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'The Flame in the Flood' arrives today on PlayStation 4

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 18:47:00 -0500


When it was released last year, The Flame in the Flood garnered a lot of attention for its big name developers and unique take on the wilderness survival genre. Today, PlayStation 4 players who have been missing out the experience will finally get to take a trip up the game's fictionalized Mississippi river and through a dystopic version of the American South.

Source: PlayStation Store

Seinfeld's 'Comedians in Cars' moves to Netflix this year

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 18:20:00 -0500

(image) Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is jumping from Sony's Crackle streaming service to one that people actually watch: Netflix. Late this year, the show will debut with 24 new episodes according to Variety. What's more, 59 back episodes of the Emmy nominated show will arrive on the streaming service as well, and there are plans for another new run of episodes for next year.

Source: Variety

Sony's new PlayStation headset is premium in name alone

Sat, 14 Jan 2017 11:00:00 -0500


There's no shortage of gaming headsets on the market, and in an effort to distinguish themselves, manufacturers are turning to gimmicks to stand out from the competition. Sony, for example, has several PlayStation-branded pairs, and now it's adding another to the mix, in hopes that 3D audio will be enough to earn your $150. After spending some time with the new PlayStation Platinum Wireless Headset, though, I'm not sure it deserves its asking price.

Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton is stepping down

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 18:27:00 -0500


Michael Lynton is moving on from Sony, to focus on being the chairman of Snap, Inc., the parent company of Snapchat. Lynton has been at the top of Sony Pictures for 13 years, a span which included the massive 2014 hacking incident that saw unreleased films, emails and other studio information released on the internet. At the time, his co-chair at Sony Pictures was Amy Pascal, she left the company in 2015.

He's also been the CEO of Sony America since 2012, and Sony says that his departure will extend over the next six months as it works to find a replacement. In the meantime, Sony CEO Kaz Hirai will take over the title of Chairman and co-CEO of Sony Entertainment, and maintain a second office at Sony Pictures' headquarters in California.

Source: Sony

Teaching the uninterested about headphones

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 13:00:00 -0500


By Aaron Souppouris and Mat Smith

There's a constant divide at Engadget between those who care about audio and those who don't. I (that's Aaron) fall mostly in the first category: I appreciate high-end headphones, but my budget typically leaves me with pairs costing $200 to $300. My current daily 'phones are AKG K702s for home and Master & Dynamic MH30s for out and about.

My colleague Mat Smith couldn't be more different. He uses a mix of unremarkable Sony earbuds and Bluetooth headphones and responds to "audiophile" conversation with a bespoke mixture of groans and eye rolls. This CES, I decided to spend a morning getting him excited about headphones. It went ... OK?

The rules were simple and our methodology entirely unscientific. We would travel from booth to booth, listening to a single track over and over. Because we're mean, the Engadget CES team deemed Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" the perfect fit, despite the holidays being long gone.

After adding a 1,411Kbps (16/44.1kHz) FLAC file to my iPhone, we headed onto the show floor, stopping at Sennheiser, Audio Technica, HiFiMan, Audeze and Klipsch. In general, I was looking for portable headphones that work well when connected to a phone. For each listen, I had Mat tell me his thoughts before we moved on to the next booth.

How 'The Last Guardian' uses gameplay to tell its story

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 08:29:00 -0500


Like with many ambitious works of art, it's fair to say that the reaction to The Last Guardian was pretty divisive. While many recognized last month's PS4 exclusive as a brilliant achievement, it is undoubtedly a game that bears the scars of its troubled nine-year development. Yet, despite its archaic controls, The Last Guardian achieves something that few games manage - it makes the player genuinely care about an AI companion. In a bid to explore how director Fumito Ueda achieved this, YouTuber Mark Brown has dissected the game mechanics of The Last Guardian in the latest video of his game design series, Game Maker's Toolkit.

A white PS4 Slim is coming this month

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 05:24:00 -0500


In a move that will surprise no one, Sony has announced a new color variant for its cheaper, slimmer PlayStation 4. The new "Glacier White" option will launch in Japan for 29,980 yen (500GB) and 34,980 yen (1TB) on January 23rd. The 500GB model will then be released in Europe for €299/£259 a day later. Aside from the new paint job, there's no discernible difference between the console and its Jet Black counterpart. Before too long, however, it'll no doubt be offered in a range of exclusive bundles.

Source: PlayStation Blog

Sony should be taking bigger risks at CES

Sun, 08 Jan 2017 13:00:00 -0500


I've always had a soft spot for Sony. I grew up with a Walkman cassette player and an absurd 13-inch Sony TV set hooked up to the Sega Saturn in my bedroom. But in recent years, I've grown increasingly concerned about the company's future. Yes, the PlayStation brand is strong, and its image-sensor division remains a lucrative asset. But in so many other categories, Sony is struggling. Take its smartphone business: The X line was a disappointment last year, doing little to change the sluggish sales of the Z series that came before it.

