In Game of Thrones, Winter is Coming. In reality, Windows 10 is coming. Today Microsoft spilled the final bean surrounding the shrouded release of its next operating system. Without further ado, Windows 10 comes to market July 29. It brings with it a slew of enhancements and new features. Windows 10 feels familiar as it reverts back to the desktop you know and love from Windows 7; elements from Windows 8, including Live Tiles, are now found inside the revamped Start Menu. Internet Explorer is no more and Microsoft Edge takes its place as the leaner, meaner, and more secure native web browser. Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant from its phones, is making her way to the desktop to help with all kinds of queries. Additionally, Microsoft is tying its ecosystem closer together than ever before by implementing a new Xbox app that brings your Xbox 360 & Xbox One gaming communities to Windows.
So how do I get my hands on the fresh OS, you’re probably wondering at this point. If you’re currently a Windows user, you may have noticed a small Windows icon taking up space in the lower right-hand corner of your display, sitting inside the Notification Area within the Taskbar. Tap it and you’ll be asked if you want to reserve your free copy of Windows 10. (If you don’t see it yet, Microsoft advises you visit this site.) After the simple reservation process is complete, Win10 will automatically download to your device on July 29; when it’s ready to install, the system will let you get it started at your convenience. It’s so easy, a kid can do it, or so Microsoft claims. Note that the free upgrade applies to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users and will only be offered for one year. Windows 10 is rolling out to desktops, laptops, and tablets first, soon to be followed by a wider release on Windows phones and the Xbox One gaming console.
Of course, Microsoft is selling Windows 10 to those few who are still running ancient versions of Windows such as Vista. Windows 10 Home goes for $199 next month, and Windows 10 Pro will cost $199. If you’re curious about upgrade paths coming from Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, check those links provided by VentureBeat.
Be sure to jump after the break to acclimate yourself with MSFT’s new OS with a couple demonstrative videos.
Apple solidifies Watch release date & pricing, unveils HBO standalone streaming service, HealthKit, plus a shiny new MacBook
On Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook hosted the company’s latest keynote dubbed “Spring Forward” and it packed quite a punch. Everyone was expecting more details about the anticipated Apple Watch–release date and pricing was finally made known–but before getting to all that, Cook announced an exciting launch with HBO, he introduced a forward-thinking platform called HealthKit that aims to support the medical field in new and exciting ways, and a brand new MacBook packed with all kinds of cool technology made its debut. For all the details, skip after the break. (Click here for more…)
At last, the house that built Mario is spreading the (portable) love. After releasing the New Nintendo 3DS XL in Japan in October of last year, Ninty is launching the updated dual-screen portable game machine here in the States next month. The latest version of the 3DS boasts a slew of enhancements; most exciting is the inclusion of not one or two but three new control input mechanisms. The C stick (that small round nub located above the ABXY buttons) allows for intuitive camera control in games that decide to support it. And new ZL and ZR buttons positioned behind and below the top screen add even more functionality for gameplay. Nintendo has also modernized the 3D display; new face-tracking technology makes for a more stable and immersive experience. Elsewhere, an NFC chip is packed inside and with an upcoming software update you’ll be able to push your amiibo collection to Super Smash Bros. 3DS. Last, the camera has been improved and a beefier CPU will have you noticing faster game start-ups and load times.
The New Nintendo 3DS XL hits the shelves February 13 in black and red paint jobs for $199.99. Watch a video reveal after the jump. (Also coming out that day is the 3D remake of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask–score!) [Note: Ninty is only releasing the New XL in the States; the New (regular-sized) 3DS remains an overseas exclusive, for now.]
On Thursday Tim Cook and company took the stage in Cupertino to make some new Apple hardware and software announcements. In addition to announcing an updated iPad Air, iPad mini, iMac, and Mac mini, Apple also dated the next version of iOS and OS X both coming in just a few days time. For the full scoop, jump after the break. (Click here for more…)
On Wednesday Google finally revealed the name of the next version of its mobile operating system almost four months after teasing “Android L” at the tech company’s I/O developer conference. Android Lollipop and its consistent look called Material Design will make its debut this fall on two new Nexus devices: the tablet Nexus 9 and the phablet Nexus 6. And “in the coming weeks” it will land on Nexus 4, 5, 7, 10 and Google Play edition devices.
