's just about fleshing things out," he continues. "Who are these characters? What is the world really like that...

Jurassic World's first poster is here, looks better than any Jurassic Park video game

Jurassic World is 11 months from release, but a steady trickle of leaks and promotions have been hitting the internet since the beginning of this summer. This week, director Colin Trevorrow tweeted the exclusive poster for San Diego Comic-Con. Exclusive Jurassic World art from @MarkEnglert, available at SDCC to a resourceful few.— Colin Trevorrow (@colintrevorrow) July 21, 2014 On the poster, a velociraptor stands atop a wrecked jeep, similar to the iconic vehicles from the original Jurassic Park. In the background, we see a mountain, construction work and a cargo helicopter carrying … who knows what. Dinosaurs? Jeff Goldblum? Thousands of cans of shaving cream? Whatever the case, I'm happy the titular world isn't an excuse to set a Jurassic Park in New...

Nvidia's new gaming tablet fully supports Twitch broadcasting

The new Shield Tablet from Nvidia, revealed just this morning, will be the first mobile device to fully support broadcasting to Twitch, the live-streaming announced. Previously, mobile games themselves such as Asphalt 8: Airborne for iOS devices, have featured Twitch streaming options; the Shield Tablet is capable of streaming anything on it, whether that is any Android game or games streamed from a user's PC. The Shield Tablet will feature the Twitch viewing application preinstalled on the device; Twitch said last month the Android app alone accounted for more than 850 million minutes of content viewed by 2.6 million unique viewers. The broadcasting capabilities of the Shield Tablet are supported by the device's 5-megapixel, front-facing camera. "It's no secret our goal is to be...

Wildstar's next major content drop is PvP heaven

Wildstar's next major content update — Sabotage — will introduce a plethora of player-versus-player options to the game, including a 15-on-15 battleground arena, developer Carbine Studios announced today. Slated for release later this month, the multiplayer mode Sabotage includes new airstrike and explosive options as well as mounts in its massive Daggerstone Pass battleground arena, which players can access once they hit level 30. Within Daggerstone Pass, the objective is to capture and hold certain points within it, which will in turn assist teams in damaging the enemy team's base. Bombs will randomly spawn near bases and can be used by players for various functions — just know they will begin ticking down as soon as they are picked up. According to Carbine, Sabotage's content...

Average salary of game developers is down from 2012, says survey

The average salary for game developers dropped by 2 percent in 2013 compared to the same period the year prior, a new survey from Gamasutra confirms. The Game Developer Salary Survey is based on information gathered between the period of Jan. 1, 2013, to Dec. 31, 2013, based on over 4,000 responses worldwide. Among its key findings is evidence of a major increase in the average salary of indie studio teams, which saw a 161 percent rise to $50,833; however, solo indie developers saw on average a major decrease in salary by 49 percent to $11,812. Per discipline, the survey found that audio professionals made a greater salary than all other disciplines, with professionals making an average of $95,682 in the U.S. Comparatively, programmers made an average of $93,251, producers made...

Bungie pays up $95K to the composer behind Halo

Bungie is paying $95,000 to composer Marty O'Donnell following a lawsuit against the company and chief executive Harold Ryan over unpaid benefits after being let go by the company, Venturebeat reports. The settlement includes $38,385 in unpaid work, and this same amount once more in damages. With legal fees and interest this comes to a total of $95,019.13. The suit, filed on May 1, claims that Bungie violated its agreement to pay employees for "unused vacation, paid time off, sabbatical time and other benefits." The document states that there are other, separate grievances against Ryan "that are being pursued in arbitration." A response from Bungie was filed on May 27 denying all allegations. The composer was let go on April 11 "without cause," according to a tweet he posted at the...

Watch Dogs modder releases final version of his PC graphics overhaul, TheWorse Mod

The modder who's been tweaking the graphics of Ubisoft's Watch Dogs, Federico Rojas (aka TheWorse), released the final version of his mod that originally aimed to return the PC version to its original, E3 2012 demo glory. "This is the last release of my modification," Rojas wrote alongside the release of TheWorse Mod version 1.0. "I did my best to improve graphics and performance as much as I could without degrading the quality." The release comes in two flavors: one with a high-resolution texture pack from another modder MaLDo and one without. Users of the Guru3D forums, which is host to a handful of lengthy threads related to Rojas' work on the Windows PC version of Watch Dogs, are posting comparison pics of the latest version with adjustments of their own. Rojas' mod gained...
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