Ben Heck's PS4 accessibility controllers

Sun, 08 Jan 2017 12:30:00 -0500



Technology should be accessible to everyone, and that includes gamers. Indeed, one of the most popular requests received by the Ben Heck Show Team has been to create custom controllers. The current generation of game consoles have made this difficult, especially the PlayStation 4, and in fact, it wasn't until a recent third-party controller came to market that Ben and Felix found an easy way to hack in custom parts.

Watch in this episode as Felix tears down the controller, while Ben shows us how to measure and model the gamepad as a guide for creating 3D-printed or laser-cut pieces. Then it's up to Ben and Karen to put the controller through its paces. What other gamepads do you think the team should create or modify for accessibility? Let the team know over on the element14 Community.

Sony's flagship soundbar kicks out room-filling audio

Sat, 07 Jan 2017 20:36:00 -0500


CES is filled with Dolby Atmos-spitting audio equipment, but Sony's HT-ST5000 stands out. Sony has improved this model with the ability to scale audio properly no matter what size your room is. Just adjust for the height of the ceiling and where you're sitting (using its onscreen GUI) and it can provide impressive positional audio.

Source: Sony

The Engadget Podcast Ep 22: Filmore Jive

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 22:28:00 -0500


Senior editor Aaron Souppouris, senior HD editor Richard Lawler and senior editor Mat Smith join host Terrence O'Brien to talk about the tech announcements at CES that will shape 2017. Just like every year, it's a big TV show. LG, Samsung, Sony and plenty others came with their biggest and brightest sets. But it was LG that stole Lawler's heart with its crazy thin W-series OLEDs. The group also chats about how OLEDs are quickly becoming cheaper and more readily available.

Vote for the Best of CES People's Choice award!

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 17:50:00 -0500


We've announced our Best of CES finalists so now it's time for you to cast your vote for your favorite gadget at CES 2017! Just head over here (or below) to pick your three favorite items from our pool of finalists. You have until 6 PM ET tomorrow, January 7th, to get your votes in.

Introducing the Best of CES 2017 finalists!

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 17:49:00 -0500


Most of our editors eschewed the typical New Year's Eve celebrations and arrived in Las Vegas on New Year's Day. One of us even arrived on December 31st and spent the last few hours of 2016 in bed. All of that just to give our all to the annual tradition that is CES. We spent the past few days walking the show floor, attending evening events and covering press conferences to bring you the very best from CES 2017. And now, we're ready to unveil the finalists for our annual Best of CES awards.

Below you'll find our selections for 15 categories, which range from accessibility tech to wearables. We'll announce our category winners tomorrow, which is also when we'll reveal the recipient of our Best of the Best award, the most coveted prize of them all. That special award is selected from our pool of category winners.

If you want your voice heard too -- and who doesn't? -- there's an additional category for People's Choice, where you can vote for your favorite entry in our compilation of finalists. Just head on over to our poll right here to cast your ballot. All award winners will be announced at a special ceremony tomorrow at our CES stage, so be sure to come back right here on Engadget around 5PM PT / 8PM ET Saturday to watch it all unfold.

Sony's Kaz Hirai: 4K and HDR are here, robots are coming

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 17:00:00 -0500


By all accounts, Sony played it safe at CES this year. Outside of an OLED TV that projects sound from its screen, the company was light on game-changing product announcements. So when I sat down with Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai for an exclusive interview, we focused on the topic that's been on everybody's lips this week: artificial intelligence.

Last July, Hirai announced that Sony was reinvesting in AI in a big way for the first time since cutting funding in 2006. He says its ambitions go far beyond a refreshed Aibo, but not to rule out the possibility of robopup resurrection. As to whether we should be worried about our autonomous K9s turning into agents of a robot uprising? Hirai says it's up to companies like his to keep the AI hounds at bay.

Click here to catch up on the latest news from CES 2017.

Sony at CES 2017: Everything you need to know

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 14:20:00 -0500


Sony's big CES booth is built around one product in particular: its first 4K OLED TV. Beautiful, bright (and highly anticipated), the television's slender OLED panel also doubles as a speaker, with some subwoofer support from behind. Unfortunately, that's about it, as far as the booth is concerned, anyway. Sony boss Kaz Hirai used his keynote earlier this week to recap all the products the company unveiled over the past year. Which would have been fine at CES 2016, just not this week.

I want Sony's new 4K OLED TV in my home

Thu, 05 Jan 2017 12:31:00 -0500


Sony didn't have too much to show at CES this year, but it did come packing one surprise: a new, absurdly thin and sharp 4K TV. The horrifically named XBR-A1E (try remembering that one a few minutes from now) features a 55-inch, 65-inch or 77-inch OLED panel capable of spitting out Ultra HD and high dynamic range (HDR) with ease. The most intriguing part, however, is "Acoustic Surface," which integrates the speaker into the screen itself. That's possible because of how ridiculously thin the set is. In fact, LG Display took a similar approach with its Crystal Sound prototype.

