The future of search, according to Microsoft, is outside of the white search bar. "Now the way for human beings to express their interest or needs goes way beyond a browser search typing in keywords," said Microsoft's Bing chief, Qi Lu. "You can use voice to have a conversation, you can use gestures to express yourself."
Moving forward, Bing will fit into all of Microsoft's products, providing information access from physical objects to expand the context of its search.
"The battle between us and Google is going to be over who can build understanding more quickly to serve people in a much more anticipatory way," says Microsoft's Adam Sohn. "Google's going to understand every entity on the planet, we're gonna understand every entity on the planet, but the question will be what do you do with that information?"
Read More | The Verge
We recently reported on the Slacker Radio redesign, and the company is keeping the freshness going, debuting on the Xbox 360 today. You can download the Slacker app for free, and you've gotta be an Xbox Live Gold subscriber in the US or Canada for the privilege. You get the same overhauled color scheme, music guide, and Kinect voice controls. Head over to the Xbox Live Marketplace to grab the 116 MB download.
OUYA, the Android-based home game console that took Kickstarter by storm, is now available for pre-order on Amazon for those who missed out on the campaign. The cost is $99 for the unit, which includes the OUYA console and one controller. The draw of OUYA is that anyone can develop and publish games for the console, and there's no huge financial barrier to entry for devs. This could mean that there will be just a bunch of random stuff, but it also means that you'll have more developers working on quality games--and for the first time on a home console, you'll likely see games as inexpensive as the ones you play on your iOS and other Android devices. OUYA is powered by a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor and 1 GB RAM with 8 GB of storage and 1080p output. Pre-order it now for $99 and it'll deliver in June, and don't forget to grab an extra controller.
Read More | OUYA pre-order
Monster and EA Sports have jointly announced the MVP Carbon, a pair of gaming headphones, which is a first for Monster. The MVP Carbon headset brings simulated 5.1 surround sound through 30mm drivers. Naturally, you also get an integrated microphone (removable) for chat, and a headphone amplifier that Monster calls the "Gamebox." Sugar Ray Leonard and Xzibit are working with Monster as ambassadors for the MVP Carbon, which go on sale in February for $269.95, and will be available in black and white, with glowing EA Sports logo. The MVP Carbon are compatible with Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii, and Wii U.
Read More | Monster EA MVP Carbon
If you're weren't lucky enough to attend 2013's Consumer Electronics Show, then you can catch up on NVIDIA's keynote here. The company had a fairly talked about showing, revealing a similarly praised and criticized product in its Project Shield, Android-based gaming console. NVIDIA also revealed its new Tegra 4 processor, all of which you can see in its entirety in the video after the break.
Read More | Twitch TV
2012 is set to come to a close in just a few hours, and we are just in time with our annual top 10 list of the most-watched Gear Live video episodes. Over the past year, as expected, there was a bunch of Apple gear that made the list, and it's dominated by smartphones and tablets, with the exception of two Monster headphones, a look at the Boeing 787, and a USB 3.0 hard drive.
Elgato has stepped into the game capture card market with its Game Capture HD device. Connecting through HDMI, high-definition video can be captured at up to 1080p (after a recent update) on either your Windows or Mac computer. One of the biggest draws to this product is that it’s a self-powered, external capture card allowing use a laptop to capture from the comfort of your living room.
The Game Capture HD was designed to be used with all of your favorite gaming consoles and has even been updated to work directly with the newly released Wii U. As an avid Playstation gamer, the only “issue” with in in Sony’s HDCP protection with HDMI connections. Elgato has us covered though and provides a special AV cable that runs into the PS3’s multi-port to capture HD gameplay and audio. While the Game Capture HD was created with game consoles in mind, any non-HDCP protected devices with HDMI outs can be captured, including iOS devices and computers.
Stereo headsets have been a part of computer gaming and theater experiences for years but they’ve recently started making the cross into the living room with gaming consoles. Turtle Beach has been a leader in the gaming headsets and have released a number of headsets that work with the Xbox 360 or the Playstation 3. The EAR FORCE PX5 is a wireless Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound headset that works with both.
Upon opening the PX5, I was surprised to see they had included not only the receiver, wireless surround sound headset, and detachable microphone, but also an optical cable and and others to get going. The included optical cable is very thin and feels a bit on the cheap side but the quality of sound it provides in my case was the same as a more expensive cable, but I do fear that moving it around too much may break the cable. The receiver includes an optical in and out port, standard red/white RCA jacks, a port for a wired headset in case you are playing with a friend and finally the DC power port.
Are you ready to usher in the arrival of the next-generation consoles? Nintendo is, as it's released the Wii U, today's pick in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide. There are two configurations of Wii U available: a $299 white base model that packs in 8GB of storage, and a $349 Deluxe black bundle that has 32GB of storage and the NintendoLand game.
Both versions include the Wii U console, a WiiPad, sensor bar, AC adapters, and HDMI cable. If you opt for the Deluxe set, you'll also get a play stand, charging stand, and console stand.
The current Wii remotes and nunchuks are fully compatible with the Wii U console.
Read More | Wii U
If you're not familiar with the SmartGlass second-screen app for Microsoft's Xbox 360, it is an app that seeks to improve user viewing experience by connecting the 360 console to smartphones and tablets. Sports fans might be in for a new reason to download the app if they haven't already, as Microsoft is bringing SmartGlass functionality to it's ESPN and NBA Game Time apps, as well as a new Sports Picks app.
From the SmartGlass app for iOS, Android, and Windows, you will be able to navigate the content from the apps directly from the tablet or smartphone. SmartGlass also brings more interaction to the viewing experience, such as allowing competition between friends to see who is most knowledgeable about whatever they're watching, with the chance to be featured in a global leader board.
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