The Nexus 9, manufactured in collaboration with HTC, sports a 8.9-inch 2048 x 1536 LCD display with a 4:3 aspect ratio and reinforced with Gorilla Glass 3. It’s powered by the 64-bit NVIDIA Tegra K1 Dual Denver processor at 2.3GHz and 192-core Kepler GPU. It’s got 2GB RAM and offers 16GB and 32GB storage options. 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 are inside. An 8-megapixel camera sits on the back with auto-focus and LED flash, and around front there’s a 1.6-megapixel shooter. Dual front-facing speakers with HTC BoomSound technology are also included. Sold separately is a keyboard that attaches to the tablet magnetically that allows you to type at different angles. The 9 will be able available for preorder this Friday, October 17. When it releases November 9 it will start at $399 for the 16GB WiFi-only model. A $479 32GB WiFi-only and a $599 32GB WiFi plus LTE model will also be offered. Colors include Indigo Black, Lunar White, and Sand.
The Nexus 6, with hardware by Motorola, has a 5.96-inch 2560 x 1440 QHD AMOLED display with a 16:9 aspect ratio and Gorilla Glass 3. Humming inside is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 805 SOC at 2.7GHz and the Adreno 420 GPU. The rear cam is a 13MP shooter with optical image stabilization and dual LED ring flash, and it can capture 4K video at 30fps. The front-facing 2MP camera can do HD video conferencing. WiFi, Bluetooth, and NFC inside. 32GB and 64GB storage options are offered. Hardware shades include Midnight Blue and Cloud White. You can preorder the Nexus 6 starting October 29. It will go on sale in November starting at $649 with no contract. AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular will sell the handset at an undisclosed discounted price.
In addition to announcing the Android Lollipop powered Nexus 9 and 6, Google also outed a new set-top box called Nexus Player. Made with Asus, the Player runs Android TV and is primed to rival Apple TV and Amazon’s Fire TV as it will provide a one-stop destination for entertainment and gaming needs. The Google Play store is fully integrated to stream movies and TV shows, and apps such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, and YouTube are accessible, too. The box comes with a voice-activated remote to enhance navigation and search, and sold separately is a gamepad for those who wish to play their Android games on the big screen with a video game console-like controller. Also, the Player is Google Cast-ready, meaning it acts very much like Google’s Chromecast dongle allowing you to wirelessly stream media content from your phone or tablet to the big screen. Preordering begins October 17, and the Nexus Player releases on November 3 for $99. The Gamepad will go for $39.
Jump after the break to meet the sleek new Nexus family.
On Tuesday Apple held their highly anticipated event introducing to the world the next-generation iPhone, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus; Apple Pay, the company’s new payment process that hopes to revolutionize the way we checkout at physical and online merchants; and the Apple Watch, an entirely new entrant in a brand new product category for the company. Jump after the break for all the major details. (Click here for more…)
On April 2 Amazon unveiled their latest foray into the hardware space. After making ebooks and tablets the online retailer is directly competing with Apple TV and Roku with their very own media streamer called Amazon Fire TV. The $99 box comes packed with myriad subscription-based and streaming services including Netflix, Hulu Plus, and of course Amazon Instant Video with Prime benefits to Amazon’s catalog of exclusive content.
There really are three things that set the Fire TV apart from the competition. First is its raw power. The box is powered by a quad-core processor, a dedicated GPU, 2GB of RAM, and it supports 1080p video and Dolby Digital Plus surround sound. The company is claiming it has 3x the processing power and 4x the memory of Apple TV and Roku. These specs allow for a fast and fluid experience navigating the UI and media playback. Such generous guts support Amazon’s anti-buffering initiative they’re calling ASAP, or Advanced Streaming and Prediction; instead of waiting 10+ seconds for a video to buffer and stream, the Fire TV will smartly predict the movies and shows you will watch and get them ready for streaming so when you hit play it will immediately begin playback. More specs: ’round back you’ll find a port for power, HDMI, optical audio, Ethernet, and USB. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are also inside.