Sony is making its own wireless earbuds

Wed, 04 Jan 2017 22:41:00 -0500


In these heady days of headphone-free smartphones, there's money to be made in the wireless-headphone game. Sony revealed plenty of upgraded wireless speakers and headphones at its CES press event today, but there some prototype teasers too. The company had some tiny wireless in-ear buds on display, as well as some neck-anchored wireless headphones. Expect to hear more about both of them later this year, but for now, Sony is showcasing two different colors for each prototype, as well as charging cases for the in-ear buds. There's no price or release date, but they look small and unassuming. Suffice to say, too, they're likely to be another notable wireless-bud option at a time when there's not much competition. After all, even Sony's own Xperia Ear didn't quite seal the deal.

Sony upgrades its 4K line with Dolby Vision ... and OLED

Wed, 04 Jan 2017 20:00:00 -0500


If you can't beat 'em, use 'em. That seems to be the logic of Panasonic and now Sony, which is announcing its first OLED TV. The XBR-A1E Bravia uses a trick we just heard about from LG Display, which embeds a sound system within the screen itself. That's thanks to the thinness of the OLED panel, which Sony claims makes for an "unmatched visual and aural experience" called Acoustic Surface. The OLED TV will be available in 55-, 65- and 77-inch models.

Source: Sony

Sony's $25K projector fulfills the dream of putting a screen anywhere

Wed, 04 Jan 2017 20:00:00 -0500


Sony has shown off pricey Life Space projectors at CES before, but this short-throw model is the first to bear its high-end ES label. Like other short-throw projectors, this one is made to project a large (100-inch) image on a wall from as close as 6 inches. That kind of capability means it can blend into a room instead of requiring a dedicated home theater. It will require dedication from your budget, however, thanks to its staggering $25,000 price tag. Naturally, it is 4K and HDR compatible and will go on sale in April.

Click here to catch up on the latest news from CES 2017.

Sony's Chromecast soundbar and sub blast the bass under your sofa

Wed, 04 Jan 2017 20:00:00 -0500


A number of companies have added Google Cast, er, "Chromecast built in," to speakers and soundbars in the last year and Sony has a new model that includes the handy tech for CES. The HT-MT500 is a compact soundbar that pairs with a wireless subwoofer you can slide under your sofa or stand upright near your TV. There's a specific setting for each of those two locations so the sound adjusts accordingly. Spotify Connect is also available on the HT-MT500 and there's a HT-MT300 model for people who don't need to employ that Google tech. It still includes Blueooth and NFC pairing, but you won't get the added benefits of Chromecast.

Sony expands its Extra Bass headphone and speaker line

Wed, 04 Jan 2017 20:00:00 -0500


Sony debuted its MDR-1000X high-end wireless noise-canceling headphones back in September, but here at CES the company is adding a truckload of new midrange options to its Extra Bass line. First, there are two wireless models, the MDR-XB950N1 and MDR-XB950B1, with the key difference being the addition of noise-canceling tech on the N1. Both use NFC to make Bluetooth pairing a breeze with AptX and AAC on board to keep that connection strong.

Live from Sony's CES 2017 press event!

Wed, 04 Jan 2017 19:30:00 -0500


Sony's press event is the final big show of CES 2017's press day. Shake off that gadget fatigue, because the company is likely to unveil plenty of TVs, devices and accessories that will hit stores before the end of the year. (Something that can't be said of all the gadgets announced at CES.) Join us at 8PM Eastern Time, right here! We'll be reporting direct from the front lines of consumer electronics' media salt mines.

Get your CES 2017 liveblogs here!

Tue, 03 Jan 2017 18:48:00 -0500


CES 2017 starts here. Alongside reports, hands-on impressions, analysis and a live stage broadcast all week, we will be liveblogging all the major press events and keynotes. From Intel to Samsung, ASUS to Sony, these are the ones you can't miss.

What to expect at CES 2017

Mon, 02 Jan 2017 10:00:00 -0500


It's easy to be cynical about CES. Every year, hundreds of companies head to Las Vegas to hawk their wares to the tech press, which gulps them down like fast food. The big companies mostly spend their time showing off untold numbers of TVs that look excellent but aren't all that different from what we saw the year before. True innovation is hard to find, buried under the piles of commodity gadgets -- but when you find it, it's worth the trouble.

Ben Heck's PlayStation 4 Pro teardown

Sun, 01 Jan 2017 12:30:00 -0500



It's time to appraise the decisions Sony made when designing the newest iteration of the PlayStation console. Ben compares the PS4 Pro to the XBox One and the PS4 Slim, and then answers the ultimate question on everyone's mind: "Why can't the PlayStation 4 Pro do 4K Blu-ray ?" While taking apart the console, Ben also comes across some curious similarities to the XBox One, making us wonder. Also, why do so many versions of the PlayStation 4 even exist? You'll have to watch the episode to find out!

What other games system or gadget teardowns would you like to see? Perhaps networking hardware or other consoles? Let the Ben Heck Show team know over on the element14 Community.