Seven years after the Apple TV launch, Google has announced Android TV software that will work with hardware from companies like Sony and Logitech. But how does the current Apple TV stack up to the new Android TV platform?
Today’s video shows off key features of Google’s latest attempt at ruling the living room, including some advances that might spur Apple to innovate once again when it comes to television.
Alone in a booth with a headset on. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
“Die, fish. Die! Die, shark!”
That’s what one goggled attendee shouts near the end of Sony’s new video (below) showing people’s reaction to its not-yet-released virtual reality headset, codenamed Project Morpheus, at the Electronic Entertainment Expo a couple weeks back in Los Angeles.
He and many other gamers got the chance to try out Sony’s answer to the Oculus Rift at the expo, and boy is it weird to watch them from the outside.
It’s hard to show what VR is really all about without, you know, actually having you wear the headsets. VR rigs like Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus have an uphill battle to convince the rank and file that VR is going to be compelling enough to shell out even more money for their gaming systems.
Sony opted to show us people from the outside, and I’m not sure it’s any more compelling than a 2D video of the VR games on offer right now.
Microsoft brings the boom to E3 2014. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
LOS ANGELES — Microsoft has faced a perception problem ever since last year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo. At this year’s E3 media briefing, however, everything the company said, did or showed was aimed squarely at fixing things.
“We listened to you, the gamers,” said Xbox director Phil Spencer to the crowd gathered here Monday. “This year, we’re only focusing on games.”
The next 90 minutes brought a fast-paced, booming litany of games, games, games. The wristbands given to every attendee at the Galen Auditorium flashed with colored lights to complement the onscreen demos and video game trailers. The speakers filled the room with so much sound that the hairs on the sides of my head moved when the explosions happened. And there were a lot of explosions.
The awe you feel will be cut fairly short. Photo: Sergey Galyonkin/CC
When my kids and I walked into a coffee shop one sunny day last month, we were greeted by a row of tables holding laptops with gaming demos.
My son gravitated toward the biggest display, a huge TV screen with a giant, face-obscuring set of goggles set in front of it. This was the Oculus Rift, the latest fad gaming device that places two stereoscopic images in front of your eyes to simulate virtual reality.
He slid the massive black eyewear onto his face, picked up the connected Xbox controller, and started moving his head around. The rest of us could see the game on the TV — an abstract shooting gallery in three dimensions, with my boy at the center, first-person style.
After about five minutes of waving his head around and pressing buttons on the controller, my son pushed the goggles up and off his head and said, “Dad, I think I’m going to be sick.”
Sony’s new RX-100 III takes the best pocket camera in the world and makes it even better. Now the 20MP shooter packs a pop-up OLED viewfinder, a faster ƒ1.8-2.8 maximum aperture across the 28-100 zoom range, a new 180-degree flip-up selfie-ready screen and “full-sensor readout 1080p.” There’s even Wi-Fi so you can post the results to Instagram. $800
The Etsy Large Desk Organizer is fashioned from solid oak, magnets and style. It has slots for everything, from paperclips to paper to iPhones, and the two-part modular design even lets you split it up for more versatility. And all this for just (cough) [$216](Large Desk Organizer).
Tens shades are like Instagram filters for your eyes. They come in four colorways, and the lenses add a tint to the world outside. If they really were a filter, I’d describe that filter as adding saturation, upping the punch like a polarizer and adding a yellow-green tint. In fact, the extra contrast looks like it might be useful when riding a bike. Available in June, pre-orders via Indiegogo. $60
I’m all over this merino wool jersey. Or rather, I’d like it to be all over me. UK maker Vulpine has tweaked its classic bike jersey to make it even better. It has a button-up collar, a reflective strip on the rear zip-up pocket and is cut long at the back to fit cyclists. And becasue it’s merino wool it won’t stink even after an all-day ride, it’ll stay cool or warm, and it’ll dry quickly. £85/$143
Rickshaw makes my favorite bags. Now the friendly San Franciscans bring us a new backpack, the Sutro. It has padded straps, a splashproof zipper, a pocket on the front and a kind of hybrid folding/roll-top closure that lets you overload it when you need to, or carry extra tall objects. Inside is a laptop sleeve, and outside is you choice of custom fabrics and colors. $225.
My other favorite bag maker is also in SF – Waterfield designs. The Outback Duffel is a waxed-canvas (or ballistic nylon) and leather carry bag with a big main compartment and pockets all over everywhere else. It comes in two sizes, and also tow configurations – the Double Compartment variant is split lengthwise into two spaces for better organization. Perfect for travel. $219
Nikon’s new underwater flash lights up the undersea world for you Nikon 1 camera (which you have hopefully stowed inside a waterproof housing). Use it on manual or auto down to 100 meters (328 feet) and use it off camera with a fiber-optic cable and mounted on an optional underwater bracket. $750
Fresh photographic equipment stole the show this week, but we also got wind of some great new outdoor gear (and some stuff for desk jockeys).
First the camera news: Sony is coming on strong with the amazing R100 III camera, while Nikon’s most exciting new gadget is an underwater flash. On the outdoorsy front, San Francisco is gearing up for summer with new bags from my favorite bag makers Rickshaw and Waterfield, and if you’re out in the warm/cold spring on your bike, you might like to do it wearing the beautiful Vulpine merino wool cycling jersey. If you’re not the outdoors type, we have you covered too — you can stay home and organize your desk with a handsome wooden pen and phone holder.
If video killed the radio star, then the iPod helped kill the cassette tape.
Although perhaps not permanently enough.
According to new reports, Sony has developed a new magnetic tape capable of holding 148GB of data per square inch — meaning that if spooled into a cartridge, each tape would boast an astonishing 185TB worth of storage. To put that into context, it’s the equivalent of 3,700 dual-layer 50GB Blu-rays.
David Fincher, who was previously rumored to direct Sony’s movie about Steve Jobs, is now out of the picture. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fincher and Sony have parted ways due to disagreements over “compensation and control.”
And if Fincher is out, that means his top pick to play Jobs, Christian Bale, will probably not be involved with the project either.
Sony’s Digital Paper is so odd that if it were released tomorrow on April 1st, I’d wonder whether or not it was just a cruel prank. But apart from the absurd price, digital paper is a pretty great-looking product.