Amazon’s Fire TV also supports voice search. The included media remote sports a mic that listens to your audible search queries. Simply tap the voice button and speak into the remote to instantly search TV shows, movies, actors, directors, and genres. Of course, an on-screen keyboard is provided in case the software can’t pick up on what you’re saying for whatever reason. Note that the remote is paired to the streamer via Bluetooth so direct line-of-sight for control is not necessary.
Additionally, the box is being billed as a gaming machine. Does it compete with heavy hitters like the Xbox One and PS4–no way, but that doesn’t mean it won’t fight to become an affordable way to access easy-to-pickup titles like world-builder Minecraft and racer Asphalt. In fact, Amazon is so dedicated to making Fire TV a gaming destination that it is also selling a separately sold Amazon Fire Game Controller for $39.99 that is very reminiscent of Xbox’s pad featuring dual analog sticks, a d-pad, and ABXY buttons, as well as media controls. And on top of that, the company has formed Amazon Game Studios to develop games exclusively for the Fire TV such as third-person sci-fi shooter Sev Zero. Press the GameCircle button the Game Controller to view leaderboards and achievements across the Internet. Many games are offered today (a bunch of them are free) with “thousands” more on the way. Check out the Fire TV’s games and apps catalog here. Note that most games do not require the separately sold Game Controller for use, however some do.
What else? In addition to movies and TV, the Android-powered box also streams music (Pandora, Vevo, etc.) and it can wirelessly stream your photos and video saved in Amazon Cloud Drive. You can also mirror your Amazon tablet to your HDTV in the same way iOS devices can be paired with Apple TVs and your Amazon tablet can provide a second screen experience by pulling up content that’s related to what you’re watching on the big screen. Last, Amazon FreeTime allows parents to setup personalized profiles for their kids to access appropriate movies, TV shows, apps, and games.
Amazon Fire TV is available for purchase today. Get a closer look at the media streamer and its gaming controller in the gallery below, then jump after the break to see the UI in action, a sneak peek at Amazon-developed games, and the first commercial for it starring the insane Gary Busey.
“The future of the pro desktop” is finally here. This week Apple made it possible for (wealthy) consumers to order the new and marginally improved Mac Pro through Apple.com. First announced at WWDC ’13, the Mac Pro comes configured in two ways: the base model, starting at $2,999, comes packed with a 3.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon E5 processor, 12GB 1866MHz DDR3 ECC memory, Dual AMD FirePro D300 with 2GB GDDR5 VRAM each, and 256GB PCIe-based flash storage. The speedier $3,999 model sports a 3.5GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5 processor, 16GB 1866MHz DDR3 ECC memory, Dual AMD FirePro D500 with 3GB GDDR5 VRAM each, and 256GB PCIe-based flash storage. From there these models can be further upgraded before checking out. Apple says units will starting shipping in February. If you’re a heavy gamer or a professional creative in the TV and movie industries, this cylindrical powerhouse is just what the doctor prescribed.
On Tuesday, November 26 the complete box set of Breaking Bad releases on Blu-ray and DVD. Except it doesn’t come in a box but inside a collectible replica money barrel! In addition to all five seasons of the hit AMC drama, the set is packed with over 55 hours of bonus material including a two-hour documentary that chronicles the filming of the final eight episodes and, yes, an alternate ending.
Said ending has already leaked onto the Internet and you can watch it now after the break. However, don’t freak out just yet; the inspired bit is just that–it’s a parody that involves Bryan Cranston waking up next to his Malcolm in the Middle wife played by Jane Kaczmarek having experienced a nightmare that pretty much sums up the bulk of Bad. Cranston steps into Hal’s shoes and Kaczmarek doesn’t miss a beat as his former TV wife Lois. Leading up to the series finale many Breaking Bad fans imagined Vince Gilligan’s show to be a prequel to Malcolm whereby Walter White gets put into witness protection and lands on his feet in that sitcom’s household; or it was all a dream, Newhart style. Though that never came to fruition, this fun and quite funny “alternate ending” should do just the trick for fans with such wild imaginations.
The Breaking Bad barrel, which also includes a 16 page booklet with a letter from Vince Gilligan, a commemorative challenge coin designed by Gilligan, and a Los Pollos Hermanos apron, is up for preorder today at Amazon for $201.29. Jump after the break to view the full list of special features. Fill the stockings with the blue stuff this holiday season and get your Heisenberg-obsessed loved one a money barrel brimming with the best of Bad.
Update: A couple more videos are now embedded after the break. Vince Gilligan sets up shop with a webcam to unbox the Breaking Bad barrel, and in another clip stars Bryan Cranston & Aaron Paul get ready to read the series finale script for the first time. Also provided is a link to watch Cranston & Paul read the final moments of the last episode together for the first time at Cranston’s place; it’s all part of the aforementioned two-hour documentary included in the barrel. Enjoy! (Click here for more…)
Microsoft is updating its Surface tablets that showcase their redesigned operating system Windows 8. The Surface 2 is the successor to Surface for Windows RT; its 10.6-inch ClearType Full HD display now renders 1080p, it’s powered by the NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor, and its battery life promises 10 hours for video playback. Its full-size USB port has been upgraded to USB 3.0 and its front and back-facing cameras have been upped to 3.5-megapixel and 5-megapixel, respectively; both can capture 1080p video and feature improved low-light performance. Preloaded with Office Home & Student 2013 RT and Outlook 2013 RT, the Surface 2 starts at $449 and will come in 32GB and 64GB configurations when it goes on sale October 22. Customers can choose from a black or white coat this time.
The Surface Pro 2 is the successor to Surface for Windows Pro; it packs the same 10.6-inch ClearType Full 1080p HD display as the Surface 2 but it’s faster as it’s powered by Intel’s fourth-generation 1.6GHz Core i5 processor. MSFT hypes a 75 percent longer battery life than Surface Pro thanks to the new processor and other internal enhancements. The device houses three USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0, a mini DisplayPort, Ethernet, and audio in/out. A two-stage kickstand, also featured on the Surface 2, gives users another angle to position their tablet. The Surface Pro 2 starts at $899 and will come in 64GB and 128GB configurations with 4GB of RAM and 256GB and 512GB configurations with 8GB of RAM when it, too, hits the market October 22.
New Surface owners will get one year of free international calling and Skype hotspot access, along with 200GB of SkyDrive storage that is free for two years.
The new tablets will sell alongside some new accessories. The Touch ($119.99) and Type ($129.99) Covers are getting updated with thinner and light-weight designs. A new Power Cover ($199.99, coming in early 2014), which features a Type Cover experience, will extend your Surface’s battery life by up to 50 percent. A Docking Station for Surface Pro ($199.99, also coming early next year) will allow owners to easily connect desktop peripherals to their tablets, “taking you from laptop to desktop in an instant.” A Music Cover gives amateur DJs a new way to dive into the art of music making and remixing; release date and price is still TBA on this one.
Check out the gallery below for a closer look at the new Surface tablets and accessories.
On Tuesday Tim Cook hosted an Apple event in Cupertino that introduced not one but two new iPhones. Also, Apple’s next-gen mobile operating system iOS 7 now has a release date and the company’s productivity suite and creative apps are about to become even more popular. Let’s dive in, shall we? (Click here for more…)
First up, a price drop. The Wii U is shedding $50 and will sell for $299.99 starting September 20. This is the black-coated 32GB “deluxe” Wii U that’s seeing the price decrease. The white 8GB “standard” version remains at $300 but I wouldn’t be surprised if Ninty decided to discontinue what used to be the cheaper model soon. With an even more competitive price tag and an onslaught of anticipated first-party titles coming soon (see below) perhaps the time is nigh to finally pull the trigger and pick up Nintendo’s next-gen entry.
Also hitting shelves on the 20th of September is a limited-edition Wii U bundle packed with the anticipated Gamecube remake The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD. At the same $299.99 price point you get the deluxe console, a code to download a digital copy of the Zelda title from the Nintendo eShop (the physical disc doesn’t hit retail until October 4), one GamePad controller adorned with Zelda-inspired gold lettering, and a digital copy of Hyrule Historia, a book that details the chronology, history, and artwork of The Legend of Zelda series.
Next up: new hardware. The Nintendo 3DS is getting a new sibling and its name is 2DS. At $40 less than the 3DS, the 2DS eliminates the ability to play games in eye-popping 3D. Dual screens, cameras, and touch input remain intact, but the original hinge design is replaced with a flat look. The 2DS plays all 3DS games in 2D and it’s backwards compatible with all DS games. When it comes out October 12 for $129.99 it’ll be available in two hues: black/red and black/blue. Watch an introductory video after the break.
Lastly, the house that built Mario is pimping its upcoming games lineup as we near the holiday season. In addition to the aforementioned Zelda title, also in the Wii U pipeline are Wii Party U (10/25), Super Mario 3D World (11/22), Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (12/6), and Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Coming soon to 3DS (and 2DS) are The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (11/22) and Mario Party: Island Tour (11/22). For a list of third party games coming soon to Ninty’s home console and handhelds, jump after the break. (Click here for more…)
On Wednesday Google made a couple product announcements and what we’re doing now, we’re diving right in.
First up is Chromecast, a new way to wirelessly stream content from your personal devices to your big screen TV. The hardware itself resembles a small USB stick, except inside of plugging into a USB port it goes into an HDMI port located on your HDTV. After being plugged in, Chromecast requires two things to function: it needs power (using included cables you can either plug it into a standard wall socket or a USB port on your TV) and WiFi. Land on the correct TV input and blam, you’re connected and ready to go.
Chromecast doesn’t actually boast a user interface. Everything is streamed and controlled by your personal device. For example, if you want to stream an episode of Arrested Development from Netflix, you’d open the Netflix app on your computer, smartphone, or tablet and click the “cast” button to wirelessly stream the video content to your TV. Once the content is projected to the TV, the device you’re streaming it from becomes the remote control allowing you to play, pause, and scrub through whatever you’re watching.
In addition to Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, Google Play Music, and Chrome are currently compatible with Chromecast. In addition to streaming video and music with those apps, the inclusion of Chrome allows you to stream Tabs so you can browse the Internet on your TV. Google is letting developers get their hands on a Google Cast SDK preview so that more apps can become compatible with Chromecast. In the pipeline already is a new version of Pandora that will work with Chromecast with more promised on the way. And Chromecast works across a variety of devices; in addition to Android phones and tablets it also functions with Apple products like the iPhone and iPad, as well as Macs and PCs.
So why buy Chromecast, especially if you already own an Apple TV or Roku or the like? I can think of two reasons right off the bat: one, it costs $35. Yeah, that’s it. You’ll want to own this thing just because you can. And then there’s ease of portability. Sure, you can unplug your Roku and bring it around the house, TV to TV, whenever you like. But can’t you imagine how simpler it’d be to transport something as small as a USB stick to get the job done? The only issue here, of course, is that Chromecast doesn’t support Hulu and Amazon Instant Video and all the other video streaming services out there. Yet. But once it does, Chromecast has the potential to shake things up in the entertainment space. For now, though, see it as an extremely portable and affordable way to bring Netflix, YouTube, and other Google services with you provided an HDMI slot is available to play.
Hop after the break to learn about Google’s other product announcement, if you dare. (Click here for more…)
Meet the Droid Mini, Droid Ultra, and Droid Maxx.
The Mini, as its name makes obvious, is the smallest of the bunch sporting an edge-to-edge 4.3-inch TFT display with an HD resolution of 1280 x 720. Inside there’s a Motorola X8 Mobile Computing System (that is a 1.7GHz dual-core processor with a 400MHz quad-core GPU, natural language processor, and contextual computing processor), 2GB of RAM, 16GB of onboard storage, a 10-megapixel camera with 1080p video capture, and a 2000mAh Li–Ion battery for up to 28 hours of usage or up to 14 days of standby time.
Verizon is calling the Ultra “thinnest 4G LTE smartphone available” measuring 7.18mm thin. It rocks a 5-inch Super AMOLED display with an HD rez of 1280 x 720. It packs a Motorola X8 Mobile Computing System inside (that is a 1.7GHz dual-core processor with a 400MHz quad-core GPU, natural language processor, and contextual computing processor). 2GB of RAM and 16GB of onboard memory is standard here, too, as is a 10MP shooter with HD video capture and the 2130mAh battery (up to 28 hours usage or up to 13 days standby time).
And then there’s the Maxx. Its specs are nearly identical to the Ultra’s expect for its heftier size thanks to an extremely large battery. The non-removable 3500mAh battery promises up to 48 hours of usage (that’s two days!) or 25 days standby. Also, the Maxx has double the internal memory at 32GB. The Maxx also touts built-in wireless charging compatible with a charging pad sold separately.
All the new Droids are made with DuPont Kevlar fiber unibody design and Corning Gorilla Glass. The 4G LTE enabled phones run the latest version of Android, that is 4.2 Jelly Bean, featuring new software enhancements including Droid Command Center (an exclusive homescreen widget for users to easily access notifications for text messages, missed calls, battery level and weather), Droid Zap (a new way to share pictures with nearby Droid users), hands-free voice activation (Droid users can wake up their phones by saying “OK Google Now” and telling it what to do next), and Wireless Display (users can mirror what’s on the screen onto a Miracast-enabled HDTV).
The three Droids by Motorola are up for preorder today. After signing a two-year contract with Verizon Wireless, the Droid Mini can be yours for $99.99, available August 29. The Droid Ultra (made in black and red) and Droid Maxx both go on sale August 20 at $199.99 and $299.99, respectively. Pix in the gallery below. PR after the break.
At Microsoft’s pre-E3 #XboxReveal event, the veil was lifted away from the company’s next-gen hardware known as Xbox One. The event focused primarily on introducing the hardware (including the black box, the enhanced wireless controller, and Kinect 2.0) and the power behind it. Xbox One and its ability to act like a TV set-top box and serve as “the ultimate all-in-one home entertainment system” was the big highlight from that event. Though a handful of titles were teased there, MSFT would save the games for its E3 media briefing. For more, jump after the break. (Click here for more…)
Like Microsoft, Sony held a pre-E3 event where they officially announced the next-gen PlayStation, the PS4. Without showing off the actual console, Sony filled in a lot of the blanks by talking up the advanced architecture that powers the machine, introducing the DualShock 4 wireless controller, a new PlayStation Eye camera, the system’s ability to share and stream gaming sessions, and the company even saved time to introduce some next-gen games. At last, Sony revealed the actual box behind it all and previewed many more games coming to PS4 (more than 140 of them are coming this year) at its E3 briefing. For more, jump after the break. (Click here for more…)
Last Wednesday Apple updated its MacBook Pro with Retina Display lineup with new processors and more affordable prices. The 13-inch MBP with Retina Display now starts at $1,499 (with 128GB of flash storage), and for $1,699 you can opt for a model with a new 2.6GHz processor and 256GB of flash storage. The 15-inch MBP with Retina also received a processor upgrades now featuring models complete with 2.4GHz quad-core and 2.7 GHz quad-core processors. Additionally, the Pro’s slimmer cousin the 13-inch MacBook Air also saw a price drop and now starts at $1,399 (with 256GB of flash storage). These new MBP and MBA models are available at these prices and with these specs today at Apple.com, Apple Stores, and authorized resellers.
Microsoft’s more powerful version of its Surface tablet finally has a release date. Surface with Windows 8 Pro comes to market February 9. It comes packed with Intel’s Core i5 processor and it supports apps available in the Windows Store as well as legacy programs that run on Windows 7 and other previous OS’. More Pro advantages: this slate sports a 1920 x 1080 full HD display, 4GB of RAM, a fast USB 3.0 port, a Mini DisplayPort, and a pen with Palm Block technology. The Pro starts at $899 for the 64GB model; alongside it is a 128GB model that will sell for $999. Unlike the RT version, the Pro doesn’t come bundled with a keyboard cover. The Touch Cover and Type Cover sell separately for $119.99 and $129.99, respectively.
In addition to fully fleshing out the Pro’s future release, Microsoft announced a new pricing option for the Surface for Windows RT. This is the 64GB model but it ditches the keyboard cover to sell for $599. It joins the standalone 32GB model ($499), the 32GB model with Black Touch Cover ($599), and 64GB model with Black Touch Cover ($699).
And there’s more. Microsoft is adding more to its Surface accessory lineup. Three new limited edition Touch Covers featuring funky designs in red, magenta, and cyan are coming soon; they’re priced at $129.99. Also on deck is a wireless Wedge mouse whose design is inspired by the modern look of the Surface; it’s priced at $69.95.
Take a look at the Surface with Windows 8 Pro, along with the new accessories, in the gallery below.
Shorty after pushing out their next-gen Wii U, Nintendo let loose another new hardware release. The Wii Mini is a miniaturized version of the original Wii featuring an updated matte black with a red border design. It comes packaged with a matching red Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuck Controller. At just $99 the Wii Mini is steal for casual gamers who’ve fully embraced motion control gaming. To lower the price to such an affordable level, Nintendo removed the console’s Internet capabilities and GameCube backwards compatibility. The Wii Mini is designed exclusively to play Wii games, and that’s it. “It’s a great value for first-time Wii owners who just want to jump in and experience all the great Wii games that helped usher in a revolution in motion-controlled gaming,” says Ninty in a press release. For the time being, the redesigned Wii will ship exclusively in Canada come December 7. I find it interesting that it’s not simultaneously releasing Stateside, and I’d be surprised if it didn’t penetrate our marketplace soon.
Marvel’s “Phase One” Blu-ray collection was supposed to come out in September but it was delayed due to lawsuit involving the suitcase packaging. After months of silence, the company is finally engaging with its fanbase with new details surrounding the long-anticipated collections that includes all Marvel Phase One movies–namely Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor (in 2D/3D), Captain America: The First Avenger (2D/3D), and The Avengers (2D/3D)–plus loads of other content including “special access to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s most confidential archives, including a top-secret Bonus Disc filled with never-before-seen deleted scenes, extended scenes, featurettes and more, including “And Then Shawarma After” featurette.” The collection also includes “exclusive memorabilia (prop reproductions and artifacts) from the motion pictures,” not excluding the redesigned suitcase and the glowing Tesseract.
Marvel apologizes for the delay in the best way they can: by stuffing the Blu-ray set with new bonus material and a look at “Phase Two” material. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige recently spoke with EW and spilled the beans. “We went back to the editor’s assembly of each film and discovered some rare moments that dropped out of the films early on and had not been released on prior discs,” he said. The new material will allow fans “to catch the connective tissue that paved the way toward the Avengers assembling.” He added, “We spent an embarrassing amount of time compiling the ‘Shield Files’ included in the box set to be sure that each character’s file was full of great, movie-accurate props and Easter eggs, which help tie all of the Phase One films together.” And as for the sneak peek at Phase Two? Owners can expect “footage, concept art, and a few new surprises,” he teased. “Also, look for a nod to Iron Man 3 in the Tony Stark S.H.I.E.L.D. file in the box set.”
The 10-disc, limited edition collector’s set (now called Marvel’s Cinematic Universe: Phase One Collection) is now up for preorder at Amazon for $197.10 and it’s aiming for release on April 2. Additional pics below and an alternate ending to Thor after the break!(Click here for more…)